Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about Mara: Daughter of the Nile. That got me thinking about other of my favorite books. No surprise, they also have some romance in them.
Another book I first read when I was younger was The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope. Despite the title, there is no Robin Hood or his Merry Men in this tale, although the title was probably what first attracted me. I do have a soft spot for Robin Hood stories.
The Sherwood Ring has a framing story set in what were modern times (the book was first copyrighted in 1958), while the ghost stories switch back to the American Revolution. There is one romance set in the present, while two are historical.
The ghost stories really shine. Even after all these years, I still tingle over reading Peaceable Drummond’s proposal scene. He is the British officer the one heroine’s brother (an American colonel) is trying to capture. Peaceable captures the sister instead. He realizes she is the woman for him when he discovers she has dosed him with sleeping drops. With all his effort, he manages to stand and declare he cannot sit when he proposes to the most remarkable woman. Before she can answer him, he falls down in a faint. So she captures him for her brother. Love a heroine who does what’s necessary.
The twists and turns of the various romances are so much fun to read. Peaceable’s ingenious method of contacting his mostly illiterate band of Loyalist guerrillas helps to showcase how clandestine communication could be done when some people didn’t read. And the (probably invented) story of British Major John Andre playing with the cat before he goes to meet Benedict Arnold is one I’ve never forgotten. Even if untrue, it suits the tenor of history.
It’s not a very long book, but it is one I have reread many times through the years, always laughing and sighing over my favorite bits.