Mrs Mackenzie was a North
Hill resident for many years and lived at Stonaford. She wrote books on a
variety of subjects but particularly about ponies. She also wrote plays,
one of which was performed in Launceston in February 1960. Her interest in
the theatre prompted her to write a biography of the famous actress Sarah Siddons.
The following biographical
notes, as well as the book covers at the top of this page, have been
reproduced from the ‘Jane
Badger Books’ website and permission has been sought:
“Kathleen Mackenzie’s pony books are not generally as dripping with
ponies as most books in the genre. She was more interested in families and
their relationships than in ponies, not being a rider herself. The pony
content of her books is still just about enough to keep the enthusiast
interested. Kathleen Mackenzie is also notable for having some of the best
and worst dustjackets in the pony book world: Jumping Jan reached the final
in a poll on my forum for the best; Nigel Rides Away and the reprint of
Prize Pony both did well in the worst dustjacket category.
“Kathleen Mackenzie (1907- 1990?) was born in the Argentine, but
returned to England when she was 3. Her books often feature large families,
for which she had plenty of models. Her father was one of 10, her mother
one of 20, and she herself was one of 8 (her sister, Violet Morgan,
illustrated her books). She started writing when young, and was also
interested in the stage, for which she wrote and produced plays. She and
her family lived in Cornwall, where they put on pageants, and put on plays
at the Minack Theatre”.
Kathleen was known as Aunt
Kate in the family and her niece Nicki recalls that at one time Aunt Kate
was the only member of the congregation at a service in St Torney’s. When
asked about this, the celebrant responded with “I had all the company of
heaven and Mrs Mackenzie”.
The biography “The Great Sarah; the Life of Mrs
Siddons” (pictured left) was
published in 1968 and reviewed in the Cornish Times. The review includes details
of Mrs Mackenzie’s family life as well as a critique of her book.
You can read the review by