The Secret of Moonacre

The trailer is up for the movie version of The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge, retitled The Secrets of Moonacre. You can find it here (it's on the third page). And here is what Maria's room looks like:

It is beautiful, but... I read The Little White Horse when I was eight, and fell hard for it. Maria's room was, to me, the be all and end all of rooms. Here are bits of Goudge's description:

"It was at the top of the tower, and the tower was a round one, so Maria's room was circular, neither too large nor too small, just the right size for a girl of thirteen...It had three windows, two narrow lancet windows and one large one with a window seat in the thickness of the wall...In each of the windows stood beautiful silver branched candlesticks with three lighted candles burning in each of them...The walls were not paneled with wood, as in Miss Heliotrope's room, but the silver-grey stone was so lovely that Maria was glad. The ceiling was vaulted and delicate ribbings of stone curved over Maria's head like the branches of a tree, meeting at the highest point of the ceiling in a carved representation of the sickle moon surrounded by stars.

"There was no carpet upon the silvery oak floor but a little white sheepskin lay beside the bed...The bed was a four-poster, hung with pale blue silk curtains embroidered with silver stars, of the same material as the window curtains, and spread with a patchwork quilt made of exquisite squares of velvet and silk, of all colors of the rainbow, gay and lovely."

I begged my mother for a sheepskin rug, and was so happy when she gave it to me. I had a patchwork quilt on my bed too. And my sophomore year in college, I actually lived in a round tower room...

So this movie room is lovely, but it is hard to surrender my own mental image to it.

And where, in the trailer, is Robin????

My other favorite Elizabeth Goudge's are Linnets and Valerians, and The Valley of Song. I also am fond of the books about Henrietta--City of Bells, Sister of the Angels, and Henrietta's House, aka The Blue Hills. Someday I will write proper reviews of them...

Does anyone else have a favorite fictional room? I can't think of one that even comes close.


  1. Oh! Never read The Little White Horse, but how I loved Linnets and Valerians!

    The cupola in The Four Story Mistake is one of my favorite fictional rooms. And the eponymous room in The Velvet Room, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I could probably think of more if I put my mind to it-- hmm...

  2. Oh dear. Have never read Elizabeth Goudge. Eek! I saw this trailer the other day and I really like the young star (though I didn't love the Golden Compass movie, I thought she was terrific), but didn't know what to make of this. Wonder if it will be good. So many expensive kids book movies have been tanking the last few years.

    But speaking of the room, another blogger recently did a post on favorite interiors in movies and got some 400+ posts, and I think this would be more fun -- favorite rooms/houses/places in books. By the way, there's a book coming out -- can't remember the title right now -- that's all FOOD and recipes from classic children's books. Isn't that a great idea?

  3. If you go to www.elizabethgoudge.org you can see a picture of Robin and a review of the film.It does contain plot lines though, so only if you don't want to see the film first.

    Brilliant book, which started my life long love affair with Elizabeth's work.

    Deborah Gaudin

  4. Eek! I'm writing a post about The Little White Horse, too--we seem to have had similar tastes in reading (and rooms!). Off to watch the trailer.

    For Laini: I think you might be thinking of Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer by Jane Brocket. I posted about it awhile back; can't wait to read and cook from it myself!

  5. Well, Els and Laini,you must read Little White Horse. That's all there is to it. And Els, I can't believe we shared a house together and Never Realized our mutual admiration for Linnets and Valerians!

    And thanks for the link, Deborah! I was wondering if they had cut Robin from the plot...

    I shall keep my eyes open for your post, Anamaria!

  6. I'm here from Jen Robinson's blog, and the first room I thought of when she spoke about favourite fictional rooms was Maria's from The little white horse! I too fell in love with it at a young age so my mental picture is different (and superior!) to the trailer's. I don't have a copy of the book with me so it was a treat to read the quote here, thanks!

  7. Hi there! Found this post via Jen Robinson. I just posted my picks at my blog, Bildungsroman.

  8. I'd never even heard of this movie (or the book either). After watching the trailer, I really want to see it though. Such excellent costume designs! Because I'm a freak and notice stuff like that...

    Beautiful room description too. I wish I had a room like that.

  9. Favourite room? Fuschia's attic in Titus Groan, of course.


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