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15 Reviews
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure magic
I still read this book at the age of fifty-four with as much delight as when I was given it aged about 9 or 10 by my dancing teacher. Puck is not the gossamer-winged soppy type of fairy (in fact, he reprimands Dan & Una roundly for using the word!) He is 'the oldest "Old Thing" left in Britain, and by means of Oak, Ash & Thorn he transports the children to meet various...
Published on 5 Sep 2003 by Thannoise

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good going but it can get boring at points...
my son enjoyed this (he's fourteen), but found it could be a bit tedious in parts... I read this when I was about ten/eleven and liked it then, but I did not have the amount of distractions kids nowadays have!!
Published on 9 Jun 2011 by G Star


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure magic, 5 Sep 2003
I still read this book at the age of fifty-four with as much delight as when I was given it aged about 9 or 10 by my dancing teacher. Puck is not the gossamer-winged soppy type of fairy (in fact, he reprimands Dan & Una roundly for using the word!) He is 'the oldest "Old Thing" left in Britain, and by means of Oak, Ash & Thorn he transports the children to meet various characters who, like Puck, have left their mark on the country.
It must be the most painless way ever to learn history and enjoy tales told as only a master can tell them.
Buy the book - in fact, buy two copies, one for the ten-year-old & one for yourself!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puck's Pageant, 14 May 2010
"Puck of Pook's Hill" is something of a curiosity. The theme of the book is England and what made her, as related by characters who are conjured-up by Puck to give what would be called "eye-witness accounts" today. These characters include a knight, a Roman centurion and a Jewish physician from the time of the Magna Carta. There is a lovely feeling of place about the book - and in particular the timelessness of place, with many of the stories set around the Downs and the Weald of Kent, where Kipling lived.

I do have to say, unfortunately, that I doubt that this book would offer much of relevance to children today. With the changes in the way children are taught history, from the "living history" actors that pop out at each tourist attraction to tell their tales to CG films portraying famous historical incidents, learning about history has left the dusty books that the children in this story had to learn from far behind. And I expect that Una and Dan would now be seen as "historic" as many of the other characters that appear in the story. But, although I would hesitate giving this to my son to read, I did enjoy losing myself in "Old England" for a while.
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4.0 out of 5 stars story telling, 26 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Puck of Pook's Hill (Kindle Edition)
I remember Friday afternoons and our teacher reading this to us as a class. It was magical and having read it again, many years later, it still is. The imagery carries one away and I recommend it to anyone with a romantic soul who enjoys Rudyard Kipling and a rather good story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still fresh but beware some genuine political incorrectness, 15 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Puck of Pook's Hill (Kindle Edition)
I like Kipling. He writes in quite a fresh style, keeps things moving and does not use words for he sake of it, despite writing around 100 years ago.
This book, intended I guess for children, is really a kind of historical novel about a place in the south of England, hung on the idea of an ancient 'fairy' that introduces the story windows.
The only thing that modern readers may well stumble over is a curious story about the influence of Jews in the reign of King John. It reflects the ideas of some people in Kipling's time that the Jews somehow controlled the power of the nations through gold. An idea that has lead to some terrible persecution. It is interesting to hear what he says but maybe not an idea you want to impart to your children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A really well-written book, with captivating stories, 4 Sep 2013
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This book gives a range of stories, all based round the children living in this fictional location (modelled strongly on his own children and home and grounds). It is probably better for reading to children than giving it to them to read themselves, as the language (and some of the concepts) may need some explanation from time to time, for the modern child - but the stories are captivating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer delight, 23 Jun 2013
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A real page turner, covering history in such an enjoyble way. Kipling at is best - no wonder he is well know.
Loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Go, Fairies!, 23 Jun 2013
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I first read this book as a child and I'm sure it's inspired a lot of my own writing.

Despite Kipling's Victorian attitudes, it's still a book full of magic and interest and is based in part on many of the old British folk tales and mythology that so many people have now forgotten.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Characters From History Tell Their Life Stories To Edwardian Children, 10 Jun 2013
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This was first published in 1906, and a modern child, 10+ years, could still enjoy it, if they are a good reader, and are into historical adventure told in an old-fashioned and very masculine style, with a touch of fantasy softening the edges.

Two Edwardian children, Dan and Una, live out in the country in a place called Pevensey, and receive lessons in the morning from a governess. In the afternoon, they can run loose in the countryside. They accidentally summon up the fairy Puck one midsummer eve, who is a very butch and masculine fairy, and he starts bringing over men who lived at different times in the local area, or who otherwise had a connection with Pevensey, to tell the children anecdotes from their own lives. This means the stories are told in first person, and Kipling does adjust the narrative voice of each one - I quite liked the young Roman centurion's take on the world!

I'm not sure why other reviewers are commenting on a feeling of peace - this book is full of war! Half the stories are told from the point of view of conquerors of Britain ie. a Norman knight and the Roman centurion, and I got the feeling that Kipling (a very famous writer on the experiences of people in the British Empire) was bringing over his own first-hand observations of conquering and colonising people who don't really want that to happen. The story about the old gods mentioned human sacrifices. The story of the medieval Jewish moneylender referenced regular torture, and that King John used to pull out the teeth of Jews to force them to lend money to him. There are also Vikings, pirates, killer apes, a very cheeky tale about smugglers, and a much more fey-like one about the fairies getting on a boat and leaving Britain because they were unhappy with the burnings and killings of the Reformation.

I enjoyed it very much, but it's a lot more full-on about the harsh side of past life than today's historical fiction for children.

Last point: - C.S. Lewis must have read this as a child. It's the only book outside of the "Narnia Chronicles" where I've seen "Son of Adam/Daughter of Eve" used, and it also mentions wicked apes, fauns, and the repeated use of the place name Pevensey.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ., 12 April 2013
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Who wouldn't be delighted to find the public domain list of FREE classic literature. This is fantastic. All the titles I've always wanted to read and for free - this is my kind of kindle heaven. I love the way they arrive on your kindle, they're so quick, it's like magic. Thank you public domain!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting., 3 April 2013
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I never read Puck of Pook's Hill as a child. I thought it was showing it's age (as expected) however I did enjoy reading the book and found it an interesting exercise all round.
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Puck of Pook's Hill
Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling
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