Search - List of Books by Joanna Cannan
Joanna Cannan (1898 — 1961) was a writer of pony books and detective books. Her pony books were aimed primarily at children.
Total Books: 22
Youngest daughter of Oxford don Charles Cannan and Mary Wedderburn, also cousin of Gilbert Cannan, it is perhaps her children she is best known for, being mother to Josephine Pullein-Thompson, Diana Pullein-Thompson, Christine Pullein-Thompson and Denis Cannan. One of three daughters, she was the sister of the poet May Cannan, also sister of Dorothea Cannan and grandmother to Charlotte Popescu, Phillip, Mark and Lucy. In addition she was a great grandmother to 8 children (Oliver, Daniel, Anna, Benjamin, Thomas and Hamish, Edwina and Maxwell).
Though born and brought up in Oxford, she had a fondness for Scotland, which was the destination for many family holidays and part of her maternal heritage. Her ancestors participated in some of the seminal events in Scottish history, such as the Jacobite rising and Battle of Culloden. It is no surprise, then, that many of her books are set there. The wilds of Roshven in the West Highlands must have seen a dramatic and romantic location in comparison to sedate Oxford, especially when the Cannan children were 'provided with an unrelenting diet of boys' adventure stories'.
During World War I she became a VAD nurse; it was during her nursing duties in Oxford when she met her future husband Captain Harold J "Cappy" Pullein-Thompson, whom she married in 1918. Although she became Joanna Cannan Pullein-Thompson, she only published as Joanna Cannan. As he was badly injured during the war, she was the main income for the family, producing a book every year until she died. After their marriage she moved to Wimbledon. Disapproving of traditional education, she encouraged her daughters to write and to be self-reliant. However she did impose a wide variety of strict house rules including "Don't talk horses at meals", a rule that was hard for her daughters to follow.
Most of her pony books were published before or during World War II; after the war she began to experiment with detective stories, because she felt the world she used to write about was beginning to disappear. In the early 1950s her health began to decline: she was eventually diagnosed with tuberculosis. She died in 1961, four years after her husband.
A painting of Joanna Cannan is hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in London.
As well as the books listed, she also contributed to a few magazines during her lifetime.