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Between 1947 and 1968 Bill and Monica Edwards gradually built up the near-derelict farm into a thriving dairy concern stocked exclusively with pedigree Jersey cattle. During this time she wrote ten Punchbowl Farm novels with the farm and its surroundings as their setting.
Although the real name of the farm was Punch Bowl Farm, the fictional name was contracted to Punchbowl (as was the herd name of the Jersey cattle at the real farm) and Thursley's name was changed to Highnoons for the books. The characters of this series of books were the Thornton family - principally the children Andrea, Dion, Lindsey and Peter. The first book in the series (No Mistaking Corker) was written before the purchase of the farm.
It is a fine yew tree that for many hundreds of years has protected Punchbowl Farm from gales and storms. Lindsey loves it and feels certain that it holds the spirit which guards their home and that to destroy it would be wrong and might cause some dreadful disaster. But Dion, who has taken the many problems of running the farm on his practical young shoulders, knows only that its poisonous branches are a constant menace to his herd and even to their beloved ponies. They cannot afford to have the tree fenced and so, he says, it must come down. But Lindsey is determined that some other solution must be found; that somehow the yew must be preserved yet the cattle protected. It seems that they will never understand each other’s point of view, until they are linked together by strange and enthralling experiences which reveal to them the past history of the tree, and, in sympathy at last, they see what must be done…
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