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The Highwayman
     

The Highwayman

5.0 2
by Alfred Noyes, Charles Keeping (Illustrator)
 

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"The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding-
Riding-riding-
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door."

In Alfred Noyes's thrilling poem, charged with drama and tension, we ride with the highwayman and recoil from the terrible fate that befalls him and his sweetheart Bess, the landlord's

Overview

"The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding-
Riding-riding-
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door."

In Alfred Noyes's thrilling poem, charged with drama and tension, we ride with the highwayman and recoil from the terrible fate that befalls him and his sweetheart Bess, the landlord's daughter. The vivid imagery of the writing is matched by Charles Keeping's haunting illustrations which won him the Kate Greenaway Medal. This new edition features rescanned artwork to capture the breath-taking detail of Keeping's illustrations and a striking new cover.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Noyes's famous poem about a beautiful woman who dies (with her breast ``shattered . . . drenched with her own red blood'') to save her lover, who is, in turn, shot down ``like a dog on the highway,'' is not for the faint-hearted--and surely not for four-to-eight-year-olds, as this edition recommends. But Waldman's watercolors, both abstract and realistic, capture the haunting, tragic spirit of the text. His broad palette glows, and his frequent use of shadow and silhouette is magnificent. The illustrations of the poem's horrific ending are not graphic: the artist wisely lets the power of Noyes's words dominate here, as they should. For older readers, this unusual--and triumphant--treatment provides a striking introduction to an epic work. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-- Noyes' familiar ballad of love, betrayal, and death is given vivid iteration in Waldman's watercolor paintings. Unlike versions by Charles Mikolaycak (Lothrop, 1983) and Charles Keeping (Oxford, 1987), these illustrations are richly colored with green and lavender moors and cloud-filled skies of blue and black. Despite this use of color, the effect is stylized and design supercedes realism. The dynamic shapes of hills and clouds are contained within fine black lines; and trees, leaves, and birds are shown in silhouette. The pages are tightly bordered at the bottom and sides but flow freely from the top to form wind-blown trees and racing clouds. The framing is occasionally broken for dramatic effect: Bess' hair cascades outside one margin; a musket handle breaks through another; and, in the moment of Bess' death, the moors change to a crimson that spills from the frame like drops of blood. One of the more successful aspects of the style is the deliberate abstraction of most of the characters. While the portrayal of the highwayman on his rearing horse is outrageously romantic, he is primarily seen in silhouette, his face only hinted at. Tim the ostler is barely noticed--his white face is the blank space on which is printed the text of his discovery of Bess' love. The soldiers are mere shapes and shadows. The only exception to this treatment is Bess, an idealized beauty in full color. This seems an unfortunate choice since the realism breaks the mood and weakens the tension felt throughout the rest of the book. The strong sense of atmosphere and dramatic use of design reinforce the melodrama of the story, and these illustrations will attract readers to Noyes' perennial favorite. --Eleanor K. MacDonald, Beverly Hills Public Library
Booklist
[The dramatic artwork plays up the elements teens will find most rewarding--particularly the protagonists’ defiance of authority and the unblushingly melodramatic conclusion.
From the Publisher
[T]he dramatic artwork plays up the elements teens will find most rewarding--particularly the protagonists’ defiance of authority and the unblushingly melodramatic conclusion.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192794420
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/01/2015
Edition description:
New
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
587,067
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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The Highwayman 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can even sing to it because my friend did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great peom