Moondial (Faber Children's Classics)
About this deal
The illustrator of Moondial, P J Lynch, was a young man who had recently left Brighton Art College and was illustrating book covers for Faber when he was given Moondial to read. He told me that once he had read the book, he was excited about illustrating it. There are around twelve line drawings which are evocative of the mood of the story and add an air of mystery to the book. P J Lynch’s front cover cleverly captures several elements of the book, including the Halloween masks taken from the faces on the urns in the garden and the cloaked figure of Sarah. He was particularly pleased with the front cover which is still used by Faber. The book is short, and the plot is simple, but it's a beautifully mysterious and atmospheric read, with a big dollop of nostalgia in it for me. Belton is a real house, and the Moondial of the story is a real thing in the grounds, so I think one day I'm going to have to visit and see it. Minty is played by Siri Neil. Although Minty is supposed to be just thirteen years old, Neil is evidently a touch older than this. She’s hauntingly attractive and exactly the right sort of actress for this part, doing a terrific job in what was her first professional acting role. Neal has a confidence here that isn’t always seen in child actors, and is completely believable. Following Moondial, she went on to appear in a number minor roles in other television series and could have been a much bigger star than she ultimately became as her potential clearly stands out here. Unfortunately for viewers, she later retired from acting and moved on to a new stage of her life. Virtually the entire story rests on Neil’s shoulders – a big task for such a young actress – but she copes admirably. Tony Sands takes the supporting role of Tom, and is another really good performer who seems to have disappeared from the acting scene. The character of Old World is played by Arthur Hewlett, an actor who seemed to make a career out of playing elderly men. World is a wise old chap who seems to be partially psychic and is able to guide Minty in her investigations, imparting vital clues along the way. He believes that he sees and hears glimpses of the children from the past, and represents a link to the older time. ‘Moondial’ (1988) Photo: BBC/Second Sight Films DVD Review: Moondial (1988)". Brutalashell.com. 28 April 2015. Archived from the original on 1 May 2015 . Retrieved 2 May 2015.
Moondial | Faber Moondial | Faber
And if P J Lynch had illustrated the tower with the golden pennants which never moved in the breeze, I'd have been most grateful - I never understood how this was meant: like stiff flags, vertically from the tower or corners? Or hanging horizontally and downwards from rampants? Or strung along like a bunting? For some reason I never got a good mental image of this, nor understood why Minty wondered if they ever moved. This article does not cite any sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. A lovely little mystery with some beautiful symbolism and lovely morals about love being the most important thing. As another reviewer remarked Cresswell sometimes spends more time on the things you aren't interested in then skips over other moments you felt could have had more tension in such as the finale. Cresswell writes good characters and this was a good book which was deservedly made in to a TV series. It seems a shame that her name has fallen in to obscurity. The closing moments of the show feature a poignant scene where Tom is reunited with his sister Dorrie and, along with Sarah, walk off into the distance before fading from Minty’s view entirely. Lux et Umbra vicissim, sed semper Amor, Light and shadow by turns, but always Love.A lovely ghost story with an emotional theme. But is written as a bit too mysterious and a lot of the questions I had throughout were left unanswered. Wouldn’t have minded this as a kid but I don’t like it as an adult. She finds herself drawn by some deep and secret force to the sundial in the grounds of old Belton House which she immediately knows, by instinct, is also a moondial. Now, really, there is no such thing as a moondial for telling the time with because the moon, unlike the sun, does not always follow the same path through the skies. But a sundial cannot work during dark moonlight hours, so the ordinary rules of time don't apply when the sundial is working as a moondial. That's how this time travel story works. Faber Members have access to live and online events, special editions and book promotions, and articles and quizzes through our weekly e-newsletter.
