Just finished re-reading Ann Lawrence’s book ‘Between the Forest and the Hills’. Still a lovely, warm hearted, tale of the later days of the Roman Empire and the coming of the Saxons – with a couple of angels and a miracle or two thrown in for good measure. I have the 1977 hardback edition – only worth mentioning because it has everything that a ‘proper’ children’s book should have: it’s set in Bembo, there are line drawn maps and neat, black and white illustrations – perfect in every sense.
‘This looks to us like a dying age. A last blaze of summer and then the long darkness. But that’s not what it’ll look
like from the other end of the night. Man! to our children’s children’s children this will be an age of miracles. An age of saints and heroes! The tales arc already gathering round us, even while we re moaning about the drabness of everything.
How Saint Malleus defeated the Saxons – how about that one then? How the Blessed Ramus and Astragalus marched out to convert them, that’s another good one. Then there’s the High Deeds of Torcula the Prince – oh yes, he’ll be part of Our history too, and can you say he’s unworthy of his place? Ye – Heavenly powers, we’re picking up the gold of legends like – like pollen on your feet when you ugh a field of buttercups. And you don’t need to worry about whether or not they’re facts. They’re better than that – they’re true!’