'I had fur for my bed in London,' Cecily said. 'I never thought how it was got.' She had never thought at all it seemed to her now, in those far-off cloistered days in London, where her ambitious father guarded her like a precious treasure for the sake of the fine connections he might make by her marriage. She had been nothing but a puppet then, carefully guarded, adorned, and instructed in music and ladylike arts, but never taught to read or given a chance to have an opinion of her own.
Then King Richard's crown was lifted from the dust of battle and set on the new King's head. Her treacherous, scheming father hurried to safety in France—and Cecily went into exile of a different kind, to her aunt's house, Mantlemass, in the forest of the Weald.
Cecily was sulky and proudlipped at first, living in that free and easy house where her forthright, practical Aunt Elizabeth taught her to read and write, to dress herself without a maid, and even to ride and walk wherever she liked without any companion! Then it seemed that she had been waiting all her life to think and act like a real person, and to love a man like her new friend Lewis. But first the strange half-dream half-memory that had haunted her life must somehow be resolved.
Girl readers especially will warm to Cecily as she awakens to life and love, and will enjoy the faithfully recorded details of housekeeping in those long-ago days when every household had to be sufficient unto itself throughout the winter. Barbara Willard is an accomplished and well-known storyteller, and her other books in Puffins are The Battle of Wednesday Week and The Grove of Green Holly. She also has a book, The Penny Pony in the Young Puffin series.
Cover design by Gareth Floyd
Gently-reared Cecily Jolland was called her father's 'treasure', but he cosseted her only for the sake of the fine marriage she might make. So when a Tudor king came to the throne she was dispatched to Sussex and a new, free and easy country life where her kind Aunt Elizabeth and her first and only love Lewis showed her just what a useless thing her father had made of her.
—from the back cover
When her father goes into exile after the fall of Richard III, a sheltered sixteen-year-old girl is sent to stay with an unconventional aunt.
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