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Puck of Pook's Hill
Puck of Pook's Hill
is a fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling,[1] published in 1906, containing a series of short stories set in different periods of English history. It can count both as historical fantasy – since some of the stories told of the past have clear magical elements, and as contemporary fantasy – since it depicts a magical being active and practising his magic in the England of the early 1900s when the book was written. The stories are all narrated to two children living near Burwash, in the area of Kipling's own house Bateman's, by people magically plucked out of history by the elf Puck, or told by Puck himself. (Puck, who refers to himself as "the oldest Old Thing in England", is better known as a character in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream.) The genres of particular stories range from authentic historical novella (A Centurion of the Thirtieth, On the Great Wall) to children's fantasy ( Dymchurch
Dymchurch
Flit). Each story is bracketed by a poem which relates in some manner to the theme or subject of the story. Donald Mackenzie, who wrote the introduction for the Oxford World's Classics edition[2] of Puck of Pook's Hill
Puck of Pook's Hill
in 1987, has described this book as an example of archaeological imagination that, in fragments, delivers a look at the history of England, climaxing with the signing of Magna Carta. Puck calmly concludes the series of stories: "Weland gave the Sword, The Sword gave the Treasure, and the Treasure gave the Law. It's as natural as an oak growing." The stories originally appeared in the Strand Magazine
Strand Magazine
in 1906 with illustrations by Claude Allen Shepperson, but the first book-form edition was illustrated by H. R. Millar. Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
provided four colour plates for the first US edition. Puck of Pook's Hill
Puck of Pook's Hill
was followed four years later by a second volume, Rewards and Fairies, featuring the same children in the following summer. T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot
included several of the poems in his 1941 collection A Choice of Kipling's Verse.

Contents

1 Stories and poems

1.1 Puck's Song 1.2 'Weland's Sword' 1.3 A Tree Song 1.4 'Young Men at the Manor' 1.5 Sir Richard's Song 1.6 Harp Song of the Dane Women 1.7 'The Knights of the Joyous Venture' 1.8 Thorkild's Song 1.9 'Old Men at Pevensey' 1.10 The Runes on Weland's Sword 1.11 A Centurion of the Thirtieth 1.12 'A Centurion of the Thirtieth' 1.13 A British-Roman Song 1.14 'On the Great Wall' 1.15 A Song to Mithras 1.16 'The Winged Hats' 1.17 A Pict Song 1.18 Hal o' the Draft 1.19 'Hal o' the Draft' 1.20 A Smuggler's Song 1.21 The Bee Boy's Song 1.22 ' Dymchurch
Dymchurch
Flit' 1.23 A Three Part Song 1.24 The Fifth River 1.25 'The Treasure and the Law' 1.26 The Children's Song

