Joanna Cannan


Joanna Cannan

Joanna Cannan (1898-1961) was a writer of pony books and detective books. Her pony books were aimed primarily at children.

Youngest daughter of Oxford don Charles Cannan and Mary Wedderburn, also cousin of Gilbert Cannan, it is perhaps her children she is best known for, being mother to Josephine Pullein-Thompson, Diana Pullein-Thompson, Christine Pullein-Thompson and Denis Cannan. One of three daughters, she was the sister of the poet May Cannan, also sister of Dorothea Cannan and grandmother to Charlotte Popescu, Phillip, Mark and Lucy. In addition she was a great grandmother to 8 children (Oliver, Daniel, Anna, Benjamin, Thomas and Hamish, Edwina and Maxwell).

Though born and brought up in Oxford, she had a fondness for Scotland, which was the destination for many family holidays and part of her maternal heritage. Her ancestors participated in some of the seminal events in Scottish history, such as the Jacobite rising and Battle of Culloden. [ Pullein-Thompson, i] It is no surprise, then, that many of her books are set there. The wilds of Roshven in the West Highlands must have seen a dramatic and romantic location in comparison to sedate Oxford, especially when the Cannan children were 'provided with an unrelenting diet of boys' adventure stories'. [ Pullein-Thompson, vii]

During World War I she became a VAD nurse; it was during her nursing duties in Oxford when she met her future husband Captain Harold J "Cappy" Pullein-Thompson, whom she married in 1918. [ Pullein-Thompson, x] Although she became Joanna Cannan Pullein-Thompson, she only published as Joanna Cannan. As he was badly injured during the war, she was the main income for the family, producing a book every year until she died. After their marriage she moved to Wimbledon. Disapproving of traditional education, she encouraged her daughters to write and to be self-reliant. However she did impose a wide variety of strict house rules including "Don't talk horses at meals", a rule that was hard for her daughters to follow.

Most of her pony books were published before or during World War II; after the war she began to experiment with detective stories, because she felt the world she used to write about was beginning to disappear. [ Pullein-Thompson, xviii] In the early 1950s her health began to decline: she was evetually diagnosed with tuberculosis. [ Pullein-Thompson, xix] She died in 1961, four years after her husband.

A painting of Joanna Cannan is hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

As well as the books listed, she also contributed to a few magazines during her lifetime. =Books=

Pony Books

*"A Pony for Jean" (1936)
*"We Met Our Cousins" (1937)
*"Another Pony for Jean" (1938)
*"London Pride" (1939)
*"More Ponies for Jean" (1943)
*"They Bought Her A Pony" (1944)
*"Hamish: The Story of a Shetland Pony" (1944)
*"I Wrote A Pony Book" (1950)
*"Gaze at the Moon" (1957)

Dates unknown:-

*"The Vanguard Book of Ponies and Riding" (co-writer)

"We Met Our Cousins" was republished by Fidra Books in 2006 with a twenty page biography of the author by her daughter Josephine Pullein-Thompson. "London Pride" (the sequel to "We Met Our Cousins") is now available to buy from the same publisher.

Other books

*"The Tripled Crown. (A book of English, Scotch and Irish verse for the age of six to sixteen)" (co-author) (1908) [Like her daughters, this first book was written in collaboration with her sisters]
*"The Misty Valley" (1922)
*"Wild Berry Wine" (1925)
*"The Lady Of the Heights" (1926)
*"Sheila Both Ways" (1928)
*"The Simple Pass On" (1929)
*"No walls of Jasper" (1930)
*"Orphan of Mars" (1930)
*"The Hour of the Angel: Ithuriel's Hour" (1931)
*"High Table" (1931)
*"Snow In Harvest" (1932)
*"North Wall" (1933)
*"Under Proof" (1934)
*"The Hills Sleep On" (1935)
*"A Hand to Burn" (1936)
*"Frightened Angels" (1936)
*"Princes In The Land" (1936)
*"Pray Do Not Venture" (1937)
*"They Rang Up the Police" (1939)
*"Idle Apprentice" (1940)
*"Death at The Dog" (1940)
*"Blind Messenger" (1941)
*"Little I Understood" (1948)
*"Murder Included" (later republished as "A Taste of Murder" and in the USA as "Poisonous Relations")(1950) [ [http://www.ruemorguepress.com/authors/cannan.html Ruemorgue Press' page on Joanna Cannan] ]
*"And all I learned" (1951)
*"Body In The Beck" (1952)
*"Long Shadows" (1955)
*"People to be found" (1956)
*"And be a Villain" (1958)
*"All is Discovered" (1962)

