Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 170
The Pictish broch, in spite of its likeness to the great Mycenean beehive tombs, is unique in its extraordinarily simple and effective defence-plan, and local enough to justify Mollie Hunter's attribution in The Stronghold…. In a long, entirely circumstantial novel, the author justifies her belief that the stone-built defensive tower "must … have been an idea before it was a fact; an idea springing from one single brilliant mind"; and in showing how Coll plans his tower, collects materials, stands firm against the opposition of the conservative Druids, she shows us also, most plausibly, what tensions and relationships must have existed in a world where superstition constituted as great a danger as the attacks of raiders or the jealousy of individuals. A close, detailed reconstruction of the past in practical terms—in descriptions of place, weather, buildings—helps to establish a brilliantly imagined picture of an ancient society which we can only know now through conjecture. (p. 2455)
Margery Fisher, "Power and Protection," in her Growing Point, Vol. 13, No. 3, September, 1974, pp. 2455-57.∗
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