An utterly enchanting, eerie novel that sits alongside The Children of Green Knowe and Moondial, and has been described as the very best time-travel novels for children.
A Traveller in Time is a time-slip novel which exquisitely captures life at the time of Mary, Queen of Scots. It is richly descriptive of time and place, the changing of the seasons, the plants and herbs and the crackling of the kitchen fire and pots on the stove.
Penelope lives in the 20th Century, but when she visits Thackers, a remote, ancient farmhouse, she finds herself travelling back in time to live with the Babington family, and watching helplessly as tragic events bring danger to her friends and the downfall of their heroine Mary, Queen of Scots, whom they are seeking to rescue from prison. Penelope knows the tragic end that awaits the Scottish queen but she can neither change the course of events nor persuade her new family of the hopelessness of their cause, which love, loyalty, and justice all compel them to embrace. Caught between present and past, Penelope is torn by questions of freedom and fate. To travel in time, Penelope discovers, is to be very much alone. And yet the slow recurrent rhythms of the natural world, beautifully captured by Alison Uttley, also speak of a greater ongoing life that transcends the passage of years.