Picture of author.

Ruth M. Arthur (1905–1979)

Teoksen A Candle in Her Room tekijä

26 teosta 451 jäsentä 49 arvostelua 2 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä


Tekijän teokset

A Candle in Her Room (1966) 124 kappaletta
Requiem for a Princess (1967) 71 kappaletta
The Whistling Boy (1969) 35 kappaletta
Portrait of Margarita (1968) 29 kappaletta
The Saracen Lamp (1970) 28 kappaletta
The Autumn People (1974) 27 kappaletta
On the Wasteland (1975) 23 kappaletta
After Candlemas (1974) 20 kappaletta
The Little Dark Thorn (1971) 19 kappaletta
My Daughter, Nicola (1965) 18 kappaletta
An Old Magic (1977) 16 kappaletta
Dragon Summer (1963) 15 kappaletta
Miss Ghost (1979) 11 kappaletta
Mother Goose Stories 2 kappaletta
The Crooked Brownie (1936) 2 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Kanoninen nimi
Arthur, Ruth M.
Virallinen nimi
Huggins, Ruth Mabel Arthur (married)
Scotland UK
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
London, England, UK
Warwickshire, England, UK
Essex, England, UK
Surrey, England, UK
Dorset, England, UK
Froebel Educational Institute
Huggins, E. N. (husband)
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Ruth M. Arthur was the pen name of Ruth Mabel Arthur Huggins, born in Glasgow, Scotland. She grew up in the countryside outside the city, and was educated at St. Columba's School in Kilmacolm. At age 18, she enrolled in the Froebel Educational Institute, an early education teacher training school (now Froebel College at the University of Roehampton), in a southwest suburb of London. While still a student, she published several short stories. In 1926, she graduated as a certified kindergarten teacher and moved back to Glasgow, where she taught at Laurel Bank School for three years. She then moved to Loughton, England, where she taught at a secondary school there. In 1932, she married Frederick Newey Huggins, a solicitor. The same year, her first collection of stories for children, Friendly Stories, etc., was published. This set of stories sold so well, it was reprinted in 1935, 1938, 1941, 1942 and 1949.

Over the next 20 years, Ruth published more books for young children, making each of them age-appropriate for the six children that she and her husband had in that same time span.

Starting with Dragon Summer in 1962, she switched to writing novels for young adults. These books, which told haunting stories in the intersection between fantasy and gothic romance, became her most popular works. They usually included carefully researched historical backdrops, as well as time slips, ghosts, and supernatural objects.
Among these titles were A Candle in Her Room (1966), Requiem for a Princess (1967), The Autumn People (1973) and The Saracen Lamp (1970).
In these books for adolescents, Ruth often used first-person narrative to draw the reader into the viewpoint of the protagonist, and set events in places she was familiar with. Many of these books were also published in the USA and translated into multiple languages.



This story is told in three sections, each from the point of view of an inhabitant of a house called Littleperry Manor. The house was built around 1300 for a newly wed minor noble, son and heir of a nearby great house, and his fifteen year old wife Melisande from France. Melisande comes to the house bringing the Saracen Lamp of the title, a gift from a dear friend who was a Saracen slave owned by her father but to her was like a second and less distant father. She has only one friend with her and they have to cope with Melisande's mother in law who doesn't think she is good enough for her only son Hector, although as time goes on and she gives birth to three sons and manages the house well, the MIL thaws a bit. Melisande faces a number of tragedies in her lifetime and her section closes on the greatest when the Black Death comes to the house. A supernatural element is that as Melisande grows older, with her family grown and away, and she sits alone at night in her Lady Room, she becomes aware of the presence of a ghost from the future - a young girl sitting in a wheelchair.

The second section is from the POV of Alys, a dishonest and self-centred young woman who has been taken to see the master of LittlePenny by her grandmother since she was a small girl and eventually gets a job there and becomes the close friend of the self-effacing daughter of the house. As an adult reader, it was quite clear early on that she is in fact the illegitimate daughter of the house's owner. Due to her infatuation with a young man who works there she hatches a plot when the house owner tries to make his daughter marry an older rather cloddish man. The daughter appeals to Alys to help her get out of the marriage and Alys' plan is that they run off to London with the help of the young man. She has learned that the Saracen Lamp is valuable and unbeknown to her half-sister takes it with her when she leaves, but her plans for marriage and a comfortable life with her young man funded by the sale of the lamp turn to tragedy.

In the final section, Perdita, a girl who has a leg problem is sent to recuperate at the house, nursed by her grandmother and an old retainer, who is probably a descendant of a woman who worked there in section 2. Perdita becomes rather insular and obsessed with a sampler that includes a mysterious rhyme which refers to the Saracen Lamp. Old stories say that a bad woman sold the treasure of the house and it has been an unhappy house ever since. Perdita begins to retreat into a world comprising just herself and Alys, a character she believes she has created and with whom she has conversations, but Alys more and more becomes a strong presence and it seems that the Alys of part 2 is condemned to haunt the house because of her heartless deeds. Only a young boy from Greece, whom her grandmother has sponsored, can eventually start to bring Perdita back to the real world and to motivate her to walk again.

This is an old time historical novel for children - the book dates to 1970 - which manages to convey quite a lot of factual information about the time periods. The supernatural element adds an interest that might not be there in a totally 'straight' history. However, the first section in particular has quite touching aspects to it as we go through the lifetime of Melisande from her arrival as a nervous young bride to when she has survived widowhood and other family tragedies, and that was my favourite part of the book. Overall I rate this as 4 stars.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
kitsune_reader | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 23, 2023 |
Wow. I really hope the public library I grew up with got a nice chunk of change for their copy of this and didn't just have to trash it for wear and tear. I would really love to reread this book, but I don't know that it's $80 worth of love, if you see what I mean.
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amyotheramy | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 11, 2021 |
One of my very favorite books as a kid! I named my Barbies after the characters in this book and the names stuck.
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Chica3000 | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 11, 2020 |
I read this book as a kid. I remember the title. I remember absolutely loving this book. The cover looks familiar. I can't remember the details of the plot but I have a fond feeling when I hear the name of the author and the name of the book.
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Chica3000 | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 11, 2020 |



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