The Green Bronze Mirror
This is a reprint of a story originally published in 1966, written by Lynne Ellison who was fourteen at the time. A young girl, walking along a Welsh beach, finds a bronze mirror half buried in the sand. As she tries to clean it, she is transported back in time to Roman Britain. A troop of Roman soldiers capture her, thinking that she must be a runaway slave, and take her back to their barracks where she embarks upon life as servant of one of the soldiers. She experiences being sold at a slave market; the long journey to Ancient Rome; children’s nurse to a wealthy family; spectator at gladiatorial combat and the great fire of Rome, circa 65AD. She joins a secret sect of Christians and falls in love with a young man before returning to her own time. It has an immediacy about it which is very appealing, and the detail is impressive for such a young writer. The graphic description of the cruelty of the Roman Games may be something we might object to showing to young readers today, and the story lacks emotional depth, but I found it an enjoyable and gripping read. For the next edition the publisher may want to improve some of the spelling and punctuation errors and incorporate the errata on the enclosed slip, but it is encouraging to be reminded of this title which has long been out of print.