Robinsheugh by Eileen Dunlop

Robinsheugh by Eileen Dunlop was first published in 1975.  The setting is the Scottish Border Country, but it begins in London’s King’s Cross Station where Elizabeth has just boarded a train bound for Scotland. She’s not at all happy, her parents are going to America for months and Elizabeth had been desperate to go with them, but it couldn’t be afforded and Elizabeth is having to go to stay with her aunt, a historian who usually lives in Oxford but at the moment she’s doing research at Robinsheugh into the family that lived there during the 18th century.

When Elizabeth reaches her destination she’s absolutely miserable, it’s evident that her aunt has very little time for her and she’s more interested in the past. But when Elizabeth finds an old hand mirror which by coincidence has her own initials on it strange things begin to happen and she finds herself being drawn back into the past to become part of the 18th century family.

I liked this one although I was almost rolling my eyes at what at first seemed to be the usual cliche of the old mirror and a time slip, admittedly there is something strange about really old mirrors. It’s the thought of all the people who have looked at their reflection in the glass that you’ll never know, and what were they thinking, what did they look like?

Anyway, it turned out to be not such a cliche. Apparently this was the first book by Eileen Dunlop who was born in Alloa and was  a teacher at Dollar Academy.

2 thoughts on “Robinsheugh by Eileen Dunlop

  1. I think highly of Dunlap and own this and two others although they may be packed away in the attic. She wrote a number of books but not all were published in the US. I am surprised I didn’t review A Flute in Mayferry Street which I read a few years ago and I seem to recall was set in Edinburgh – maybe it was due back to the library before I had time. Keep your eyes open for more!

    I do agree that mirrors are a time-slip cliche!

    I was in Washington DC most of this past week for a conference and went to the Library of Congress the day I arrived, hoping to summon some books from its vast collection. I did get a Reader’s Card but there wasn’t time. I need to plan ahead the next time.

    • Constance,
      I’ve been down south for over a week, we went to Bath for the first time. I had intended to buy a few books before going but didn’t get around to it. A Flute in Mayferry Street was one of them, I doubt if it would turn up in a secondhand bookshop so I’ll just have to resort to the internet. I did buy quite a few books while on our road trip though!
      We always squash as many places of interest into every destination but there’s always something that we miss out on and only find out about when we get home, no matter how well we think we’ve planned things.

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