Time of Trial
Hester Burton Oxford University Press first Published 1963. This ed: 1973 PB215pp
“On that unlucky Monday late in the summer of 1801, Margaret Pargeter awoke to the chimes of the City churches striking six.’
This book from the condition of the lovely thick pages was read once and then put away on a dark shelf somewhere It was the winner of the 1963 Carnegie Medal, which in 2001 Terry Pratchett won for ‘The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents’. As award for children’s literature, I think ‘Time of ‘Trial’ book must represents a kinder gentler age in books for kids as even I was abit scared reading the Mr Pratchett’s scenes with those rats with their tales joined together.
Margaret lives with her naïve, scholarly father and her rebellious brother above the family bookshop in London. Her father, after a nearby tenament fire, publishes a pamphlet about the terrible conditions of the poor and this being English – land of the free – is promptly thrown in jail. The sullen brother has just run off the army and she is left without home or income. Luckily, the spunky medical student boarder is able to help, but I don’t think for a second Miss Burton forgets what a dangerous place the world has become for our heroine. She has little money, few connections or prospects and being female can hardly work. Although Mag’s is quite stoic about being sent to the country as a charity case, it also makes her very cross and sad at times, but luckily she never gives up hope and it has a very pretty ending and I cried, but once again that was probably because I was very tired at the time. (and not because I am a big sook)