Escape from Loch Leven

Mollie Hunter

Out of print

Quick Look

Mary Queen of Scots is brought to the island castle of Loch Leven, and Will Douglas, son of the Keeper of the castle, sets about a plan to rescue her.

198 x 130 mm
Floris Books
Age Range:
From 8 to 12 years
224 pages
Publication date:
24 Apr 2003


Will Douglas is the illegitimate son of Sir William Douglas, Keeper of Loch Leven Castle. One night, a prisoner is brought to the island. Mary, Queen of Scots is imprisoned in the castle and forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son.

But Will is resourceful and intelligent, and sets about a plan to free the queen, putting his own life in danger.


'Mollie Hunter brings the legend to life. It's exciting and well-written, the dialogue rings true and there is an authentic sense of time and place.'
-- Historical Novels Review, May 2004

'This novel is, among other things, a painless way of learning a good deal of Scottish history. The background is historically accurate, and gives an excellent sense of the political intrigues which surround the queen at this time. The characterisation is vivid and fully realised. Will's first person narrative is used as a means of conveying the complexity of the character to the more mature reader.'
-- Treasure Island: A guide to Scottish fiction for young readers aged 10-14, Summer 2003

'Combines both history and fiction in a tale which young readers will love.'
-- Greenock Telegraph, 15 August 2003

'The main characters are real flawed human beings with strengths and weaknesses who are caught up, not in fantasy, but in well-documented historical situations where they have to rely on their own talents and resourcefulness to carry out missions entrusted to them by young men whom they admire. The bare bones of real history are fleshed out, readers introduced not just to major, but minor characters and their lifestyles.
Escape from Loch Leven would make an excellent class or library book, interesting to both boys and girls. Author Mollie Hunter's careful research provides a wealth of detail about her life. Most important, however, is the high quality writing. Children do a lot of growing between 10 and 13, much of it vicariously through the books they read. Some of it, hopefully, from books such as these.'
-- Wilma Rawson, Steiner Education, Winter 2003


Mollie Hunter (1922-2012) wrote more than 25 novels for children since 1953, incorporating a life-long exploration of Scotland's folklore and history into her stories. She received numerous awards and honours for her books, including the New York Times Outstanding Books of the Year Award, the Boston Globe Horn Book Award and the Carnegie Medal.


Don't miss the Discover Kelpies website for children with exclusive author interviews, fun stuff and latest gossip on your favourite Scottish stories.

Download or print a free Teacher's Guide for this book:
Escape from Loch Leven Teacher's Guide


Did you know, this book was published in America under the title, You Never Knew Her As I Did!?

Unfortunately this book is now out of print. You may enjoy more books by Mollie Hunter:
The Thirteenth Member
A Stranger Came Ashore
The Lothian Run

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