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Puck of Pook's Hill (Dover Children's Classics) Paperback – 24 Nov 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Age Range: 8 - 14 years
  • Publisher: Dover Children's (24 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048645147X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486451473
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies are classic children's books which speak powerfully to adult readers. Una and Dan, performing a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream one Midsummer's Eve, accidentally summon Puck to a fairy ring near their Sussex home. Through Puck the children are witnesses to tales of English history, subtly called forth by Kipling's brilliant and fluid adventure writing. Kipling's historical imagination extends to a wide variety of stories, many of which blend the ghostly and the familiar, and often anticipate his later writing in their themes: a sense of loss and breakdown, but also healing. First published in magazines between 1906 and 1910, the stories were accompanied by some of Kipling's most famous poems, including 'If-' and 'The Way through the Woods'. This edition includes an introduction which dispels the myth that these stories are simply a nostalgic view of English history, discusses their relationship to other historical fiction, and relates them to Kipling's earlier and later writings. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

About the Author

Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) is best remembered for children's tales such as The Jungle Book as well as his poetry and stories about British soldiers in India, which include "Gunga Din" and The Man Who Would Be King. Kipling was enormously popular at the turn of the 20th century but his reputation declined with the change in attitude toward British imperialism. In recent years Kipling's works have found new acclaim as a vibrant source of literary and cultural history.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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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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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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A well-known classic which brought history to life for so many. The interpretation of history changes radically, as, mercifully, do attitudes to Jews - Kipling comes off badly here.

But what was disappointing was the format. Someone has clearly taken an early edition of the book, scanned it, and poured it into a page size that it doesn't fill properly. Very shoddy and cheapjack work.
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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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Format: Paperback
"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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By A Customer on 1 May 2001
Format: Paperback
The book is a slightly strange collection of tales linked interestingly by a common theme. It deals with two children and their education in England's history and, for want of a better word, her soul. Kipling does this sort of thing perfectly. His love for his subject seems to be visible on each page as he creates wonderful scenes and places. The thing is that it's very hard to tell how much he knows. Here a pastoral and infinitely peaceful country is shown to be built from struggle and war, indeed even the war is shown as an almost friendly affair. One has to wonder what he actually believed, whether the whole thing is a joke and who it might be on. The book is fascinating from one side and immensly peaceful from the other. Kipling's style is almost perfect as always and this is a book with much to offer.
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Format: Paperback
Kipling's prose has a very special quality - quintissentially English, proud and very robust.

I asked a scholar of English and a Buddhist meditation teacher to recommend a good book for me and she thought briefly before mentioning this.

The poems in it are sometimes dated - the one about queen and country but this is a warm and pleasant read containing many important and esoteric aspects that few care to appreciate.

Ideal to communicate something about being a whole human being and this earthy realm with some of its hidden and ancient forces.
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