Black Beauty horse © Author Adventures
© Author Adventures

Walter Farley

Walter Farley (1915-1989). author of the 1941 children’s classic book, The Black Stallion, owned a beach house in Venice, Florida, and was honored with a literary landmark at the Venice Public Library, where you can see an exhibit in a wing named for the author, according to the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota.

The classic became a series, written from his home in the lovely waterside town. The Farley family were the original owners of the home. It is not open to the public so his hometown library is the best way to see a connection to this author. (In 2020, the Farley family placed the house, located just south of downtown, on the market for $1.9 million.)

The Black Stallion

“In 1940, an editor told him, ‘Don’t figure on making any money writing children’s books.’ Walter Farley disagreed. He wrote The Black Stallion (Random House) as a high school student in Brooklyn, New York. The book was published when he was 26, while he attended Columbia University.” — bookologymagazine.com

According to theblackstallion.com:

“Children of all ages have found Farley titles to enjoy, since many of the later stories were written for Mr. Farley’s own children when they were too young to read his Stallion novels. And older readers and adults have been gripped by his fictionalized biography of America’s greatest Thoroughbred, Man O’War.

“Walter Farley’s titles reached a grand total of 34. The 21 Black Stallion and Island Stallion stories are still in print and selling steadily. His readers respond with passion, writing him thousands of letters and emails every year.”

To read his book series in order, we recommend https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/walter-farley.

Venice, Florida

Venice (population around 23,000) is mostly known for its beautiful beach, so head there after seeing the library exhibit.

The Venice Public Library is the second stop on Florida Author Adventures Trail #3!

Patricia Smart