If Marguerite Henry, author of the Misty of Chincoteague books and all those horse books we horse-obsessed kids grew up on, were alive today, I believe she would have social media followers in the millions.
Photo from the archives at the Newberry Library, Chicago.
While writing the book Marguerite, Misty and Me, I have interviewed several people who knew her: a boy who rode Misty while Marguerite rode her Morgan; a woman who formed a friendship with her when she happened upon Misty II and eventually became a Chincoteague Pony breeder; and her last illustrator, Bonnie Shields.
My interviewees, people who had been Marguerite Henry's friends, said the same thing in the different words: she was amazing and she loved children and horses and books.
She was constantly inundated with fan mail. Marguerite wrote responses to her letter writers. Eventually one of them became a book she titled Dear Readers and Riders. Some of the people who wrote to her became pen pals with the Newbery-Medal winning author.
In-person events were also a big part of the book marketing she did when she wrote for Rand McNally. She did speaking events at schools and libraries.
I have a signed copy of Misty of Chincoteague that I found from a used bookseller online a couple of years ago. Although I had multiple copies of Misty, I had to purchase this one because it was signed by Marguerite Henry to me--Susan! It was meant for me. Peep my signed Marguerite Henry book here.
If you're like me and a Marguerite Henry superfan, I am pretty sure with some diligence and perseverance, you will be able to score a copy of one of her signed books online. She was out and about and meeting fans and did lots and lots of signings. I would also say if you live in Illinois or California, you probably increase your chances by poking around in used books stores as she lived in both of those states during the peak of her horse book author career. But thanks to the ease of online shopping, if you pore over AbeBooks, Etsy (where I got mine) and shops like that, you could definitely find what you're looking for, over time.
Thanks for reading. If you can't get enough Marguerite Henry and Misty content, read my newest book Marguerite, Misty and Me: a Horse Lover's Hunt for the Hidden History of Marguerite Henry and Her Chincoteague Pony.