Mrs Robert Henrey. Matilda and the Chickens. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1950.

Included in the official canon, glossed ‘(her farm in Normandy just after the war)’.

Reviewed Sphere, May 27 1950, p. 32; Scotsman, June 22 1950, p. 9; Times Literary Supplement, June 30 1950, p. 10.

Matilda and the Chickens ran to 304 pp. Demy 8vo (c. 112K words). Bound in Dent’s standard black cloth boards, it was illustrated with fifty line drawings by Diana Stanley, who went specially to Villers for the job. (It was she who did the famous colour illustrations for the Borrowers series by Mary Norton also published by Dent a few years later.) Clad in a green jacket with Stanley’s drawing of the farmhouse in a kind of dream cloud seen through a five-barred gate, Matilda has nineteen chapters and sixty blank-line scene breaks corresponding as usual to Mé’s daily writing stints rather than to actual story developments.