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The Magic Maker: A Portrait of John Langstaff and His Revels
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The Magic Maker: A Portrait of John Langstaff and His Revels

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3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  15 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
From mischievous child prodigy to the dynamic Lord of the Dance, an engaging look at the life of Revels founder John Langstaff.

On Christmas Eve in 1920, John Meredith Langstaff was born into a music-filled home where a rousing, wassailing carol party was the peak of his family's year. Half a century later, his inspired Christmas Revels was born, a theatrical weaving of tra
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Candlewick Press
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Polly
Jan 05, 2012 Polly rated it really liked it
I see this is being marketed and cataloged as a children's book in some stores and libraries (including my employer-until-five-days-ago, DCPL), and I have to say it most definitely isn't one. Neither interesting to or intended for, in fact. Perhaps a twelve-year-old passionate about the Revels would find it interesting, but I'd be surprised to hear that anyone much younger would.

It's a fine book about a fascinating man by an excellent writer, and my mother and I both enjoyed it very much, but w
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Phoebe
Dec 03, 2011 Phoebe rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lisa for Toby
A delicious and fascinating portrait of the amazing John Langstaff, whose entire life revolved around music, and later, drama, and whose charisma and energy encouraged greatness from everyone who came into contact with him. I only knew him as a children's author and had heard some of his recordings, but his real life's work and passion were the Christmas musical plays known as the Revels, which, from the descriptions, were an experience not to be missed. A biography of narrow appeal, to be sure, ...more
Nathaniel Smith
Jan 04, 2012 Nathaniel Smith rated it it was amazing
While I am certainly biased in favor of anything about the history of Revels, of which I have been a part my entire life, I found this a thought-provoking and inspring portrait of a truly inspired man. Susan Cooper's prose is simple, deft, and beautiful - as always - and she expertly navigates the line between formal biography and reflection on her and Jack's friendship. I learned much about the creator of Revels that I didn't formally know, but more importantly this book inspired me to live my ...more
Maureen E
This is an absolute treasure for anyone who wants to bring the magic of fellowship and music into their lives. Cooper is trying to give a portrait, not just of Langstaff, but of his passions and the organizations he founded. Marvelous stuff.
Betsy
Jan 03, 2016 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Wonderful portrait of an amazing man. Susan Cooper was the perfect person to write this book, which is partly a biography and partly an account of the evolution of the Revels. I think there really was something magical about John Langstaff, and I am deeply grateful to him for his boundless enthusiasm for sharing his vision with the world. Long live the Revels!
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7308
Susan Cooper's latest book is the YA novel "Ghost Hawk" (2013)

Susan Cooper was born in 1935, and grew up in England's Buckinghamshire, an area that was green countryside then but has since become part of Greater London. As a child, she loved to read, as did her younger brother, who also became a writer. After attending Oxford, where she became the first woman to ever edit that university's newspap
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