2 Original illustrations 3 References 4 External links

Stories and poems[edit] Puck's Song[edit] A poem which introduces themes from the following stories. 'Weland's Sword'[edit] A story of Burwash
Burwash
in the 11th century just before the Norman Conquest, told by Puck himself. A Tree Song[edit] A poem about English trees but emphasising the symbolic nature of Oak, Ash and Thorn. 'Young Men at the Manor'[edit] A story which continues the previous one just after the Norman Conquest. It is told by Sir Richard Dalyngridge, a Norman knight who took part in the Conquest and was awarded a Saxon manor. Sir Richard's Song[edit] The poem of Sir Richard Dalyngridge and how he became adapted to living in England despite his Norman origins. Harp Song of the Dane Women[edit] A lament by the Danish women for their menfolk who leave to go on a viking on the grey sea. 'The Knights of the Joyous Venture'[edit] Tells of a daring voyage to Africa made by Danes after capturing Sir Richard and his Saxon friend Hugh at sea. Thorkild's Song[edit] A song by a Danish seafarer hoping for wind. 'Old Men at Pevensey'[edit] A continuation of the previous stories with a tale of intrigue set in Pevensey
Pevensey
at the beginning of the reign of Henry I, 1100 AD. The Runes on Weland's Sword[edit] A poem which summarises the stories in the book to this point. A Centurion of the Thirtieth[edit] A poem which comments on how cities, thrones and powers are as transitory as flowers which bloom for a week. 'A Centurion of the Thirtieth'[edit] A story which introduces a new narrator, a Roman soldier named Parnesius, born and stationed in Britain in the 4th century. He tells how his military career started well because the general Magnus Maximus knew his father. A British-Roman Song[edit] The song of a Roman Briton serving Rome although he and his forebears have never seen the city. 'On the Great Wall'[edit] A story of the defence of Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
against the native Picts
Picts
and Scandinavian raiders. A Song to Mithras[edit] A hymn to the god Mithras. 'The Winged Hats'[edit] A return to Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
and the fate of Magnus Maximus. A Pict Song[edit] The song of the Picts
Picts
explaining how although they have always been defeated by the Romans, they will win in the end. Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg
included a musical setting of the poem on his 1996 album William Bloke. Hal o' the Draft[edit] A poem about how prophets are never acknowledged or celebrated in their native village. 'Hal o' the Draft'[edit] A tale of deception involving the explorer Sebastian Cabot and the privateer Andrew Barton, probably set near the end of the 15th century and told by Sir Harry 'Hal' Dawe. A Smuggler's Song[edit] Sung by a smuggler advising people to look the other way when the contraband is run through the town. The Bee Boy's Song[edit] A poem which explains how honey bees must be told all the news or else they will cease to produce honey. ' Dymchurch
Dymchurch
Flit'[edit] A fairy tale told by Puck (in disguise) and set around the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries
Dissolution of the Monasteries
(about 1540 AD). A Three Part Song[edit] A poem which tells of the three main landscapes of Sussex, the Weald, Romney Marsh
Romney Marsh
and the South Downs. The Fifth River[edit] How God assigned the four great rivers of the Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
to men, but Israel was later assigned the secret fifth great river, the River of Gold. 'The Treasure and the Law'[edit] A story told by a Jewish moneylender named Kadmiel, of money and intrigue leading up to the signing of Magna Carta
Magna Carta
in 1215. Here we learn the eventual fate of most of the African gold brought back to Pevensey
Pevensey
by Sir Richard Dalyngridge. The Children's Song[edit] A patriotic prayer to God to teach the children how to live correctly so that their land will prosper. Original illustrations[edit]

Frontispiece: They saw a small, brown ... pointy-eared person ... step quietly into the Ring

Weland's Sword: Then he made a sword

Young Men at the Manor: 'At this she cried that I was a Norman thief'

Young Men at the Manor: Said he, 'I have it all from the child here'

Young Men at the Manor: 'Sir Richard, will it please you enter your Great Hall?'

The Knights of the Joyous Venture: 'And we two tumbled aboard the Dane'

The Knights of the Joyous Venture: Thorkild had given back before his Devil, till the bowmen on the ship could shoot it all full of arrows

The Knights of the Joyous Venture: 'So we called no more'

Old Men at Pevensey: 'A' God's Name write her free, before she deafens me!'

Old Men at Pevensey: He drew his dagger on Jehan, who threw him down the stairway

A Centurion of the Thirtieth: 'You put the bullet into that loop'

On the Great Wall: 'And that is the Wall!'

The Winged Hats: 'Hail, Caesar!'

The Winged Hats: 'We dealt with them thoroughly through a long day'

The Winged Hats: 'The Wall must be won at a price'

The Winged Hats: Where they had suffered most, there they charged in most hotly

Hal o' the Draft: 'I reckon you'll find her middlin' heavy,' he says

' Dymchurch
Dymchurch
Flit': 'I know what sort o' man you be,' old Hobden grunted, groping for the potatoes

The Treasure and the Law: Doors shut, candles lit

The Treasure and the Law: 'They drove me across the drawbridge'

References[edit]

^ Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
biography ^ Puck of Pook's Hill
Puck of Pook's Hill
– Introduction, Kipling.org

External links[edit]

Puck of Pook's Hill
Puck of Pook's Hill
at Project Gutenberg Puck of Pook's Hill
Puck of Pook's Hill
public domain audiobook at LibriVox Readers' Guide to the Works of Rudyard Kipling

v t e

Rudyard Kipling

Novels

The Light that Failed
The Light that Failed
(1891) Captains Courageous
Captains Courageous
(1896) Kim (1901)

