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The Sherwood Ring

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  3,262 ratings  ·  284 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
Paperback, 272 pages
Published 2006 by Houghton Mifflin (first published 1958)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Elizabeth Marie Pope wrote only two YA novels, this one and The Perilous Gard. They're both on my all-time favorites list, and I've read them both several times. I only wish she'd written more. Even though these books were written over fifty years ago, they have appealing heroines with a can-do attitude.

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 mil
...more
Sarah
Seventeen-year-old Peggy Grahame is sent to live with her only living relative, cold Uncle Enos. The ancestral upstate New York mansion, Rest-and-be-thankful, has barely been altered since its eighteenth-century heyday, and Enos himself is likewise stuck in the past, when his forebearers were heroes of the Continental Army.

Enos has no time for Peggy, but the lonely girl does make some friends. One is a dashing English lad named Pat, who is determined to woo Peggy despite her uncle's mysterious g
...more
Miriam
Sep 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ghosts, ya
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
Mariel
Aug 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Marquise
Sometimes, one-liner reviews just have to suffice. What a fantastic book this was! Nice plotline with plenty to entertain, good characters and pacing, just like YA fiction should be.
Anthony
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jeanette
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Easy read and delightful multiple tale fare as you seldom (no, NEVER) see written in the present market. It's filled with young people who are healthy, tops in mind/spirit/self-identity and who cleverly traipse through difficult times in a joyous and remarkably KIND manner. Actually WITH manners on top of it.

Liked all the tales of the past and the one in the present. Uncle Enos reminds me incredibly of Flavia de Luce's Dad of current English mystery series.

This is witty banter, nasty or negativ
...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
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
Zane Jones
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was the loveliest book, and I enjoyed every moment of it.
Wealhtheow
Apr 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, historical, fantasy
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
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
Katie
One of those "not what I expected even though I hadn't consciously formed expectations" books. I didn't realize it was mostly about ghosts telling stories. But I liked it!

I wish the modern day romance had been more developed, which isn't all that fair of me because I was into Barbara/Peaceable, which was also pretty undeveloped. But I like what I like!
Dianna
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that I'm sad I didn't read earlier in my life, because I wasted all those years not having read it. If you like excellent writing, old manor houses, history, spunky young people, ghosts (nice ones), or just a good story, you'd probably like this book. What are you waiting for?
Dyanna
Jun 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: boring
DNF: 30%

This book was on my want to read list since ever I had become a member of this site... but the problem is that I find it extremely boring.

The story follows an orphan girl that moves in the house of his uncle but the problem is that the propriety is haunted.
Susan
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
As a young teen, I loved this romance with its lonely heroine, family ghosts, and American Revolutionary history, and I was delighted to rediscover its mysteries, charm, and humor. This edition has the original illustrations.
Suzannah
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 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
Carol Storm
Feb 20, 2016 rated it liked it
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 added it
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.
Lirazel
4.5 stars. How delightful! This is exactly the kind of old-fashioned historical fiction for young people that I most enjoyed growing up. I wish I'd found it when I was twelve, but better late than never. It's even in the typeface that makes me most nostalgic! It's going right onto My Own Personal Classics shelf.
Amy
The Shwerwood Ring is probably one of my favorite books of all time, arguably passed up only by the Bible and The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
Newly orphaned Peggy Graham has lived her entire life 'staying out of the way.' With her Father's death, she is sent to live with her Uncle Enos at the family's ancestral estate RestandBeThankful. Almost immediatly she is caught off-guard by the strange place: a mysterious young woman, the strange behavior of her uncle, and the handsome young historian who be
...more
Juny
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a treasure! Just goes to show that one can find a favorite book even if it's not in their favorite genre. The characters were so entertaining, especially Peaceable. Man that dude is awesome! He reminds me of Eugenides from Megan Whalen Turner's The Queen's Thief series. Except they are definitely different. Sherwood doesn't seem human, he's like unreal and absurd but so killing awesome. Eugenides however we get to know more and so we see his human side.

The plot was witty and held original
...more
Jennifer
May 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Revisiting a childhood favorite can be treacherous, but this one -- and Elizabeth Marie Pope's only other book The Perilous Gard -- holds up over the years. Compared to today's bloated children's and YA fic, every word still feels well chosen, and the characters are deftly and concisely drawn. I don't love the modern part of the story, which has not aged as well as its Revolutionary counterpart, but I will forgive almost anything for the Christmas dinner scene. Also, I think I can trace my love ...more
Jenna
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Anna Bright
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Susanne E
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
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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
“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.” 40 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?” 25 likes
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