This wonderfully written story is the first in K.M. Peyton's Flambards quartet, and was the runner-up for the Carnegie medal. This paperback edition is in a smaller mass-market format.
K. M. Peyton was brought up in the suburbs of London and went to school in Wimbledon. Obsessed by horses, she was unable to own a pony but saved up for riding lessons - one every school holidays - on Wimbledon Common. She had an 'imaginary' stable of two thousand horses and ponies, all listed in exercise books. She still remembers many of these 'pretend' animals even now.
She began writing while still at school and has never stopped writing since. She had written about ten books before her first one was accepted for publication by A & C Black when she was fifteen, Sabre, the Horse from the Sea, published under her maiden name, Kathleen Herald.
She continued to write during her period at Manchester Art School where she met a fellow student, Michael Peyton. They married in 1950 and in the six years before their first child was born they lived in a variety of places and undertook any jobs that were available. For two years Mrs Peyton taught at Northampton High School. Both she and her husband travelled abroad, hitch-hiking and living out in the mountains, and in 1955 they went to Canada and the USA where they lived for nine months, working and travelling. They did a 150 mile trip by canoe in Northern Ontario and walked in the Rockies for as long as they could carry food.
In 1956 the Peytons bought a derelict cottage on the edge of a village on the Essex marshes. Here they worked, writing and drawing, and had two daughters, Hilary and Veronica, bought a boat and sailing became a passion. Michael Peyton has since specialised in sailing for a living, and now is a well-known internationally as a yachting cartoonist, a journalist and charter skipper. In 1970 their cottage was compulsorily purchased when a new town was scheduled for the area and they moved to another farm cottage three miles down the river where they now live.
K. M. Peyton has written many articles for the Guardian and for women's magazines, she has had over thirty novels published, mainly for the teenage market. The most well-known of which is Flambards, on which the popular television serial was based.