Collections

Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) Soldiers Three
Soldiers Three
(1888) The Story of the Gadsbys
The Story of the Gadsbys
(1888) In Black and White (1888) The Phantom 'Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales
The Phantom 'Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales
(1888) Under the Deodars
Under the Deodars
(1888) Wee Willie Winkie and Other Child Stories
Wee Willie Winkie and Other Child Stories
(1888) From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches, Letters of Travel (1889) Barrack-Room Ballads
Barrack-Room Ballads
(1892, poetry) Many Inventions (1893) The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book
(1894)

"Mowgli's Brothers" "Kaa's Hunting" "Tiger! Tiger!" "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"

The Second Jungle Book
The Second Jungle Book
(1895)

"Letting in the Jungle" "Red Dog"

All the Mowgli Stories (c. 1895) The Seven Seas (1896, poetry) The Day's Work (1898) Stalky & Co. (1899) Just So Stories
Just So Stories
(1902) The Five Nations
The Five Nations
(1903, poetry) Puck of Pook's Hill
Puck of Pook's Hill
(1906) Rewards and Fairies
Rewards and Fairies
(1910) The Fringes of the Fleet
The Fringes of the Fleet
(1915, non-fiction) Debits and Credits (1926) Limits and Renewals (1932) Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition (1940) A Choice of Kipling's Verse
A Choice of Kipling's Verse
(by T. S. Eliot, 1941)

Poems

"The Absent-Minded Beggar" "The Ballad of the "Clampherdown"" "The Ballad of East and West" "The Beginnings" "The Bell Buoy" "The Betrothed" "Big Steamers" "Boots" "Cold Iron" "Dane-geld" "Danny Deever" "A Death-Bed" "The Female of the Species" "Fuzzy-Wuzzy" "Gentleman ranker" "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" "Gunga Din" "Hymn Before Action" "If—" "In the Neolithic Age" "The King's Pilgrimage" "The Last of the Light Brigade" "The Lowestoft Boat" "Mandalay" "The Mary Gloster" "McAndrew's Hymn" "My Boy Jack" "Recessional" "A Song in Storm" "The Sons of Martha" "Submarines" "The Sweepers" "Tommy" "Ubique" "The White Man's Burden" "The Widow at Windsor"

Short stories

".007" "The Arrest of Lieutenant Golightly" "Baa Baa, Black Sheep" "Bread upon the Waters" "The Broken Link Handicap" "The Butterfly that Stamped" "Consequences" "The Conversion of Aurelian McGoggin" "Cupid's Arrows" "The Devil and the Deep Sea" "The Drums of the Fore and Aft" "Fairy-Kist" "False Dawn" "A Germ-Destroyer" "His Chance in Life" "His Wedded Wife" "In the House of Suddhoo" "Kidnapped" "Learoyd, Mulvaney and Ortheris" "Lispeth" "The Man Who Would Be King" "A Matter of Fact" "Miss Youghal's Sais" "The Mother Hive" "Ortheris" "The Other Man" "The Rescue of Pluffles" "The Ship that Found Herself" "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo" "The Taking of Lungtungpen" "Three and – an Extra" "The Three Musketeers" "Thrown Away" "Toomai of the Elephants" "Watches of the Night" "Wireless" "Yoked with an Unbeliever"

Related

Bibliography Bateman's
Bateman's
(house) Indian Railway Library Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer

Iron Ring

Law of the jungle Aerial Board of Control My Boy Jack (1997 play) Rudyard Kipling: A Remembrance Tale (2006 documentary) My Boy Jack (2007 film)

Family

Elsie Bambridge (daughter) John Kipling
John Kipling
(son) John Lockwood Kipling
John Lockwood Kipling
(father) MacDonald sisters
MacDonald sisters
(mother's family) Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
(cousin) Georgiana Burne-Jones
Georgiana Burne-Jones
(aunt) Edward Burne-Jones
Edward Burne-Jones
(uncle) Philip Burne-Jones
Philip Burne-Jones
(cousin) Edward Poynter
Edward Poynter
(uncle) Alfred Bal

.