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The Sherwood Ring

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,526 Ratings  ·  214 Reviews
Newly orphaned Peggy Grahame is caught off-guard when she first arrives at her family’s ancestral estate. Her eccentric uncle Enos drives away her only new acquaintance, Pat, a handsome British scholar, then leaves Peggy to fend for herself. But she is not alone. The house is full of mysteries—and ghosts. Soon Peggy becomes involved with the spirits of her own Colonial anc ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 29th 2001 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Miriam
Dec 28, 2011 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, ghosts
For years I was convinced I had read this book. Then I saw the plot description of an orphaned girl sent to live with her eccentric uncle -- not what I was remembering at all! Eventually I tracked down a copy and began to read it. Soon I began to suspect that I had indeed read it before, and two thirds of the way through -- Barbara's story -- it was confirmed. This was the book I had been thinking I had read! Only it consists of 5 interlinked stories, only the third of which was memorable to me. ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Elizabeth Marie Pope wrote only two YA novels, this one and The Perilous Gard. They're both on my favorites shelf, and I've read them both several times. I only wish she'd written more.

The Sherwood Ring, written in 1958, is a jewel of a YA fantasy that deserves not to be forgotten. Peggy Grahame is a lonely 17 year old girl, orphaned by the recent death of her footloose and mildly neglectful father. She's sent to live in the ancestral home of her only relative, Uncle Enos, an aging and crotchety
...more
Mariel
Dec 08, 2010 Mariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: forever and ever
Recommended to Mariel by: saddest summer
I'm rather surprised by the seemingly lukewarm reaction to Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Sherwood Ring on goodreads. It isn't a perfect book, sure, but the charms far outweigh minor dragging by time's end. At least it did for me. I related to the belonging nowhere feeling. Pope's only other work, The Perilous Gard, is absolutely perfect in my eyes. I had hearts in my eyes, all the same. A young teen travels to a relative's and discovers the wonders of history when she befriends three ghosts. That m ...more
Anthony
Jan 26, 2008 Anthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, this book is the subject of my new personal crusade. It's the greatest completely unknown book aimed at the "Young Adult" group. My 3 brothers, 2 sisters and I all grew up loving this book and read it many, many, many times. It was a really big deal when we discovered Alibris and we all bought used copies to give to our kids. NO, IT'S NOT ABOUT ROBIN HOOD. It's a ghost story, historical mystery, romance, character study with parallel stories set in the American Revolution and mid-twentieth c ...more
Josie
Whoever it was who highly recommended this book on Amazon's Listmania, THANK YOU! I loved this book and immediately went out and specially ordered my own copy after I'd finished the library's, because I knew I'd be reading it again and again. This book would probably be billed as a YA fantasy because of the 'ghosts' in it, but it's really more like historical fiction - with a twist. Three of Peggy's ancestors appear to her at various times and tell her their stories, all of which take place duri ...more
Nikki
I like Elizabeth Marie Pope's writing. This was quite different to The Perilous Gard, but nonetheless it won me over quite thoroughly. There's a bit of the same thing in it that I enjoyed so much in Mary Stewart's work -- an old fashioned air that somehow promised everything would come right in the end.

It unfolds at its own pace, so be prepared to be patient even when things seem thoroughly obvious. There are strong and capable female characters, which helps, but the changing point of view does
...more
Suzannah
It's been years since I first heard of this classic YA novel about a young woman learning the thrilling history of her family's experiences in the American War for Independence firsthand from their ghosts, as she tries to untangle her own present-day historical mystery. At the time I decided it sounded like a thoroughly charming story, but I was unable to run a copy to ground. Lo, these many years later, and I am thrilled to discover it on Open Library. After that it took me a good few months to ...more
Andree
Mar 16, 2015 Andree rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This is a book I should have liked in theory, but in reality I liked a lot less.

It involves family ghosts, and an old family estate, and history, and secrets, and secret rooms, and snarky siblings, and charming(ish) romances, and it all comes together at the end.

But somewhere along the way, for some reason, it didn't work for me.

Maybe it was because I read it too soon after The Perilous Gard, and I love The Perilous Gard.

Maybe it was because I found a lot of the romantic relationships underdevel
...more
Brandy Painter
Honestly, if I all I had known about this book was its premise I probably would have disregarded it as silly and never read it. However, it was written by Elizabeth Marie Pope and as I love The Perilous Gard I gave it a go. And I am so glad I did.

