Ring out Bow Bells!

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Author: Cynthia Harnett

Published in: 1951

Age Range: Pre Teens+

Period: 15th C

Genres:  FamilyHistorical


Dickon is apprenticed to Master Whittington, former mayor of London and head of a house of Mercers, although Dickon's own family are victuallers - old enemies of the clothiers. He manages to make his way successfully and comes across a plot to kill King Henry V, currently in France and nearing the field of Agincourt.


As usual, the story is full of incidentals which are in some way the reason for the book. The author delights in telling how people lived then, simply and clearly. The natural balance of religion and daily life is portrayed nicely and the whole piece is set in an historical context by the background pattern of the Hundred Years' War.

Outside Cripplegate the crossed the City moat, where a family of white ducks swam, and immediately foundf themselves in what seemed to be a different world. They stepped out of London into a country village. The village green was ringed round with ancient cottages; the parish church of St Giles stodd back a little way with a row of almshouses beyond. Behind the cottages lay a number of prosperous modern houses, built among trees and gardens, with an occasional glimpse of a line of distant wooded hills.

Tuesday 1st January 2002