[DWJ] News from the archive - Everard's Ride

Hannah Green hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk
Wed Jul 13 10:24:50 EDT 2011

Apologies for the long silence - been rather a lot else going on up here, and I've been diverted from cataloguing for a bit!  But I have just started in on some of the unpublished material in the archive today, and have just been having a fascinating journey of exploration into the Principality over the Water from 'Everard's Ride'.

Although it was first published in 1995, the story 'Everard's Ride' was actually written quite early on, some time in the late 1960s or early 1970s, it just took a long time to get it published.  The title page of the typescript gives her name as Diana Burrow, her married name but obviously not the name she published under, suggesting it was written before she had established her published name as Diana Wynne Jones.  What I have discovered, as I've been working through the unpublished manuscripts, is that when Diana wrote 'Everard's Ride' she clearly envisaged it as part of a series.  The unpublished material includes files of manuscript and typescript drafts for three other works, all roughly the length of a short novel, which are all set in the same world as 'Everard's Ride'.

These stories - entitled 'Prince Edward's Island', 'Hornets of Gairne' and 'The Burning of Tremath' - all focus on the adventures of Julia Hornby, great-granddaughter of Alex Hornby from 'Everard's Ride', and her friends Steven and Jane Unwin as they visit the Island over the Water on successive summer holidays.  If you read 'Everard's Ride' carefully, you can actually pick up several hints which show that Diana had a much larger canvas in mind than a single story when she wrote it - for example, when Everard's party are recovering at his hunting lodge after the showdown with Towerwood, there is a reference to an army camping on the same spot in much less happy circumstance 100 years later, which seemed slightly odd when I first read it.  But when you realize 'Everard's Ride' was intended as a sort of prequel, set in the past of a world which would already be familiar to the reader, it makes a lot more sense!

Hannah Green
Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Design Works, William Street, Felling, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE10 0JP
Tel. 01914952707
E-mail: hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk<mailto:hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk>

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