Robin, a crippled boy, son of a knight is the main character of this story set in medieval England. With a beginning in the city of London the setting is woven into the narrative as you learn little by little about what it might have meant to live at that time in that place. The story continues and en route we are acquainted with medieval Oxford and finally the Welsh borders. The illustrations are of their time and reflect the period in which the book was published
Throughout the story a picture is painted of our eventual hero learning by example from the monks of the hospice of St Mark’s. He learns from their wisdom far more deeply than he had previously . Wonderful passages cause one to pause and reflect upon the wisdom of the monks as they nurture their young charge.
Having been cared for by the monks Robin asks Brother Matthew about whether he would get well. The reply is one of my favourite passages,
‘Whether thou’lt walk soon I know not. This I know. We must teach thy hands to be skilful in many ways, and we must teach thy mind to go about whether thy legs will carry thee or no. For reading is another door in the wall, dost understand my son?’
Intertwined in the story are wonderful passages related to the meaning of learning, the ‘rewards’ of learning and the wisdom born of learning. This was a superb book and worthy of the honour it received.