The Mildenhall Treasure

The Mildenhall Treasure

by Roald Dahl
     
 

During World War II, a British plowman discovered a hoard of Roman silver while plowing a field in the Suffolk countryside. Unaware of the treasure's value, he was cheated out of the fortune that should have been his by the man who hired him. The 34 pieces of silver were discovered after the war by the authorities and taken to the British Museum, where they reside…  See more details below

Overview

During World War II, a British plowman discovered a hoard of Roman silver while plowing a field in the Suffolk countryside. Unaware of the treasure's value, he was cheated out of the fortune that should have been his by the man who hired him. The 34 pieces of silver were discovered after the war by the authorities and taken to the British Museum, where they reside today. Master storyteller Roald Dahl relates the unforgettable and true tale of the greatest treasure ever found in the British Isles.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 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 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Dahl (The Umbrella Man and Other Stories, 1998, etc.) weaves the story of the treasure and greed that unearthed the richest collection of Roman silver plate ever found in British soil. When Dahl was a young writer selling stories to magazines, he read a newspaper article about a find of Roman silver in a small town. The story so interested him that he traveled to the town and interviewed the ploughman who found it. This is a slightly edited republication of that story with new illustrations. On a cold, windy winter's day, George Butcher, hired to plow a field, struck a hard object that turned out to be one of 36 encrusted pieces of Roman silver. Ignorant of their worth, Butcher allowed Ford, an amateur archaeologist, to keep them. Knowing that he should report the treasure to the government and that a reward for the find should go to Butcher, Ford polished and hid everything. Four years later, a visiting archaeologist noticed two silver spoons on the mantle and the story came out. Claiming that he thought the artifacts were pewter, not silver, which under British law belongs to the government, Ford relinquished the pieces. The government awarded both men 1,000 pounds. If Ford had told Butcher about the treasure's worth immediately, Butcher's reward would have been at least a half-million pounds, and Ford would have received nothing. Steadman's dark, often grotesque and mysterious figures create a moody accompaniment to this strange tale with an ironic ending. A fascinating story. (Nonfiction. 12+ )

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375810350
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/12/2000
Edition description:
1ST BORZOI
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
8.78(w) x 11.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Roald Dahl was one of the most celebrated children's authors of the 20th century. In 1961, he published James and the Giant Peach, followed by countless other bestsellers. He died in 1990.

Ralph Steadman's award-winning illustrations have appeared on several book and magazine covers. His own books include Gonzo, the Art and America.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 13, 1916
Date of Death:
November 23, 1990
Place of Birth:
Llandaff, Wales, England
Place of Death:
Oxford, England

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