Updated 1st Jun 2008
The Silver Brumby

Elyne Mitchell's Brumby books.

Please do not email me asking where to buy these books. All the information I have is available by following this link: Where to buy the Silver Brumby Books

Introduction
Reviews
Where to buy the Silver Brumby Books
Maps of brumby country
Study notes
Cover gallery
Links

Introduction

Let me introduce you to what have to be my favorite books of all time, Elyne Mitchell's Brumby books, and how I came to be a devoted fan of these tales.

In the early seventies I was given the first four Silver Brumby books as a Christmas present by my mother who knew I liked horses. The books did have beautiful painted covers, but opening successive presents each time to find yet another brumby book was a little disconcerting.

In these stories the horses talk to each other and to other bush creatures, a unique feature of the series. Initially this concept of dialog between the horses put me off the books as I didn't really appreciate fantasy, so I only read a few pages before setting the books aside. The first book of the series was even loaned for an extended period of time to a girl with eye problems. This was in a period where I thought electronics dictionaries were good reading!

Thowra It wasn't until I found myself in bed with the flu and nothing to do that I looked at the books again, and found to my surprise that they were fantastic. Having read and really enjoyed my four books, I went searching and found Moon Filly at the school library. While written in 1968, its existance was not acknowledged in the 1973 printing of the Silver Brumby books. It immediately became one of my favorite books. A year or two later, around 1981, I found my own copy of Moon Filly at a distant newsagency as part of a boxed set of five novels, Moon Filly having been reprinted in 1976 and boxed with the four books from the 1975 printing. As the books had been on the shelf for a while, the gentleman at the counter was quite happy to split the boxed set so that I could take my prize.

Others were later found at the local librarys and I read these too. The majority of the stories were reprinted to correspond with the 1993 release of the Silver Brumby movie, allowing me to fill in a few of the gaps. To my surprise, there were several new titles too. Since then I have found even more new stories, and a number of the titles have been reprinted yet again in 1999. I managed to pick up the out of print titles from second hand bookshops and through ebay.

These stories I have read many times, often starting the series again as soon as I have finished reading it. I have even created lists and family trees for most of the horses that appear in these stories just for the fun of it.

Moon filly Elyne Mitchell's style has changed through the series too. Moon Filly, initially unrelated to the Silver Brumby books was written in a dialogless style, with horses communicating in manners more consistent with real horses. One more book was written in the original style after this, Silver Brumby Whirlwind, intending to complete the series, and my copy, the 1978 reprint, states that it is indeed the final book of the series. Fairly obviously, this is not the last book in the series. This book ties Moon Filly to the Silver Brumby series by having Thowra court Yuri, the moon filly's first foal.

The next two books written follow the stories of descendants of Thowra, his son Wirramirra and grandson Tiarri, and the most recent five books follow the stories of other non-silver brumbies, though Thowra or Baringa are mentioned or appear in most of them. Son of Storm has a fairly major role in both Dancing Brumby titles.

Each story also describes in detail the beauty of the Australian high country in a way that only someone who has lived there could. Even though these books were written for children, if you love horses I recommend you read these stories, no matter what your age. Most of the books can be read as stand alone stories, but to really appreciate them, I suggest reading the books of the Silver Brumby series in order.

Storm The other books mentioned below have a more human perspective on the brumbies. Three are related, two being sequels to the first, and the others are stand alone. Of these, only one book, the first of the series of three appears to have been recently in print (1992).

A cartoon series based on Thowra's adventures has also been produced, and so far three seasons have been aired on television. These have a "c" children's rating and view the world from a much simplified and tamer perspective. "Based on" is the key here. Only some of the characters have made it to the screen, and the stories do not follow the books.

I can only say thank you to Elyne Mitchell for sharing with us these beautiful creatures of her imagination, and the bush through which they run.

Ken. (sasami@hotkey.net.au)


Reviews

TitleFirst published
Silver Brumby series:
The Silver Brumby 1958
Silver Brumby's Daughter 1960
Silver Brumbies of the South1965
Silver Brumby Kingdom 1966
Moon Filly 1968
Silver Brumby Whirlwind 1973
Son of the Whirlwind 1979
Silver Brumby, Silver Dingo 1993
Dancing Brumby 1995
Brumbies of the Night 1996
Dancing Brumby's Rainbow 1998
The Thousandth Brumby 1999
Brumby Stories 1999
Others:
The Colt at Taparoo 1975
The Colt from Snowy River 1980
Snowy River Brumby 1980
Brumby Racer 1981
The Man from Snowy River 1982
Of interest:
Australia's Alps 1946
Chauvel Country 1983
The Silver Brumby movie book1993

Where to buy the English editions of the Silver Brumby Books


Silver Brumby books from Holland.

