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Puck of Pook's Hill

33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1434461148
ISBN-10: 1434461149
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Editorial Reviews

Review

''The hidden history of Old England, lovingly written by Kipling for his own children, is coupled with a brilliant reading to make this one of the premier family listening events of the year. The story has everything listeners could want: enchantment, high adventure, battles, intrigue, all wrapped up in romantic poetic language . . . brought exquisitely to life by [Wanda McCaddon].'' --AudioFile

''[Wanda McCaddon] . . . has the requisite British accent and very good judgment as to how to make the tales exciting yet believable.'' --Wilson Library Bulletin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay in 1865. During his time at the United Services College, he began to write poetry, privately publishing Schoolboy Lyrics in 1881. The following year he started work as a journalist in India, and while there produced a body of work, stories, sketches, and poems ���including ���Mandalay,��� ���Gunga Din,��� and ���Danny Deever������which made him an instant literary celebrity when he returned to England in 1889. While living in Vermont with his wife, an American, Kipling wrote The Jungle Books, Just So Stories, and Kim���which became widely regarded as his greatest long work, putting him high among the chronicles of British expansion. Kipling returned to England in 1902, but he continued to travel widely and write, though he never enjoyed the literary esteem of his early years. In 1907, he became the first British writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He died in 1936
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Wildside Press (February 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434461149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434461148
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,436,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By "andrea54" on July 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my children many years ago - son is now working in e-commerce (a job that I never imagined would exist when he was born!) - and I found it and re-read it with enjoyment some days ago.
Basically, it's about some (upperclass- there weren't any others in books in those days) children who accidentally conjure up "the oldest thing in England" - Puck.
He, in his turn, conjures up for them Normans, Saxons, and, yes, a Jewish moneylender who was the real clout behind the Magna Carta!
I had to revise my ideas about Kipling after reading this - he's a very contradictory character - but most of it reads (very gently) as a sensible argument for tolerance and diversity.
It's also a very good way of bringing history alive...
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Puck on October 27, 2000
Format: Library Binding
As I am very interested in the historical and mythological nature of Puck (aka Robin Goodfellow), best known for his role as the mischief-making fairy in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, I found these works by Kipling to be invaluable. These two novels are not only an excellent presentation of Puck, but an insight to British history. While considered children's books, I would recommend them to any adult in search of light reading. Truly two wonderful works of literature.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Horton on August 25, 2000
Format: Library Binding
_Puck of Pook's Hill_ is a set of stories, somewhat linked, about the history of England, built around a frame story involving two young children, Dan and Una, meeting Puck in a meadow near their Sussex home. Puck somehow arranges for a series of historical people, ghosts, I suppose, to come and tell stories of events near their home in the past 2000 years. There are four stories told by Sir Richard Dalyngridge, one of William the Conqueror's men, on the theme of assimilation of the Normans and Saxons into one people: the English. There are three Roman stories, set in 375 AD or so, about a Centurion from the Isle of Wight who holds Hadrian's Wall against the Picts and the Norsemen while Maximus, his general, declares himself Emperor and takes Gaul then heads into Rome (where the real Emperor had him killed, understandably enough). The three other stories deal with the rebuilding of the local church in Henry VII's time, a rebuilding project menaced by smugglers, with the flight of the fairies from England at the time of the Reformation, and with the role of a Jew in forcing John to sign the Magna Carta. (This last an uneasy mixture of anti-Semitism with an apparent attempt to not be anti-semitic.)
_Rewards and Fairies_ presents eleven more stories told by Puck's agency to Dan and Una. We meet some familiar characters again (the church builder, and Richard Dalynrydge), and even some major historical figures: Queen Elizabeth, George Washington, Napoleon. On the whole the stories aren't quite as good as those in _Puck_, though "Marklake Witches" is very good, very moving.
Both books include a number of poems, usually closely associated with the themes of the stories.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sammy Madison on June 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
It seems to be fashionable, in this politically correct time, to find fault with Rudyard Kipling. But Kipling was a great writer with big ideas and a big heart. He wrote "Puck of Pook's Hill" and "Rewards and Fairies" to share his love of his mother country with young readers. These books are a great introduction to English history. I find it hard to imagine a reader not falling in love with the land and people of this great country after reading "Puck of Pook's Hill". The curious reader will seek out more information on what happened during their favorite characters' times, possibly leading to a lifelong love of history and the inclination to explore the world through reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick W. Crabtree VINE VOICE on August 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Marvellous!

In a word, that's my feeling about Puck of Pook's Hill (Dover Value Editions). I'll get into the actual story in just a moment but I first wanted to make some general observations about this terrific work of fantasy.

Kipling harbored a kid's imagination for fantasy stories and a sociology professor's knowledge of history, especially concerning 19th Century England and its colonies. Kipling lived from 1865-1936 and, of course, he generated a plethora of superb period literature including The Jungle Books (Oxford World's Classics), The Man Who Would Be King (Dodo Press), and Kim. The thread so common to the bulk of Kipling's work seems to be ADVENTURE, a theme in which he excelled beyond most other authors, either then or now.

In "Puck" he achieved a level of historical imperative and nostalgic fantasy that was only ever paralleled by Lewis Carroll and J.R.R. Tolkien. This book is (for reasons unknown to me) a real sleeper -- you don't hear much about it either in academia or in bookstores, which is a tremendous shame given its refreshing effervescence and rainy-day appeal. I feel compelled to say that it would be infinitely helpful in digesting "Puck" if you're already somewhat tutored in the history of England and, if you're accustomed to reading the vernacular of other works of Kipling's era.
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