I was homeschooled, and we studied a lot of history through historical fiction. I was pretty young at the time, so I can't remember them all, but a few have stuck out to me. Unfortunately, I can no longer recall their titles.

There was one particular historical fiction book which I would like to read again. I can't remember much about it. I can't even remember what era of history it was in, save for a very general idea. I was hoping that anyone who might have read this book would be able to point me in the right direction. All the details I can recall are below.

  • The time period might be the middle ages or closely thereafter. I vaguely recall a castle. Something also tells me it was about the War of the Roses, though this could be completely wrong.
  • The location is either England or possibly France. Most likely England.
  • I do not remember the main character's name, only that he is a boy somewhere in his teens. I do not recall him being wealthy, though no memory of him exactly being poor has surfaced either.
  • One side character's name is either Cecilia or perhaps just Cilia. This character has a younger sister, whose name I do not recall. I do not believe this character is an actual historical figure, though I could be wrong. She is also in her teens.
  • An antagonist (perhaps even the main antagonist) is a wealthy lady. I remember absolutely nothing else about her, except that Cecilia seemed to be either serving her, or was her daughter. Whatever it was, the relationship wasn't good.
  • The book is likely old. We would have read it back in the 2000's, and it was old back then, and likely already out of print. A very rough estimate would have it being published in the later half of the 1900's. Note that I'm only saying this because virtually all of the historical fiction we read was old and out of print. There were a few newer books every now and then, and it could be one of those. Odds are against that, however.

That is unfortunately all I remember. I realize it isn't much to go off of. I would appreciate a few title suggestions I could look into if you aren't sure.

If no one has any ideas, I will gladly delete this question within a few days, so that the answered question percentage doesn't drop unnecessarily lower.

  • 1
    Have you checked through this list from Goodreads?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 16, 2018 at 11:00
  • 1
    I'm wondering if the "Cecilia" or "Cilia" you are referring to could be Cecily Neville (mother of Edward IV and Richard III) or Cecily of York (daughter of Edward IV). Both women have been characters in several historical fiction novels surrounding the wars of the roses. Mar 19, 2018 at 20:01
  • @steelersquirrel I doubt she was an actual historical figure. I feel like the story was about two children amidst actual historical figures. I could be wrong, of course, but that's my impression of it. Mar 19, 2018 at 21:01
  • @Randal'Thor The majority of those titles seem to be quite recent. I'm dealing largely with novels published in the later half of the 1900's, if not before. Mar 19, 2018 at 21:02
  • I need the correct title of this book! Having the same problem. It's not the black arrow.
    – Josh
    Jul 1, 2022 at 3:30

2 Answers 2


The book to which you are referring is entitled "The Lark and the Laurel", by Barbara Willard. It is the first in a series of five books about England in the time beginning in 1485. The main character's name is Cecily Jolland. Due to the fact that her father has to flee England because of Henry Tudor's accession to the throne she is put in custody of her gruff aunt. She learns much from her aunt and eventually comes to love her and begins to distrust her father.

  • Sounds like a better fit than The Black Arrow!
    – erickson
    Aug 23, 2021 at 21:01

Perhaps you are remembering The Black_Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses, a children's book by Robert Louis Stevenson published serially in 1883. The story is set in England during the War of the Roses. The main character is a young man in his late teens named Dick Shelton, the ward of Sir Daniel Brackley. Dick is heir to the Tunstall Moat House after the death of his father under suspicious circumstances.

Your recollection of "Cecilia" doesn't match up well, however—the heroine is named Joanna. There is another young woman named Alicia, which is nearly an anagram of Cilia, but I don't remember a female antagonist, associated with Alicia or not.

An edition was published in the early 20th century with stunning illustrations by N. C. Wyeth, who illustrated other works by Stevenson, and well as other many other stories of adventure. But the book is still in print today.


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