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The White Isle af Caroline Dale Snedeker
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The White Isle (udgave 2005)

af Caroline Dale Snedeker

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804262,575 (3.5)1
The White Isle is Britain - a barbaric land to the patrician Claudian family exiled from Hardrian's Rome, but an island of strange enchantment and stirring adventures to Lavinia, their daughter, whose story Caroline Dale Snedeker tells in one of her finest books. The Story of Lavinia and her family, of their long, arduous and constantly exciting trip through Gaul to the farthest province of the empire, begins in Rome and comes to a romantic climax in the new home. It is one of the first books to bring to young people a spirited picture of Roman life in Gaul and Britain during the earliest days of Christianity.… (mere)
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Incredible depth of research here concerning ancient Rome, Roman customs, and Roman Britain. The story is so well done that it's particularly jarring when it hits a false note in describing a community of early Christians whose religious gathering (you couldn't exactly call it worship) is entirely devoid of scripture, liturgy, and priests. "You'd think they were a bunch of Quakers", I muttered. Then I discovered that the Society of Friends was in fact Snedeker's background. Solved.

Unfortunately the "early Christian community" sequence is so important to the whole story arc that Snedeker's decision not to research this aspect of history (which would have been easy since there are many, many Christian sources contemporary to her story's setting) is indefensible as well as unaccountable. ( )
  muumi | Apr 19, 2018 |
It is during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (A. D. 117-138), and Lavinia Claudius is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives on the Palatine Hill in Rome with her father Publius Favonius, mother Aurelia, and older brother Marcus. The Claudius family is an old, noble, and formerly wealthy family which has fallen on hard times. Furthermore, Favonius is out of favor with the Emperor and has been appointed to an obscure military post in far-off Britain. Lavinia is betrothed to marry a rich neighbor named Decimus, and Aurelia hopes that Lavinia’s remaining in Rome as Decimus’s wife while the rest of the family travels to Britain will help to restore their lost fortunes. However, Lavinia overhears Decimus call her ugly, and the night before the wedding he disgraces his family by getting on a ship and running off to Iberia.

The Claudius family is outraged, but Lavinia is secretly relieved and is glad to travel with the rest of them through Italia and Gaul, across the Fretum Gallicum (English Channel), to the White Isle of Britain, having many adventures and meeting a lot of new friends along the way. The Claudians settle in Corinium where Lavinia is now betrothed to Carminius, a young man whose sisters have become friends with her. After Favonius goes off to his post and Marcus to join the army, Aurelia and Lavinia travel with their friend Marcia from back in Rome, whom they meet unexpectedly at the baths in Aqua Sulis, to visit her home in the distant city of Dumnores. On the way they are captured by a tribe of Britons known as Durotrigs but are rescued by a band of Christians led by a young man named Govan. All Lavinia has heard about Christians is that they offer human sacrifices and drink the blood of their children. Yet, she finds herself strangely drawn to Govan. Will Aurelia and Lavinia ever make it back home to see Favonius and Marcus? And will Lavinia marry Carminius or someone else?

As she did in her other historical fiction novels of the classical realm, such as Theras and His Town, Lysis Goes to the Play, The Spartan, The Forgotten Daughter, and A Triumph for Flavius, author Caroline Dale Snedeker paints a wonderfully accurate picture of everyday life and times in second-century Rome and Britain that children can appreciate. Added to this is the benefit of seeing the contrast between the cultures of the pagan Roman aristocracy and the ancient British Christians. There are a few references to some myths and legends concerning early Christianity which cannot be substantiated by fact, such as that of Joseph of Arimathaea’s bringing to Britain the silver chalice that Jesus used at the last supper, but, of course, this is also a very important part of the underlying foundation for the “Holy Grail” stories of Arthurian fame. All in all, The White Isle is a great book. We did it as a family read aloud, and everyone enjoyed it. ( )
  Homeschoolbookreview | Aug 24, 2012 |
I had never heard of Caroline Dale Snedeker before being appointed to review her book, The White Isle. The book had the appearance of an old history story that I may have passed up when I was twelve years old, but it would have been a great misfortune! I found myself being pulled through the pages and into the world of Lavinia Claudia. The Claudian family is forced to leave Rome during a time when Christianity is just starting to become well-known. Lavinia, having always been a pagan Roman is fearful of Christians, having been brought to believe that they would kidnap her and kill her.

As Lavinia’s family travels through Gaul to the White Isle in Britain they are met with many hardships along the way. Snedeker keeps you on the edge of your seat until finally Lavinia finds Christianity and peace.

The White Isle is appropriately marked ‘ages 12-adult’ in my opinion, but not because of sensitive topics--it takes a more mature mind to appreciate the length that Snedeker goes to in order to provide amazing details. Did you know that a bride must sleep in her wedding attire the night before her wedding? How much do you know about the hierarchies of Rome? Did you ever consider that the people of Rome had to be careful in the wind to avoid losing their togas?

I am barely scratching the surface. Read this out loud with your child, I promise you won’t be disappointed. ( )
  andee29 | Oct 11, 2008 |
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The White Isle is Britain - a barbaric land to the patrician Claudian family exiled from Hardrian's Rome, but an island of strange enchantment and stirring adventures to Lavinia, their daughter, whose story Caroline Dale Snedeker tells in one of her finest books. The Story of Lavinia and her family, of their long, arduous and constantly exciting trip through Gaul to the farthest province of the empire, begins in Rome and comes to a romantic climax in the new home. It is one of the first books to bring to young people a spirited picture of Roman life in Gaul and Britain during the earliest days of Christianity.

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