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National Velvet by Enid Bagnold
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"National Velvet" (original 1935; edition 1958)

by Enid Bagnold

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1,600156,873 (3.8)63
Member:rlsalvati
Title:"National Velvet"
Authors:Enid Bagnold
Info:Garden City, N.Y., Junior Deluxe Editions [1958]
Collections:Your library, Geno
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National Velvet by Enid Bagnold (1935)

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  rhod4 | Aug 12, 2018 |
Velvet Brown is the youngest daughter of a butcher and a woman who swam the English Channel before her marriage. Her mother has put on a lot of weight since that feat. Velvet lives in a small English village, and the story is set, as far as I can tell, in the 1920's. She has three gorgeous older sisters, described in the book as 'sleek golden greyhounds' and a younger brother, Donald. Velvet herself is described as thin, with 'cotton hair' and wears a plate to correct her buck teeth. Animals in the household are Jacob, a hound, and Miss Ada, an old cart pony. Mi Taylor is Mr. Brown's assistant. He was trusted with the job because his father was Mrs. Brown's swimming coach who helped her swim the Channel.Velvet is obsessed with horses, and wants to own so many that she can have a choice which one to ride. She cuts horses out of magazines and keeps the pictures in a box. She pretends to drive or ride horses when she is out walking alone. When she is in bed before she goes to sleep she pretends to drive a horse and cart. While delivering meat one early morning, she meets a stranger and tells him about her desire to own horses. The man introduces her to his saddle horses, and has her sign a paper. Then he goes away a little distance, and shoots himself. He had willed his five horses to Velvet. Later, Velvet wins a piebald gelding in a raffle. The horse could not be contained because it jumped out of any fenced field or corral, and the owner put him up for the raffle because he was tired of chasing him.The Pie is such a strong jumper that Mi begins training him for The Grand National, the biggest race in England. Mrs. Brown provides her winnings from the Channel swim for the entrance fee. There are many obstacles to this crazy plan, one of which is that Velvet is the only rider who can handle The Pie. This would be a non-issue today, but at that place and time, a female rider in The Grand National was unthinkable. The preparations for the race, the race itself and the notoriety after the race make up the rest of the book. There is no romance, but lots of familial care and love underneath the day-to-day busyness in the household.I love this book. I am not sure I still own a copy, but I have it memorized to the extent that I can just go through it in my head. Seriously, everyone should read National Velvet at least once in his or her life. ( )
  Patricia_Winters | Jan 10, 2018 |
Here is the timeless story of a girl and her beloved horse, the heartwarming tale of 14-year-old Velvet Brown and her determination to turn her untamed piebald horse into a champion and personally ride him to victory in the world's greatest steeplechase, the Grand National.
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Teenager Velvet seems like any other girl who's horse-crazy. But who else would dare chop off her hair, don jockey's clothes, and enter the world's toughest steeple-chase? ( )
  wichitafriendsschool | Jul 10, 2017 |
Though I remember when the movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney was being shown (I never did get to see it), and though I have long wanted to read this book, only now have I done so. The peculiarites of English village life in the 1920's or 1930's do appear odd and one has to get used to the dialog, but when we get to the time when the effort to enter the horse in the national race and subequent events, the story does become beguiling and enjoyable. But the reaction of the public to the win and to the action of the powers that be in the racing world is bound to be somewhat hard for one used to fairer views in today's world to take. And I would have liked a more direct account of the race itself and of Velvet's mental reactions to the race. But even after 80 years it is a story to enjoy. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Aug 26, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Enid Bagnoldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brown, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brulé, AlIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, LaurianIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewin, TedIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seaton, WalterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winslow, Earle B.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Roderick and Laurian
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Unearthly humps of land curved into the darkening sky like the backs of browsing pigs, like the rumps of elephants.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In mid-twentieth-century England, fourteen-year-old Velvet Brown, determined to turn the unruly horse she wins in a raffle into a champion, learns that she needs more than hard work and dedication to achieve her goal of riding her horse in the Grand National steeplechase.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0694015792, Paperback)

The timeless story of spirited Velvet Brown and her beloved horse has thrilled generations of readers. And now the republication of this classic story in a fresh, up-to-date package will charm confirmed fans while captivating new ones. Fourteen-year-old Velvet is determined to turn her untamed horse into a champion and personally ride him to victory in the world's greatest steeplechase, the Grand National.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:07 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In mid-twentieth-century England, fourteen-year-old Velvet Brown, determined to turn the unruly horse she wins in a raffle into a champion, learns that she needs more than hard work and dedication to achieve her goal of riding her horse in the Grand National steeplechase.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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