Spring Magic by D.E. Stevenson (1942)

In his Introduction to Spring Magic, Alexander McCall Smith writes that D. E. Stevenson’s books, ‘…eluded the sort of classification that reviewers and scholars like to engage in. They are not simple romances; nor are they anything that would today be recognised as thrillers. They are in a category of their own: clearly-written straightforward tales … Continue reading Spring Magic by D.E. Stevenson (1942)

Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart (1956)

Gianetta, named after her disreputable great-grandmother, Gianetta Fox who was once the rage of London, had just finished school and completed a course for mannequins. At a showing where she modelled an historical dress, she met Nicholas Drury, a successful author with a caustic tongue, who at 29 years of age was ten years her … Continue reading Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart (1956)

John Macnab by John Buchan (1925)

Two distinguished highflyers had separately been to see Dr. Acton Croke. Both were suffering from a common ailment - they had all grown too competent and comfortable and their doctor had given them both the same diagnosis and suggested treatment: “You’ve got to rediscover the comforts of your life by losing them for a little…You … Continue reading John Macnab by John Buchan (1925)

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

In 1805, Walter Scott sat down to write the opening chapters of Waverley, a book that was to usher in an entirely new type of literary genre, the historical novel.In the same year Scott had published his narrative poem, The Lay of the Minstrel, which was received enthusiastically, but when he submitted the first few … Continue reading Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

A Trip to The Orkney Islands

The Orkney Islands is an archipelago off the northernmost coast of Scotland. We took a 40 minute ferry ride from John O'Groats across the Pentland Firth to get there.I lived in the lowlands of Scotland as a child and the nearest I'd ever been to The Orkney Islands was when I went to the Edinburgh … Continue reading A Trip to The Orkney Islands

Ambleside Online Year 7 History

These are mostly supplements to Ambleside's year 7 History - Scottish historical fiction and folksongs in the main. I've used them in the past before I knew of AO and recently with my 14 year old who started AO year 7 late last year.     The Battle of Stirling Bridge, September 11th, 1297 in … Continue reading Ambleside Online Year 7 History

Four First Rate Living Books to Read Aloud

Walkabout by James Vance Marshall   Walkabout is the story of a meeting of two very different cultures. A girl and her younger brother on their way to Australia from America are stranded in the Northern Territory after a plane crash in which they are the only survivors. They encounter a young Aboriginal boy on … Continue reading Four First Rate Living Books to Read Aloud