Times Educational Supplement Partner badge

Film Education - Resources, Training, Events

Skip to main content

Follow us on: Twitter, Facebook RSS
Email this page to a friend

The Secret of Moonacre Resource - Settings


No pen could possibly do justice to the exquisite charm and beauty of Maria’s room. It was... circular, neither too large nor too small, just the right size for a girl of thirteen.

The walls had not been panelled with wood… but the silver-grey stone was so lovely that Maria was glad. The ceiling was vaulted, and delicate ribbings of stone curved over Maria’s head like the branches of a tree, meeting at the highest point of the ceiling in a carved representation of a sickle moon surrounded by stars.

The bed was… spread with a patchwork quilt made of exquisite squares of velvet and silk of all colours of the rainbow. The fireplace was the tiniest she had ever seen, deeply recessed in the wall. It was big enough for the fire of pine-cones and apple wood that burned in it, filling the room with fragrance.

It was all perfect. It was the room Maria would have designed for herself... she realised that very much knowledge and skill had gone to the making of this room. Fine craftsmen had carved the moon and stars and fashioned the furniture, and an exquisite needlewoman had made the patchwork quilt and embroidered the curtains.

This way and that she stepped… touching all the beautiful things with the tips of her fingers, as though caressing them, saying thank you in her heart to the people who had made them

Abridged from Chapter 1, The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge
Copyright ©1946. Extract reprinted by permission.

  • Which words and phrases help the reader picture the room in their mind?  Highlight the adjectives you think are most effective in shaping our feelings about the room.
  • Try sketching the room based on what you have read.  Now watch the clip. Have the filmmaker and set designers created a room as special as you imagined?  What details stand out?  
  • What kind of camera shot is used when Maria looks up at the ceiling? What effect does that have on how we see the room?  How does the music help add to the mood of the scene?
  • How does the actress show what Maria is thinking and how she feels about the room?


Teachers Notes