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 the daughter of Basil Guy, the founder of The Guild of The Treasure Seekers. She 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. Click on the report to open a larger image.

The banner image shows Kathleen Mackenzie and two of her books.