Marguerite Henry is one of my favorite authors. So I am going to talk about her.
She was the youngest of five children and her mother and father where Louis and Anna Breithaupt. When Marguerite was the age of six she had a fever called ‘rheumatic’ fever. She had to stay in bed for six years! During that time, she mostly read books about animals, since she wasn’t allowed to go to school because she might get others sick. She loved reading and also became interested in writing when she got a writing desk for Christmas.
When she was the age of 11, she sold her first book. She was paid $12 (which now would be about $250) for the book she wrote called “Hide-and-Seek in Autumn Leaves” (which I have not read yet). She mostly wrote stories about animals like dogs, cats, birds, foxes (one of my favorite animals) and mules. But what she loved the most was horses!
When she was older she married Sidney Crocker Henry. During their 64 years of marriage, Marguerite Henry owned many pets, most of which she wrote about and studied. She was looking for a illustrator to illustrate ‘Justin Morgan Had a Horse’ (which is a true and loving book). Marguerite Henry found two illustrators that she knew would be perfect for her books. One was Will James and the other Wesley Dennis. But when she found out that Will James had passed away, she picked Wesley Dennis. Marguerite Henry and Wesley Dennis did 15 books together! Misty of Chincoteague, Justin Morgon Had a Horse and Brighty of the Grand Canyon, were all made into movies around 1947.
Marguerite Henry finished her last book, Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley, just before she died on November 26, 1997 at the age of 95. She died at home in Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego County. I hope to read all of her books and then start my own story books like hers!
In the picture below, I drew the horses from several of Marguerite Henry's books.
(Picture by Noelle Harris)