Overlook the sprite on the jacket who looks far younger than her ""rising sixteen"" years or the dampener of a title which is actually justified since the story is set in 17th century England in an isolated world of the marshes where the fenmen fight off with fiercely independent spirit not only all foreign outsiders but also the King's tax men as well as the duress of an existence they can barely survive along with the ague. Mrs. Bibby has a solid, sometimes lyrical, sense of the natural world; one is informed not only by the details of their sodden subsistence on eel and moleskins--but also the period when now some Dutchmen, engineers, have come to drain the fens, to their advantage. The fen ""tigers"" will make a literal last ditch resistance as they plait fuses to blow up the new sluice gates. The personal story concerns Constancy and the young man, Hendrick, she resuces from the fens, the help they receive from Goody the witch (?) who at the end makes possible their escape with a toad and a winding sheet. A thoroughly successful return to a time and a place which involves your sympathies and rewards your interest.