The book is about a girl named Peggy who has just been orphaned and comes to live with her uncle at her family's ancestral estate in upstate New York. During her first meeting with her uncle he loses his temper and kicks out a perfectly nice young man
...more
Wealhtheow
After Peggy Grahame is orphaned, she goes to live with her cantankerous old uncle in their even older family home in up state New York. He stays shut up in his study every day, so Peggy is free to explore the house and talk to ghosts. Each of them tells her another installment of the tale of her ancestor Nick Grahame's game of cat and mouse with loyalist Peaceable Sherwood. After numerous triumphs and reverses, they grow to respect each other, but they are still on opposite sides of the Revoluti ...more
Carol Storm
Just because THE PERILOUS GARD is possibly the greatest YA novel ever written, I came away from this book feeling very disappointed. The tough, hard-edged, practically Film Noir tone of THE PERILOUS GARD apparently did not come naturally to Elizabeth Marie Pope. This early book is mushy and somewhat sentimental, not only about the love story but about the American colonial era itself.

The characters are likable enough, but there's a lot of Daughters of the American Revolution type snobbery if yo
...more
Sherwood Smith
May 05, 2009 Sherwood Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I just loved this book as a ten year old. Ghosts, codes, secret passages, masquerades with dangerous searches going on---the ending was a tad disappointing, but everything up to then was a thrill to my ten year old self.
CLM
One of my all time favorite books, this is about orphaned teen Peggy, who goes to live with her somewhat grumpy historian uncle. At first lonely, she soon begins to make friends with the locals - and with local ghosts.
Wendy
Apr 04, 2016 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After loving The Perilous Gard, a Tam Lin retelling by Elizabeth Marie Pope many years ago, I wanted to read The Sherwood Ring as soon as I discovered that it existed. My library did not own a copy, however, and I thought it was out of print. Eventually I emailed the LA Co. Public Library system and was kindly informed last fall by a nice librarian, who also remembered The Perilous Gard from her youth, that there was a newer edition of The Sherwood Ring which they would order. Now I've read it! ...more
Dawn
Apr 09, 2016 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been looking for this book for a while. Years ago, I enjoyed The Perilous Gard by the same author. A few years ago I became aware of The Sherwood Ring and wanted to read it, but my library didn't have it. Recently I visited a different library and was delighted to find it on the shelf there. This tale is historical fiction mostly set in New England at the time of the Revolutionary War. It is juxtaposed with the more modern adventures of a lonely girl who comes to live with her eccentric unc ...more
Emily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley
Aug 20, 2011 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ashley by: Amy
I read this whole book in one day. It was a very interesting story, well thought out, and well executed.

I will say that I didn't particularly enjoy the character of the uncle. After he got so sick and he seemed so easily startled throughout the whole book, it seemed odd that he had lived alone for so long; it didn't seem like he was able to take care of himself.

Okay, I'll be honest, the thought that a girl who has just come to a new house to live with a grumpy uncle because she is alone in the w
...more
Rachel
Mar 06, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books I read on a whim. Basically, I had no other books to read (very rare in and of itself!) and this one was suggested for those who liked Mara, Daughter of the Nile. So, I picked it up at the library, slightly concerned I wouldn't like it because of the "ghosts".

It's one of my favorite historical romances ever!

The Sherwood Ring starts off with Peggy. Peggy has an unremarkable background. When her father dies, she moves in with her uncle. Her uncle, a modern day scrooge, b
...more
Lee Anne
Peggy Grahame is orphaned at seventeen, and heads with ambivalence and perhaps a little apprehension to the family New England mansion to live with her withdrawn Uncle Enos, who is obsessed with keeping Rest-and-be-thankful as close to its condition during the Revolutionary War as possible. But before she even arrives at the house, she gets lost in the woods and is given directions by a girl in a red cloak on horseback, who disappears before she can thank her. Peggy quickly discovers that the g ...more
Susan
This is one of my all time favorite children/young adult books. I've always loved the Colonial/Revolutionary time period, and this one brings one small part of it to vivid life. The reminiscences of the characters show just the kinds of things people in that time period went through during the war, without getting into things that alot of young people would find boring or disturbing. I've always liked the way the ghosts of her ancestors appear just when she needs them.

