The Green Knowe Chronicles are a series of six books by author Lucy M. Boston. These books tell the story of the adventures of a British boy, Tolly, and some other children, who visit the eponymous estate, a Norman manor house where the line between the past and the present, between the living and the dead, and between reality and fantasy, is blurred.The novels are as follows:
1. The Children of Green Knowe (1954)
2. The Chimneys of Green Knowe a.k.a. The Treasure of Green Knowe (1958)
3. The River of Green Knowe (1959)
4. A Stranger at Green Knowe (1961)
5. An Enemy at Green Knowe (1964)
6. The Stones of Green Knowe (1976)
In The Children of Green Knowe, Tolly first arrives at the castle, called Green Noah here, and gradually learns that all is not as it seems as he learns to fit in.In The Chimneys of Green Knowe, published in the United States under the title The Treasure of Green Knowe, Tolly hears the story of an ancestor from the turn of the nineteenth century, uncovering secrets to save Green Knowe.In The River of Green Knowe, the estate is being rented for the summer by two old ladies, Dr. Biggin and Miss Bun. Dr. Biggin invites her niece, Ida, and two refugee children, Oskar and Ping, to stay at the castle for the summer. The children have many adventures along the nearby river.In A Stranger at Green Knowe, Ping returns to the castle for another adventure. A gorilla, escaped from the zoo, has found its way to Green Knowe, and Ping seeks to hide it from the authorities.In An Enemy at Green Knowe, Ping and Tolly meet, as the tale of an alchemist leads to a visit from a woman claiming to be a historian. However, this woman is not what she seems, and it quickly becomes clear that evil forces are at work.The Stones of Green Knowe tells the story of how it all began, as Green Knowe is built a half-century after the Norman Conquest, and Roger d'Aulneaux, the lord's son, is the first to discover its secrets.
Provides Examples of:
Adult Fear: In the sixth book, when Roger sees the Saxons massacring the Britons in the sixth century, he initially believes that this is his own time, and that his own village is being massacred with his family having been killed — a very realistic fear in the twelfth century (and in parts of the world today).
Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : Subverted in the third book. The kids take the boat out in extremely dangerous weather, and there is plenty of foreshadowing of disaster (or, at least, punishment); however, nothing goes wrong, the kids are eventually found by the authorities and get off with a mild scolding.
Cassandra Truth: Tolly's claim to his schoolmates that Green Knowe is haunted.
Chekhov's Gun: The message in a bottle in the third book. At first, it seems to be setting up the adventure where the children experience a bronze age ritual, but a Call Back in the fifth book sets up the tale of the alchemist, and ultimately, the main conflict of the story.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the sixth book, Roger, a child of the twelfth century, is afraid of invasions, which can come without warning, and, in one scene, mistakenly thinks his village has been razed and his family slaughtered. Given the time in which the book was written, this could be an analogy to how people viewed the danger of nuclear war.
Green Aesop: In the fourth and sixth books especially. Also, when the birds drive off the maggots in the fifth book, Tolly's grandmother delivers one. Overall, a love of nature seems to prevade the entire series.
Haunted House: In the first book, the house is haunted by the benevolent ghosts of three children.
Have a Gay Old Time: Gay, of course, is used to mean happy, and a peep show is simply a spectacle.
Hollywood Law: In book five, when Melanie tries to trick Tolly's grandmother into deeding her the castle, much is made of the bizarre language. However, a glaringly obvious error is that, on the deed, Melanie is both the witness and the grantee of the property, which would invalidate the deed in any English-speaking country.
Of course, given that she is really the devil's daughter, it could be a case of Melanie not doing the research.
Alternatively, the book itself suggests that, with its bizarre language, the whole point of the deed was not to transfer the property, but to blackmail Tolly's grandmother, making her appear crazy for even signing such an instrument.
Subverted with Jacob. If anything, he is one of the least magical children in the series, and his one attempt at magic doesn't end well.
Ping is a straight Asian example, though.
Meaningful Name: Oldknow (who has access to old knowledge), Softly (who babies Susan), Biggin (who is fixated on giants), Bun (who prepares food), Powers (as in powers and principalities)( and her real name, Melusine Demogorgona Phospher).
The Reveal: Melanie Powers is really the devil's daughter.
Sadly Mythtaken: In the fifth book, the grandmother refers to Melusine as the devil's daughter, and to Demogorgon as another name for the devil. However, The Other Wiki refers to Melusine as a half-human water spirit, and Demogorgon as a demon, not the devil himself.
Scenery Porn: The author provides us with very vivid descriptions of the locations.
Present especially in the second book, when Tolly saves the young man from capture, leaving subsequent generations guessing as to who was responsible.
In the sixth book, Tolly's grandmother, as a young girl, gives Roger d'Aulneaux a ring to pass down to his descendants. He returns to his own time, in the twelfth century, and does just that. Eventually, the ring is passed down to Tolly's grandmother, completing the loop.
Shown Their Work: The prologue to the fourth book, with the gorillas, is said to be an accurate description of their way of life.
Take That: To the government, particularly in book four and at the end of book six.
Villain Ball: Why does Melanie use ridiculous language, referring to Gog and Magog, along with various occult references, on a property deed that is to be recorded? Again, as described in the Hollywood Law entry, the deed could have been designed for blackmail.
Ye Goode Olde Days: Played with in the sixth book. Roger prefers his own time to some of the others, especially the nineteenth century and the present day, although he recognizes that some things (like buttons for clothes) are indeed an improvement. Perhaps justified, as this might be how a real twelfth-century Anglo-Norman might react to modernity. Of course, the book balances it out with Roger's recurring concerns about invasion, and his realistic fears of his family being slaughtered and the village massacred.