Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Moochers

Jeff and Heather at Peakirk Books came through once again with an excellent copy of The Moochers. This book and its sequel The Moochers Aborad were published in 1950 and 1951, respectively, just before the first Susan book saw the light of day. A third book, Moochers and Prefects, was written in 1951 and the only copy was sent to Lutterworth Press. They later forwarded it to West Regional TV for consideration, but their staff lost it. A pity that the computer technology we enjoy today was not available back then, as a back-up would have been kept for security reasons. Returning to published works, the first Moochers book was set in Cornwall, the only novel of hers to be set there, unless you count The Penhallow Mystery (1967), for which she used the pen name Jean Bell. It is surprising that only this story and Family Trouble are set in Cornwall, since this region was a regular holiday resort for the author and her family for many years. The Moochers Abroad is the second of four books set in Binic in Brittany (preceded, of course, by Breton Holiday (1939), reissued as Breton Adventure, and followed by Twopence Coloured (1954) and Susan's Kind Heart (1965). From the wording of the title, it seems that Moochers and Prefects was a school story. Whether it was as good as the excellent Susan at School and Susan's Trying Term, one can only imagine. A sad loss. But maybe it will turn up someday among some long neglected papers of a West Regional TV employee.
A view of The Moochers from a different angle and, below, the cover of The Moochers Abroad, which I also purchased this week, this time from Pat Barrett Books in Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire. Pat also had a copy of New House at Northmead, and I snapped that up too. All in, I've got a fair number of books on the way: the two Dizzy & Alison books, the two Moochers Books, New House at Northmead, Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox and Magic Ships. That should keep me busy for a while!