I recommend this book to an
...more
Jenna
Dec 03, 2008 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Recommended to Jenna by: mom
I didn't expect to like it-- being historical fiction and all-- but I thoroughly fell in love with Peaceable Drummond Sherwood. I wasn't even that into the modern part of the story, or really any of the others from the past, for that matter, but I find it impossible to express how many times I would've died to be the clever Barbara Grahame, just for Sherwood. Picture him like Robin Hood, only more evil, self-serving, clever, romantic, and with more flair. <33333 Friends, before you start beat ...more
Faith
This book was on my school reading list every year and I always wanted to read it, but it was out of print and not available anywhere - until I stumbled across a copy in a bookstore on Nantucket.

I love it. It's old fashioned, and sedately paced, and goes back and forth between past and present which usually I hate, but I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANY OF THAT.

I love it anyway.

It's quite a gem, and I cherish my copy of it.
girl writing
I'm surprised I didn't read this when I was young...it would have been just my thing (ghosts, history, little bit of romance). Reading it as an adult, the ghost characters seemed much more interesting and engaging than the 'real' ones. And the contemporary romance didn't seem believable; it felt forced in order to match what happened in history.
Phoebe
May 03, 2015 Phoebe rated it really liked it
Peggy Grahame is 17, recently bereaved after her father's unexpected death. She is sent to America to live with her eccentric Uncle Enos, at the family's sprawling home, Rest-and-be-thankful. Right away she senses that the past and the present are extremely fluid at her new home, which is peopled with ghosts who tell her their stories. The present is intriguing to Peggy as well, however, because she has met and become close to Pat Thorne, a young graduate student on the trail of a mystery. Secre ...more
Anna Shafer
Oct 30, 2014 Anna Shafer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not confident I can write a full review without accidentally using enthusiastic emojis, so I will just say this: Positively delightful story about the American Revolution and romance. Bonus if you like uncomfortable ancestral homes up North and/or if you're an Anglophile. This book is tea, not coffee, and I loved it.
Barbara
Alternating between the modern day and Revolutionary War New York: 4 ghosts comfort a modern, unloved, girl with stories from their lives during the Revolution. In the modern era, our heroine copes with a curmudgeon of a guardian and a romance with the scholar from England. Absolutely first rate all around.
Raven R.
Got this book from a friend who hated it and couldn't get through it. It was good enough, intriguing mystery, funny male leads, strong females which was considered uncommon during that time, especially if they were rich, but still only three stars.

Here's why:

1st star lost: The beginning was slow, it didn't pick up until page 160.

2nd star lost: Way too wordy. My eyes glazed over half the time. Ghost Richard pissed me off the most. I think I skimmed half of what he said.

3rd star lost: I'm prett
...more
Jenn Estepp
This has been on my to-read shelf for a very long time and I'm so glad I finally got around to reading it. So very engaging and lovely and I would've been quite happy to spend way more time with these characters (tell me more about your lives, ghosts! And people too!).
M. Keedwell
Jul 25, 2015 M. Keedwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another randomly-discovered in my teens and well loved book. The good thing about the internet is I can now actually discover something about the author and any other books she may have written, I can't believe I didn't think about it years ago. But I digress.

Peaceable <3

This is a story of matchmaking ghosts for a girl who needs them. The characters are lively and funny, and each contribute their part to telling Peggy, our heroine, about how their lives intertwined back in the day, and in do
...more
Susanne E
What fun! I can't believe I'd never heard of this book before. I stand by my earlier statement that it's like a blend of Cold Comfort Farm and The Scarlet Pimpernel (or maybe those Lauren Willig ones, but G-rated) but about the American Revolution.
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Born in Washington D.C. on May 1, 1917, Pope later graduated from Bryn Mawr College and then earned her Ph. D. in English literature from John Hopkins University. Next she began teaching at Mills College in Oakland, California and remained there for many years. Beginning as an assistant professor and moving up to hold the position of professor and chairman of the department, Pope excelled as an in ...more
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“A gentleman can hardly continue to sit,' he explained, in his serenest and most level voice, 'when he asks a very remarkable young lady to do him the honor of marrying him. And - 'he somehow contrived to grin at me wickedly, 'I usually get what I want, Miss Grahame,' he added, and pitched over in a tangled heap on the floor.” 31 likes
“How did you ever happen to remember that I might be hungry? But of course you would. Will you mind very much if I run myself into serious difficulties now and again after we are married, just for the pleasure of seeing you rise to the occasion?” 20 likes
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