- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Hardcover: 80 pages
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1st Borzoi books ed edition (September 12, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375810358
- ISBN-13: 978-0375810350
- Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,409,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Mildenhall Treasure Hardcover – September 12, 2000
The Amazon Book Review
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Buried one foot below the surface of a field called Thistley Green in the English town of Mildenhall, a most fantastic Roman treasure lay for centuries until a ploughman came along in the 1940s and accidentally dug it up. What followed was the worst kind of tragedy, because it involves human greed and abuse of a good man's innocence. Gordon Butcher, discoverer of this treasure, was entitled by British law to the full amount of its market value. Butcher was not aware of this law; however, another ploughman named Ford did know about it, and managed to bamboozle Butcher out of the fortune.
This remarkable story was written in 1946 by a young Roald Dahl, who went on to write such beloved classics as James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl's inimitable style blazes through even in his early career. The true story, republished with stunning art by Ralph Steadman, is as riveting as if it had happened today, with heartbreaking notes of unbearable unfairness and sincere naiveté. Each page, thickly covered with rich, dark splashes of paint, sketchy faces, and bits of collage, has a wild and ominous tenor, reflected in the ferocious weather that fateful day when the hapless farmer found--and lost--the greatest treasure ever found in the British Isles. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter
From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up-This story was originally published as a magazine article in the late '40s and again as part of the collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (Knopf, 1977). A simple, honest plowman in wartime England uncovers a king's ransom in Roman silver in a field. By law, it must revert to the Crown, but a crafty colleague tricks the man out of the treasure, which would have brought him millions of pounds had he turned it in immediately. The colleague, in the meantime, keeps the silver and only gives it up when he is caught red-handed by a visiting scholar. It is a wonderful story, told in direct, high-impact sentences with the confiding, sure voice of a storyteller. Steadman's artwork, which is done primarily in dark colors, is fairly prosaic and cold at the beginning, though the colors warm and the compositions become more focused as the tale progresses. The tone and temper of the illustrations match with the narrative, even though some of the pictures are a page behind it. However, while the compositions have a nice balance to them, some of the work is so abstract or dark that it is difficult to imagine why it was put together with a story primarily marketed to children. There is no perfect marriage of art and text here. Buy Henry Sugar for Dahl fans who may never have heard of The Mildenhall Treasure and leave Steadman for the galleries and adult art books.
Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
I have had a hard time finding true historical accounts which I can share with my entire family and which will hold the interest of both children and adults. With pictures on nearly every page (by the inimitable Ralph Steadman) and vivid writing which makes history come alive, this one fits the bill.
For kids interested in human antiquities, try these:
The Secret Cave: Discovering Lascaux
Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs
**update -- we found an art project to make a weathered-looking silver project. Try Donna Hugh's Art Lessons, Vol 2 -- foil art. Easy Art Projects (Art Lessons for Children, Vol. 2) [VHS] See our photos in Customer Images. We also made valentines this way.
This is a great story for kids but I was 28 when I first read it. I have remembered it so vividly for all these years ( I am now in my 40's..) I just had to buy a copy to keep for myself. If you love archaeology and can imagine the thrill of finding something truely gobsmackingly amazing... this is a great read!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A true story cleverly written bi Roald Dahl...recommended to me while visiting the actual treasure at the British Museum.. Read morePublished on June 4, 2014 by TINA REESE
Reads easily and the illustrations are wonderfully done. It is even better since it is a true story. I am buying as gifts.Published on May 2, 2013 by T. Bruns
A very funny dry account of hidden treasure. Superb writing and illustrations by Steadman. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good English story.Published on January 16, 2013 by McNamara