The following titles are the first six books of the Silver brumby series as published by B.V. Het Goede Boek in Holland. Note the direct translations below each title.

TitleFirst published
De Zilverhengst
(The Silver Stallion)
1984
Dochter van De Zilverhengst
(Daughter of the Silver Stallion)
1984
Kleinzoon van de Zilverhengst
(Grandson of the Silver Stallion)
1985
Het Koninkrijk van een Zilverhengst
(The Kingdom of a Silver Stallion)
1985
De Zilverhengst in de wervelwind
(The Silver stallion in the whirlwind)
1985
Wirramira, de zoon van de Zilverhengst
(Wirramira, the son of the Silver stallion)
1985

Information on Dutch titles courtesy of Wilma Scholte and Lara Verhoeven.


Silver Brumby books from Sweden.

The following are the titles of the Silver brumby series as published in Sweden. Note the direct translations below each title.

Swedish TitleTranslationEnglish Title
Windy, ledarhingstenWindy, the leader stallionThe Silver Brumby
Windys dotterWindy's daughterSilver Brumby's Daughter
Windys vilda hjordWindy's wild herdSilver Brumbies Of The South
i Windys spårin Windys tracksSilver Brumby Kingdom
Windys sista stridWindys last battleSilver Brumby Whirlwind
Windys son MirroWindy's son MirroSon Of The Whirlwind
De vilda unghästarnaThe wild young horsesMoon Filly
Unghingstarna från TaparooThe young stallions from TaparooThe Colt At Taparoo
Hingsten med silverskornaThe stallion with the silver shoesThe Colt From Snowy River
Nooroo, den obesegradeNooroo, the undefeatedBrumby Racer

Names of the horses in the Swedish titles
Windy-Thowra
Ritza-Kunama
Barro-Baringa
Blixt-Lightning
Mirro-Wirramirra

The artist for the Swedish titles is B.O. Wennerberg. He did both cover and internal illustration. The cover art was also used for the Dutch release.

Information on Swedish titles courtesy of Ann. Check the Cover Gallery for pictures of most of these titles.


Silver Brumby books from Finland.

Finnish TitleTranslationEnglish Title
Thowra, hopeaharjaThowra, silver-maneThe Silver Brumby

Information on Finnish titles courtesy of Heta Rikala.

Where to buy the Silver Brumby Books.

Once again finding these titles has become problematic. Probably Ebay and some of the second hand online book sellers will give the best results at the moment.

Retailers that were (are?) stocking them include: Aussie Books new copies, Aussie Books zShop (preloved), Angus & Robertson, Collins Booksellers or Dymocks.

You could also check the HarperCollinsPublishers ordering page for lists of other retailers that may stock these titles.

These online retailers are usually prepared to send books overseas. I have been contacted by people who have successfully ordered books this way.

Failing that, there's always Ebay. Quite a few titles show up there at reasonable prices. Click here to run a search that will return the current listings.


The Books

The Silver Brumby

This, the first in the series of brumby books by Elyne Mitchell was written for the eldest of her four children.

Thowra, a cream wild horse and his half brother Storm are loners. Even as foals they know their country better than others of their herd. Where they lack in strength, they rely on intelligence and knowledge. Is this enough to help them as they grow from foals to stallions? Follow Thowra's adventures as he tests wits with both man and horse. Will he be able to keep the filly he stole from man, Golden, the most beautiful cream filly in the high country? Does he have what it takes to avenge his sire's death and become the king of the Cascade brumbies?

In this story, Elyne Mitchell and her ski party makes a cameo appearance. No mention is made of their names, but the reference to the skiers who lasso a bay colt and souveneir some of his tail hair obviously refers to them. The whole story can be read in Australia's Alps.

The latest release includes "Wild Echoes Ringing", the very last brumby story written by Elyne Mitchell.

Map of the area featured in The Silver Brumby.

Silver Brumby's Daughter

Also called The Snow Filly

Kunama is Thowra's first foal out of Golden, the mare he captured from the stockmen. She is a wild free spirit, and the lure of the black stallion Tambo draws her from Thowra's secret valley. The joy of running with Tambo and his two other mares leads to her staying out in the Cascades too long. She is seen by men, and there is nothing men love more than to catch and keep a silver horse.

Picture - The first edition of Silver Brumby's Daughter.

