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National Velvet (Charming Classics S.) [Paperback]

Enid Bagnold
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 2002 Charming Classics
When Velvet Brown wins a troublesome piebald gelding in a shilling raffle, it begins a series of events which takes this frail girl to victory in the greatest of all horse races. The story of how Velvet takes on the male-dominated racing establishment was made into a film starring Elizabeth Taylor.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperFestival; Reprint edition (Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0694015792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0694015795
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,111,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Enid Bagnold Enid Bagnold was born in 1889 and was mostly brought up in Jamaica. She was a nurse and a driver in France during World War I. She married the chairman of Reuters and they lived in Sussex, where she is buried. Enid Bagnold wrote poems, novels and plays, the most famous of which is The Chalk Garden. National Velvet is her most well-known novel, and remains much-loved to this day.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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UNEARTHLY HUMPS OF LAND curved into the darkening sky like the backs of browsing pigs, like the rumps of elephants. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absalutely marvelous! 9 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
i thouroughly enjoyed this book, as i am too a young rider. It describes the feelings of competing that i know, only too well. When you read this book, its like totally imersing yourself into the horse world, and if you have never experienced that, it is quite a feeling. i strongly recommend it to all people and especially those that either know horses, or like them and what to find out more about them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than the National 24 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback
National Velvet is a book about those who dream; and for those who dream "great, galloping passion(s)" as one critic has described it. Many people will be able to relate to young Velvet Brown, a dreamer of a child who wears braces on her teeth. She cuts pictures of racehorses from newspapers to create her own stable of imaginary horses. Her creative mind makes them live for her - and the reader - as she holds them in front of her as she gallops along the Downs, and polishes them until their paper bodies take on the sheen of real horse coats. The reality is that she lives in an ordinary, working family whose members have nevertheless dared to dream big, passionate dreams. The author is able to play with, and blend, reality and fantasy in a truly magical way to make the so called "ordinary" quite extraordinary. The curious coincidences in the book - Velvet dreaming so hard to get a horse that she ends up with several, for instance - are simply what happens if people have big enough dreams, if they believe in them totally and devote themselves to their quest. That's one of the messages of the book. But dreamers need people who are grounded in reality; and It's Mi, the former stable lad, who provides the practical knowledge to support Velvet in her aim to ride in Britain's most famous race, the Grand National.

Reading Enid Bagnold's work makes connections with other authors. I've always found the book reminiscent of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy, with its odd yet functioning family. Velvet's mother, like Gertrude Groan, looms monstrously but lovingly in the background. In the place of Gertrude's cats and birds, we have Velvet's sister and her canaries: the little birds are kept in cages and represent the dreams of the family at night in a way that reminds me of Under Milk Wood.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The Film is Better than the Book 8 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The film is far superior to the book. In the film we see Elizabeth Taylor with shining eyes sharing her dream of becoming the winner of the Grand National. In the book, you get no sense of Velvet's private dream, nor are you able to join her on her journey to realising her dream. It comes nowhere near the quality of the film, and for that reason you shouldn't waste your time reading the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 30 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just bought 2 copies for my grandchildren. I love this book, Helen Draper
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