Books by Helen Cresswell (Author of Moondial) - Goodreads
Ariminta (Minty) Cane, reluctantly separated from her mother, stays with her Aunt Mary (Valerie Lush) in Belton, Lincolnshire and it isn’t long before the curiosity of the nearby Belton House and its mysterious Sundial leads her to cross the threshold of time and encounters ghostly presences who appear to be caught in the trappings of life as much as she is. Century Belton House sees a ghostly, shrouded, and hooded figure walk its gardens. This is Sarah (Helena Avellano), the third child in this story, who is hidden in the depths of Belton House by the oppressive and abusive Miss Vole (Jacqueline Pearce) – whose mirror image is, inexplicably, that of Miss Raven, a ghost hunter, who torments Minty in the present day with unspoken threats of finding the children. Sarah hides in shame and internal loathing and only dares venture out into the late night. Minty Cane believes she is a witch - not that you would notice to look at her - it's just that she is quite used to seeing phantoms floating about the place, and thinks it is perfectly normal. She's a pretty determined sort of person as well, which is just as well because when she goes to stay with her aunt in the village of Belton she soon senses that she has a task to do. Minty is a young girl who goes to spend the summer with her godmother who lives across from a stately home. She spends her days exploring and is drawn to a sundial in the grounds where she meets some...ghosts?However, the story remains a potent one and examines the very impact that bereavement can have on a child whilst not requiring to give us all the answers. Sometimes, as in life, we do not get to have the answers. See Faber authors in conversation and hear readings from their work at Faber Members events, literary festivals and at book shops across the UK. Children growing up in the 1980s had a superb roster of drama presented to them. The BBC, in particular, seemed to be experts at crafting engaging, thought-provoking stories that kept viewers entertained for up to six weeks at a time. The corporation was able to call on all of the talents and resources that any of the adult dramas were allocated, from composers to visual effects, from set designers to costume designers, to produce some truly memorable programmes. The moondial, for example, is the central device from which all the twists and turns of the story and furiously stoked, but do we ever find out how or why it does what it does? Like hell we do! Okay, there's a brief discussion between Minty and World about 'moontime', which attempts to broach the subject but this is sadly smothered by vague notions. And Miss Raven's appearance in the modern day is an exciting twist, but,
Moondial Curious British Telly: Moondial
Minty (Siri Neal), is a gifted child who can sense things that many cannot (this is subtlety alluded to during the opening of episode one much like the opening paragraphs of the novel although the adaptation omits the dark notion of Minty sensing a past act of suicide on the landing in her own home and realised her ability when she could hear her father’s voice even though he is dead). Neal gives Minty a rather fearless and unconventional quality to her character along with an incredibly real vulnerability having already lost a parent and is now facing the very real threat of losing the other. Moondial is a British television six-part serial made for children by the BBC and transmitted in 1988, with a repeat in 1990. It was written by Helen Cresswell, who also wrote the 1987 novel on which the series was based.     The west entrance to Belton House near Grantham in Lincolnshire, the setting for Moondial. Plot [ edit ] This story follows the saga of Araminta (or Minty for short), who has discovered she has a strange talent for seeing ghosts. After her mother is involved in a car accident, Minty is sent to stay in the country with an elderly Aunt who lives on the grounds of an old stately home now open to the public. Whilst staying with her Aunt, Minty befriends a local groundskeeper called World who informs her that she must help the past residents of the home find peace as they are lost souls. Minty meets these residents through some form of ghostly vortex which is triggered by the garden sundial that only seems to work in moonlight. These residents include a young stable hand by the name of Tom and a former resident with an unfortunate birthmark who spends her days hiding and her nights being taunted by neighbourhood children. The introduction of a sinister local ghost hunter with multiple personalities through time adds drama and a twist ending to this book. After meeting the mysterious and emotional Mr (Old) World (Arthur Hewlett) who talks of the heartache caused by hearing the cries of the children, trapped over at the house, across decades, Minty steps forward into the grounds of Belton House accepting the idea that she is key to reaching them.
Jacqueline Pearce is the standout name amongst the guest cast, taking the dual role of Miss Raven and Miss Vole. Familiar to 1980s viewers of course as Servalan from Blake’s 7, Moondial represents one of the – sadly – few major roles that she would go on to take on. Cant would use her again in Dark Season, again as a villain, and it appears that she became somewhat typecast following her time as the Supreme Commander. It would have been interesting to have seen such a talented actress in a wider variety of roles. As Miss Raven, Pearce looks like and plays the part rather similarly to that of Servalan, but is never less than captivating. Miss Vole, is even worse – she is completely horrid to Sarah and the scenes in which Vole torments the girl shows of some of Pearce’s most effective ever acting. Helen Cresswell (2 November 1987). "Children's Book Review: Moondial by Helen Cresswell". Publishersweekly.com . Retrieved 2 May 2015. Faber & Faber was founded nearly a century ago, in 1929. Read about our long publishing history in a decade-by-decade account. The narrative both in the novel and the adaptation doesn’t offer a clear resolution or straight-forward explanations and appears to deliberately leave us with a fair degree of ambiguity. Even director Colin Cant admits being puzzled by the scripts and having to explore their meaning further. It features children from three different time periods – Minty of the 1980s, Tom from the 1860s and Sarah from the 1770s. Moondial, a ‘time shift within a time shift’ centres around the sundial in the gardens of Belton House. As 2017 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Moondial, an exhibition loaned by the Cresswell family has been on show in Belton House’s library.