Silver Brumbies of the South

Lightning, Thowra's second foal out of Golden is two years old, so Thowra takes him south to find a kingdom of his own. With them goes Baringa, Kunama's and Tambo's yearling colt. Despite Lightning's obvious beauty, it is Baringa that wins the heart of the most beautiful filly of Quambat flat, Dawn. Baringa will have to use all of his cunning and all he has been taught to keep Dawn. And what of the hidden filly? Said to be as beautiful as Dawn, is she real, or just a creature of myth?

This has to be my favorite book of the series, with Baringa my undisputed favorite character.

Silver Brumby Kingdom

Dawn is swept away in a river, and Baringa must leave his other mares to find her. Unaware of this, Lightning wants Dawn more than ever, and brings even more trouble to Quambat flat by stealing another stallion's mares. Thowra comes south to visit his beloved grandson, Baringa only to hear tales of how Baringa has died fighting Bolder, a killer, and that Lightning seeks Dawn. What is the truth behind Baringa's disappearance? Where is Dawn? And who will come out on top when an angry black stallion comes to Quambat flat seeking his mares?

Picture - The first edition of Silver Brumby Kingdom.

Map of the area featured in Silver Brumby Kingdom.

Moon Filly

Wurring, almost a yearling, and the image of his great sire Winganna, is a golden chestnut with a mane and tail the color of living light of the sun. When Winganna brings a hauntingly beautiful mare and her filly foal to the herd, Wurring is drawn to the tiny filly despite himself. When the beautiful mare dies, only Wurring has the courage to approach the orphan. He calls her Ilinga because she has come from far away. She becomes his shadow, to the envy of the other foals. Where is she from? As she grows, she becomes more and more beautiful, glowing with the beauty of the moon, and it becomes obvious that her dead mother must have been of great value. What happens when an ugly and mean iron grey stallion comes looking for what he has lost? Is Ilinga's and Wurring's love for each other enough for them to overcome the odds? What of the legend that say that before the moon and sun can be together, the light of sun must almost be extinguished?

This book comes a close second when it comes to me picking favorites.

Silver Brumby Whirlwind

Written as the conclusion of the Silver Brumby series, this story brings together the stories of Moon Filly and the Silver Brumby series. As is obvious, more books were written, though this is the last story in which direct dialog is used between the brumbies. All future books use the dialogless style of Moon Filly.

His favorite mares having died of old age, Thowra goes north for a summer, where he courts Yuri, the firstborn daughter of the sun and the moon, Wurring and Ilinga. Will he be able to keep Yuri safe from the sons of the iron grey, and the furies of a killer storm? And what of the hundreds of brumbies that come to see if it is true that the great silver stallion really is alive? Will Thowra be able to reach his beloved Ramshead, far to the south, where he was born and where his mother's bones bleach, to keep his appointment with destiny?

Son of the Whirlwind

Thowra left Yuri after only one spring, summer and autumn. Now Yuri follows an unheard call from the south, where Thowra went. With her she takes her tiny son Wirramirra, a silver brumby like his sire. He also hears the call from south. Will their determination lead to disaster, as blizzards and storms, hunger, and the two iron greys who pursue them take their toll. And what of Kulali, the gentle brown stallion who follows Yuri wherever she goes? What awaits them in the land to the south? Will they ever find Thowra?

Silver Brumby, Silver Dingo

Wirramirra's silver foal Tiarri is blown from his mother by a ferocious storm. It dumps him by an orphaned silver dingo pup. After Tiarri saves the pup from an eagle, the three somehow form an improbable, but unbreakable bond. Together they fight to survive as first the two silver creatures seek their mothers, then later as the three fight any enemies that are unsettled by the unusual alliance, and the blame these animals put on them for events they do not understand.

Dancing Brumby

Dandaloo, an old blue roan mare has her last foal. He is ugly and crippled, but she loves him with a love stronger than any she has felt before. None the less, there is a magic about strange little foal. He can dance, weaving a spell around all who watch, both the creatures of the bush, and man. Will Choopa survive the brumby hunts, bush fires and the cold of winter as he roams the mountains with his mountain creature friends, his father Son of Storm, and Dandaloo as she seeks ways of making him stronger? What will other horses think of the little dwarf? Will they accept or kill him? What of the men that are captivated by the little horse's dance?

Brumbies of the Night

When Coolawyn and her foal are swept away by the flood, her foal drowns. But the same river that took the life of her foal brings her another, a white colt with red eyes. Who is this white colt, and why is he so attracted to his own reflection? What of the legends of the midnight gallopers? Who are they? Is it true that hearing them warns of disaster, of fillies that go missing or that are found dead?

