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by Caroline Dale Snedeker
The White Isle is Britain – a barbaric land to the patrician Claudian family, exiled from Hadrian’s rome, but an island of strange enhancement and stirring adventures to Lavinia, their daugher. Because Favonius, Lavinia’s father, had been too much in sympathy with the old Republic and had protested when the Emperor proposed to take the street Favonius’ house was on to expand his palace, Favonius incurred the Emperor’s disfavor, and was suddenly appointed “legatus” to far away Britain. After sad farewells and an abrupt cancellation of Lavinia’s wedding, the whole family began their long journey along the Roman roads through Gaul, across the channel to the white cliffs of the British coast. The contast between the cultures of the early British Christians with the pagan Roman aristocracy, and Lavinia’s conversion to Christianity, make a dramatic setting for the novel.
The White Isle was one of the first books to bring young people a spirited picture of Roman life in Gaul and Britain and is one of Caroline Dale Snedeker’s finest books.