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31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
User-Friendly ( British) history..... 10 juillet 2000
Par "andrea54" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I bought this book for my children many years ago - son is now working in e-commerce (a job that I never imagined would exist when he was born!) - and I found it and re-read it with enjoyment some days ago.
Basically, it's about some (upperclass- there weren't any others in books in those days) children who accidentally conjure up "the oldest thing in England" - Puck.
He, in his turn, conjures up for them Normans, Saxons, and, yes, a Jewish moneylender who was the real clout behind the Magna Carta!
I had to revise my ideas about Kipling after reading this - he's a very contradictory character - but most of it reads (very gently) as a sensible argument for tolerance and diversity.
It's also a very good way of bringing history alive...
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Excellent Work of Children's Fantasy 28 octobre 2000
Par Puck - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Belle reliure
As I am very interested in the historical and mythological nature of Puck (aka Robin Goodfellow), best known for his role as the mischief-making fairy in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, I found these works by Kipling to be invaluable. These two novels are not only an excellent presentation of Puck, but an insight to British history. While considered children's books, I would recommend them to any adult in search of light reading. Truly two wonderful works of literature.
23 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Different look at English history 26 août 2000
Par Richard R. Horton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Belle reliure
_Puck of Pook's Hill_ is a set of stories, somewhat linked, about the history of England, built around a frame story involving two young children, Dan and Una, meeting Puck in a meadow near their Sussex home. Puck somehow arranges for a series of historical people, ghosts, I suppose, to come and tell stories of events near their home in the past 2000 years. There are four stories told by Sir Richard Dalyngridge, one of William the Conqueror's men, on the theme of assimilation of the Normans and Saxons into one people: the English. There are three Roman stories, set in 375 AD or so, about a Centurion from the Isle of Wight who holds Hadrian's Wall against the Picts and the Norsemen while Maximus, his general, declares himself Emperor and takes Gaul then heads into Rome (where the real Emperor had him killed, understandably enough). The three other stories deal with the rebuilding of the local church in Henry VII's time, a rebuilding project menaced by smugglers, with the flight of the fairies from England at the time of the Reformation, and with the role of a Jew in forcing John to sign the Magna Carta. (This last an uneasy mixture of anti-Semitism with an apparent attempt to not be anti-semitic.)
_Rewards and Fairies_ presents eleven more stories told by Puck's agency to Dan and Una. We meet some familiar characters again (the church builder, and Richard Dalynrydge), and even some major historical figures: Queen Elizabeth, George Washington, Napoleon. On the whole the stories aren't quite as good as those in _Puck_, though "Marklake Witches" is very good, very moving.
Both books include a number of poems, usually closely associated with the themes of the stories.
These are generally fine stories, but for my taste not up to the level of my favorite Kipling stories, such as "Mrs. Bathurst" and "'They'" and "The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes" and "The Story of Mohammed Din". Still, the plain craft of the stories is as ever with Kipling remarkable.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
To be read over and over 16 juin 2006
Par Sammy Madison - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
It seems to be fashionable, in this politically correct time, to find fault with Rudyard Kipling. But Kipling was a great writer with big ideas and a big heart. He wrote "Puck of Pook's Hill" and "Rewards and Fairies" to share his love of his mother country with young readers. These books are a great introduction to English history. I find it hard to imagine a reader not falling in love with the land and people of this great country after reading "Puck of Pook's Hill". The curious reader will seek out more information on what happened during their favorite characters' times, possibly leading to a lifelong love of history and the inclination to explore the world through reading.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fantasy precursor to 'The Hobbit' -- a found treasure! 24 août 2008
Par Patrick W. Crabtree - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché

In a word, that's my feeling about Puck of Pook's Hill (Dover Value Editions). I'll get into the actual story in just a moment but I first wanted to make some general observations about this terrific work of fantasy.

Kipling harbored a kid's imagination for fantasy stories and a sociology professor's knowledge of history, especially concerning 19th Century England and its colonies. Kipling lived from 1865-1936 and, of course, he generated a plethora of superb period literature including The Jungle Books (Oxford World's Classics), The Man Who Would Be King (Dodo Press), and Kim. The thread so common to the bulk of Kipling's work seems to be ADVENTURE, a theme in which he excelled beyond most other authors, either then or now.

In "Puck" he achieved a level of historical imperative and nostalgic fantasy that was only ever paralleled by Lewis Carroll and J.R.R. Tolkien. This book is (for reasons unknown to me) a real sleeper -- you don't hear much about it either in academia or in bookstores, which is a tremendous shame given its refreshing effervescence and rainy-day appeal. I feel compelled to say that it would be infinitely helpful in digesting "Puck" if you're already somewhat tutored in the history of England and, if you're accustomed to reading the vernacular of other works of Kipling's era. I luckily have the 1987 Penguin softcover edition of this book (Goodwill Store, 50 cents) which is heavily footnoted and which also includes a lengthy, informative introduction to the book written by Sarah Wintle. There even a nice little "Map of the Weald" (Kipling's Sussex) which provides added perspective.

The ten "stories" from this book first appeared in "The Strand" in 1906 which were then illustrated by Claude A. Shepperson. Additionally, some of these entries were published in "Ladies Home Journal" and in "McClure's Magazine". The lion's share of the book is prose but most stories either begin or end with a poem such as "The Runes on Weyland's Sword," a title which reveals much of the flavour of the overall work.

THE STORY: On Midsummer Eve in a secluded meadow just below "Pook's Hill," a boy and his sister (Dan and Una, respectively) acted out their children's version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," coincidentally, inside a fairy ring (of mushrooms). Such an act on the part of these two kids was surely bound to give rise to something very magical (although they never anticipated this possibility) and, in fact, it did. Shortly after their little theater, Puck appeared to them!

Puck is enigmatic, for human adults at least. While he's referred to at one point as a "faun," he seems to be part Leprechaun, part fairy, and part sorcerer. He purposefully engages in shrewd indirect speech which he knows will give rise to endless questions from Dan and Una, thus allowing him to spin his yarns and to bring forth historic figures of The Weald, one after another, over a period of days. He's also capable of conjuring a little spell which has the net effect of eliminating his actuality from the minds of the children after each day's storytelling.

Puck brings on a Roman Centurion (who guarded England), a Norman Knight, a Renaissance artisan, Saxons, Picts, Norsemen (Vikings), a Chinese slave-master and many others, each of whom imparts his respective piece of England's history. There's even a dark adventure tale about a maritime journey along the African coast in search of gold where, of course, devilish monsters were encountered and a horrific battle ensued. Dan and Una are shrewdly drawn into each of these sojourns by Puck as if they had themselves been there.

In summary, if you have so far missed this most excellent proto-Hobbitish legend of ancient England and beyond, my personal opinion is that you cannot order this book fast enough. I give it my highest recommendation, especially for fans of either Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Signet Classics) or The Lord of the Rings. 3 Vol. Set.
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