Dancing Brumby's Rainbow

Old Strawberry, a roan stallion that lives near Choopa's favorite lakes decides that the ugly little dwarf should not be allowed to survive. Choopa has other ideas. Not only will he mock the older stallion while persisting with his own quest, Choopa is quite determined to win Old Strawberry's beautiful miniature daughter for himself.

The Thousandth Brumby

Man is in the mountains again, and one is determined to catch a particular stallion as his thousandth brumby. With the help of a working dog, and a dingo, will the stallion be able to avoid capture?

Brumby Stories

This is a compilation volume. The cover uses the same picture as the 1999 edition of The Silver Brumby. It contains these four stories:
- The Silver Brumby
- Dancing Brumby
- Brumbies of the Night
- Dancing Brumby's Rainbow

Each story is complete, not abridged.


The Colt at Taparoo

The night the new pony mare Gay arrives at the cattle station, Sprite, the stallion to whom she was to be mated dies. Instead she is used as a stock horse by the stallion's former owner. Eleven months later, to everyone's surprise, she gives birth to a lovely chestnut colt, Fire. Her owners can only guess who sired the colt, and try to preserve Sprite's bloodline through a bad tempered black stallion. It not until a foal is born to a little brumby filly that the truth of Fire's parentage is known.

There is a tiny cameo by one of the Silver herd in this story!

The Colt from Snowy River

When Buzz, a thoroughbred bay colt from the Snowy River homestead is lured into the wild by the beautiful and independent filly Yarrawa, the Reid children are heartbroken. They head out into the previously unexplored country of the Snowy Mountains in search of their beloved and valuable colt. Will they find him? Will Buzz be able to survive in the wild?

The tale of Buzz is set in the 1850s, years before the Silver Brumby series.

Picture - The first edition of The Colt from Snowy River.

Snowy River Brumby

When Buzz's first son Nooroo, now a yearling, becomes trapped and injured, Buzz goes to seek help from the family who raised him. He must bring the Reids across miles of mountainous bush to where his injured son lies. They must then get the injured horse back to the homestead.

Brumby Racer

Faster than his sire Buzz, Nooroo lives an exiting life, spending some of his time running free as a brumby, the rest at the homestead of the Reids, or racing other horses at local race meets. Will the calls of Babilla, the most desirable red-bay brumby mare, lead Nooroo to disaster or will be able to resist her calls of promise and stay at the homestead where his beloved pony mare Honey lives.

The Man from Snowy River

This book is based on the screenplay of the film The Man From Snowy River. It is fitting that Elyne Mitchell wrote this book because it was her husband Tom's father, Walter Edward Mitchell who introduced Banjo Paterson to Jack Riley, the real "man from snowy river".

Australia's Alps

This was Elyne Mitchell's first published book. Of particular interest to brumby story lovers are the photos of the alps, and the photos of the brumby Elyne and her companions caught, an event that was part of the inspiration for her writing the brumby stories!

Chauvel Country

This is Elyne Mitchell's autobiography, up to the end of World War II, and the story of her ancestors. Read about Elyne's adventures and experiences in the same places that her brumby stories feature. Read Elyne's comments on the inspiration behind The Silver Brumby, The Silver Brumbies of the South and Silver Brumby Kingdom.
Note: I believe this book is also out of print.

The Silver Brumby Movie Book

The Silver Brumby movie book

By Peter Oliver.

This book gives a brief description of the making of the Silver Brumby movie, includes a few "behind the scenes" color photographs, and the story based on the screenplay. I picked mine up on Ebay for $2.00. I've since seen one sell for over $80.00, simply because the seller mentioned it contained a picture of Russell Crowe!

The Silver Brumby Movie Book

The Silver Brumby movie book

While it has the same title as the above book, and was printed around the same time, it is very different. It contains many glossy pictures from the movie, some full page, and a very simplified story line. 24 pages plus the covers.

Return to Australian Miniature Horses and Ponies


Page design and maintenance by Ken Stone sasami@hotkey.net.au.
Direct all enquires regarding this page to Ken Stone.

While all care has been taken to insure information presented here is correct, it is given as a guide only.

Page design copyright 1997 by Ken Stone. Original photos and art copyright 1997 by Ken Stone

The Silver Brumby and all other titles mentioned here are Copyright © Elyne Mitchell.

The current publishers are
HarperCollinsPublishers
25 Ryde Road, Pymble, Sydney, NSW 2073, Australia
31 View Road, Glenfield, Auckland 10, New Zealand
77-85 Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8JB, United Kingdom
Hazelton Lanes, 55 Avenue Road, Suite 2900, Toronto, Ontario M5R 3L2
and 1995 Markham Road, Scarborough, Ontario M1B 5M8, Canada
10 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10032, USA

For more information on these books contact your local bookseller.