However people choose to look at the man and what he has or has not achieved, today’s passing of former champion jockey, Dick Francis, will be a moment of sadness for many.
I don’t care if Dick Francis or his wife Mary wrote the many books that were published under his name.
For me that’s incidental.
Without his detailed technical knowledge the novels would not have been as fundamentally accurate, in things equine, as they undoubtedly were.
I say ‘are’ because, coincidentally, I’m re-reading one of Dick Francis’ novels at the moment.
It’s a respite; the words pour over me, they are effortless to read and many aspiring authors could do worse than examine the style of prose that was published under the name Dick Francis.
He was, without doubt, a talented jockey.
Was he the author of the many novels published under his name or, as a number of people believe, were they primarily the work of his late wife Mary?
Though the older works are very dated, I have read every single one of the Dick Francis novels at least once and, while living overseas, have read some of them so often I’ve lost count.
The writer understood people and also understood the connection that horses have with people.
And the writer had a gift for storytelling, but making it easy for the reader.
A sad loss.