Ian Holborn (professor of archaeology and a writer) was on board the RMS Lusitania when it was torpedoed, and as it sank he rescued a 12 year old girl named Avis Dolphin. She later complained that books for girls were not very interesting, so he decided to write one for her “as thrilling as any book written for boys!” This book is dedicated to her.
From the Preface: This story is not written for grown-ups, and if they want to know why it begins with such a gruesome first chapter, let them ask the children. Children like the horrors first and the end all bright. Many grown-ups like the tragedy at the end. But perhaps the children are right and the grown-ups are standing on their heads. – Summary by Beth Thomas
from LibriVox’s New Releases https://librivox.org/the-child-of-the-moat-by-ian-bernard-stoughton-holborn/