Customer Reviews for

Puck of Pook's Hill

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  • Posted September 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    "And so was England born!"

    Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936) issued PUCK OF POOK'S HILL in 1906. Next year he won the Nobel Prize for literature. Coincidence? Maybe not. *** I have just read PUCK OF POOK's HILL. I knew and have been singing since age 12 "A Smuggler's Song." I knew it was by Kipling. But I did not know that it was from PUCK OF POOK'S HILL. The book as a whole slumbered for nearly eight decades without me taking notice. Was it Puck who made me open the book? *** I do not own a critical edition of PUCK OF POOK'S HILL, nor any learned monographs on its provenance, symbolism and such like. But I have detected at least three ways of reading this 1906 collection about southeastern England and the young brother and sister to whom its tales were told by long dead characters summoned back to memory by England's last faun or fairy or Old Thing -- named Puck. *** (1) Boy, girls, adults can at the most obvious level read these yarns of east Sussex County England as adventure tales. Thus a onetime minor Norse god named Weland cannot return to Valhalla till a mortal thanks him for a good deed. When that occurs, Weland makes a singing sword for young Hugh, a Saxon nobleman of the county. Then Hugh and a Norman knight who was given Hugh's estates after the Conquest of 1066, are captured by Norse pirates, become friends of Captain and crew, and sail together to the Gorilla Coast of West Africa where they amass huge quantites of gold. And on and on the stories spin their way into our imaginations. *** (2) Something inexplicably clicks in the historical imagination of the two young siblings, Dan and Una Reynolds. Their simplest hobbies, classroom activities, their reading somehow trigger deep insights into the Downs, Wealds, marshes, history of smugglers and pre-Protestant folklore of their small part of England. As the siblings rehearse together outdoors a scene from MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM on midsummer's eve, they blunder into a formula that brings before them no less than Puck, England's last preternatural little person or fairy. Wandering by herself on a hill reciting Macaulay's "Lays of Ancient Rome" near her home, Una randomly shoots a pellet from her catapult/sling shot into a thicket. It strikes a fully armored Roman soldier named Parnesius whom Puck had told of the Reynolds children. They learn that his family had lived for 400 years on Vectis/Isle of Wight, visible from the nearby Downs. *** (3) What is the agent that slowly synthesizes for Dan and Una the wondrous world of Sussex? Within miles of their home is an ancient mill, a prehistoric forge once used by Roman legions, a 4th Century Fort of Britannia's Saxon Shore, a Norman castle, a 76-year old hedger/ditch digger whose ancestors were there 20 generations ago. That synthesizing agent is Puck, Shakespeare's Puck. As "Puck's Song" puts it: "Old Wars, old Peace, old Arts that cease,/And so was England born!" *** Today, mayhap, if only we can find the right formula, there is a Puck invisibly waiting in our own back yard to do the for us what he did for Dan and Una. Two hours walk from my home in the Blue Ridge Mountains are remains of an 8,000 year old proto-Cherokee Indian village. Two hours drive northwest of here Cherokee-reared Sam Houston taught youngsters Greek and Latin. Later he told an artist to "paint me as Marius," the famous Roman general. Need I add: and on and on? Puck, thou shouldst be living at this hour. And perhaps you are. -OOO-

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    My mom....

    Shes got sick puking and pooping i hope i dont get it

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

    Better to purchase

    Many mistakes in nook version

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  • Posted December 5, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    dan and his sister meet puck of the faires and he leads them into the past of england to be a part of what made englands heart and soulit is very entertaining esp. if you like histroy as one to one meetings and more real. very well writen and fun.

    his 2nd book reward and fairys have more stories with dan and his sister.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2010

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    Posted December 12, 2009

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    Posted July 12, 2011

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    Posted October 21, 2009

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    Posted December 27, 2009

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    Posted February 24, 2012

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