Dates unknown:-

*"The Lady Of The Valley
*"Oxfordshire" (non-fiction) [Date is unknown for this book, as all early copies held by the British Library are undated, but it is thought to date from the mid 1940s]

Persephone Books are also republishing "Princes In the Land".

References

*"London Pride", Introduction by Josephine Pullein-Thompson, Edinburgh: Fidra Books, 2007
*"British Library"
*"Rue Morgue Press"

=Notes=

=Links=

* [http://www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com/ponybook.html A useful article about collecting old pony books, featuring her works and those of her daughters]
* [http://www.fidrabooks.com/cannan.html Fidra Books page about Joanna Cannan]
* [http://www.janebadgerbooks.co.uk/jcannan.html An article devoted to the author, including book scans]
* [http://www.persephonebooks.co.uk/pages/authors/joanna_cannan.htm Persephone's page about the author]
* [http://www.persephonebooks.co.uk/pages/books/princes_in_the_land.htm Persphone's page about her book "Princes In The Land"; also contains more information about the author]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cannan — is a surname, and may refer to:* David Cannan * Denis Cannan * Edwin Cannan, British economist * Gilbert Cannan * James Harold Cannan * Joanna Cannan * May Wedderburn Cannan * Ron Cannanee also* Cannon (surname) * Canaan …   Wikipedia

  • Gilbert Cannan — (25 June 1884 – 30 June 1955) was a British novelist and dramatist.Early lifeBorn in Manchester of Scottish descent, he got on badly with his family, and in 1897 he was sent to live in Oxford with the economist Edwin Cannan. He was educated at… …   Wikipedia

  • May Wedderburn Cannan — (1893–1973) was a British poet who was active in World War I. Contents 1 Biography 1.1 Early life 1.2 Later life 2 Family …   Wikipedia

  • Denis Cannan — (14 May 1919 – 25 September 2011[1]) was a British dramatist, playwright and script writer. Born Denis Pullein Thompson, the son of Captain Harold J. Pullein Thompson and novelist Joanna Cannan, he changed his name by deed poll in 1964[1]. His… …   Wikipedia

  • Pullein-Thompson sisters — The Pullein Thompson sisters – Josephine Pullein Thompson MBE (3 April 1924 [1]), Diana Pullein Thompson (born 1 October 1925) [2] and Christine Pullein Thompson (1 October 1925–2 December 2005[2]) – are British writers of many pony books, mostly …   Wikipedia

  • Charlotte Pullein-Thompson — (born 1957), also known as Charlotte Popescu, is an author of cookbooks and books related to horses and ponies. Although she married and became Charlotte Fyfe, she has not published under her married name. Daughter of well known author Christine… …   Wikipedia

  • Georgette Heyer — Infobox Writer name = Georgette Heyer imagesize = upright caption = pseudonym = birthdate = 16 August 1902 birthplace = Wimbledon, London, England deathdate = 4 July 1974 deathplace = London, England occupation = Writer nationality = English… …   Wikipedia

  • List of mystery writers — This is a list of mystery writers:CompactTOC mdash;See also mdash;External linksA * Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, (pseudonyms Carolyn Keene, Franklin W. Dixon) * Ginny Aiken * Catherine Aird (born 1930) * Susan Wittig Albert * Margery Allingham… …   Wikipedia

  • Persephone Books — is an independent publisher based in Bloomsbury, London. Founded in 1999 by Nicola Beauman, Perspehone has a catalogue of 78 neglected novels, diaries, poetry, short stories, non fiction, biography and cookery books, mostly by women and mostly… …   Wikipedia

  • Fidra Books — is a publisher based in Edinburgh which specialises in reissuing forgotten children s books, especially those from the 1940s onwards. It was set up in 2005 by Malcolm and Vanessa Robertson, who also opened Edinburgh s only dedicated Children s… …   Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.