Kennedy and Boyd

Big House, The
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By Mitchison, Naomi. With an Introduction by Moira Burgess.
ISBN 1849210438
SERIES The Naomi Mitchison Library
Paperback  174 pages
Subject [Fiction ]
Published 25 November 2010
UK Price £10.95   Order from
US Price $16.00   Order from

The Big House is a children's book with much to say to adult readers. On one level it is a charming and absorbing fantasy novel with a fairy hill, a Brounie and an enchanted piper all drawn from Celtic myth and legend, set in a West Highland village which is clearly Carradale in Kintyre, Naomi Mitchison's home for many years. On another level it is an examination of the social relationships in such a village at the time (it was first published in 1950), and this too is rooted in Mitchison's Carradale life. Su from the Big House and Winkie the fisherman's son have the same ancestry and their time-travel adventures show that their respective positions have changed back and forth over the years. Why should there be any difference between them now?

Moira Burgess is a novelist, short story writer and literary historian who lives in Glasgow, but was brought up in Kintyre, the setting of The Big House. She is the author of Mitchison's Ghosts (Humming Earth, 2008), on supernatural and mythical elements in the writing of Naomi Mitchison, and is working on a collected edition of Mitchison's essays and journalism to be published in several volumes by Kennedy & Boyd.

© Kennedy & Boyd, an imprint of Zeticula Ltd., Unit 13, 196 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH24AT, Scotland