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Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Children's book from the English journalist, broadcaster and author of stories and poems.
Paperback, 328 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Dodo Press (first published 1921)
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Martin Pippin wasn't easy to get in to, and it certainly wasn't a fast read. But I found myself more and more captivated as I went on. It's not so much a romance as a story about the nature of love, and not so much a fantasy as a fairy tale about the natures of men and women.

It begins with the description of a child's game--of the Emperoror's daughter in a tower, the damsels who guarded her, and the minstrel who loved her and set her free. But, the author relates, the children have it wrong. An
Sep 15, 2008 Kay rated it it was amazing
This is a book I remember from childhood but read again every couple of years for sheer pleasure. Set in a Sussex countryside that has all but disappeared, it tells of Martin, who must win the loyalty of six milkmaids who guard their love-sick mistress. He tells stories that win the milkmaids to his side, so that he can then woo the girl they've been hiding from him. Farjeon's language is lyrical and witty, and the stories are six little gems of the fairytale genre. For a child who loves reading ...more
K.V. Johansen
Mar 02, 2012 K.V. Johansen rated it it was amazing
I don't know how many times I signed this book out of the library when I was a kid. I loved both layers of it, the framing narrative, written as a playscript, and the tales within told by Martin Pippin. Farjeon was a master of the literary fairy tale, and some of the ones told by Martin to the milkmaids have really stayed with me, particularly "The King's Barn" and "Young Gerard". Martin is the Pippin that my late dog Pippin, who inspired the Pippin and Mabel books, was named after.
Jul 25, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
A wandering minstrel tells six fairy tales about love to the milk-maids set to keep a farmer's daughter from running away with her lover. Songs, games, apples, aphorisms, lovely prose and many pleasing twists and turns.
Sep 18, 2016 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Read it for Martins' stories. Just read them and you will believe in true love.
Chris Trickett
Jan 23, 2013 Chris Trickett rated it it was amazing
I acquired this book randomly for Kindle it being a free download, and in truth wasn't expecting much from it. The name itself is hardly that which may endear it to many, not least those of my usual tastes. But then I read it, quite forgetting anything about my own actual life in the process. I lost myself like never before in this amazing story which may not have deep social significance nor the power to change the world, but who cares? It is absolutely the BEST book I've ever read, a magical t ...more
Feb 14, 2009 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely story, written by poet, librettist and author Eleanor Farjeon. I've read and loved some of her other work, but this is acknowledged as one of her best. It is also very hard to get hold of.
It is the story of Martin Pippin, a wandering minstrel who comes across a young man, Robin Rue, crying for the loss of his sweetheart Gillian. She has been locked up in the wellhouse in the apple orchard by her father, guarded by "six young milkmaids, sworn virgins and man-haters all", Joscelyn
"a depth which is adult in sentiment, and indeed they were written not for a child, but for a young soldier Victor Haslam, who had like Farjeon, been a close friend of Edward Thomas" (A war poet killed in 1917 France). Quotation from Wikipedia entry for Eleanor Farjeon, which includes link to free online edition of the book.

I seem to recall reading somewhere (perhaps on jacket flap of old edition or book dedication?) that Farjeon had sent installments of the book in letters to her soldier friend
I want to sit at Eleanor Farjeon feet and learn the art of fairy tale. She's a queen of the craft, and every bit of story (and story inside story) in Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard is an artfully cut gem.

You will like Martin Pippin. There's no help for it. He's the sort who must be liked. (One would rather need to be as a wandering minstrel.) If you read this for his sake you'll be glad you did, as wandering minstrels are scarce these days and one should take them in as they come.

You can rea
Joy Everafter
Apr 01, 2014 Joy Everafter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-fantasy
This book was published in 1921 and has that "cute" style of presenting tales to children with a confiding aura.

Get past the first few pages and you are in a tale inside a tale: Martin Pippin tries to help six milkmaids by telling them a story each evening. The stories are passionate original love tales with each milkmaid as the heroine of her story, definitely not for tweens.

After the stories are over, Martin has a tale of his own to complete.

Beautiful images created by someone who loved Englan
Jan 22, 2016 Patricia rated it it was amazing
When I first saw this title as a Kindle ebook, I thought it must be a history of a variety of apple, and that Martin Pippin was some sort of grafter in an orchard.
However, this is an old-fashioned, delightful fairy tale book for children, and Martin Pippin goes to rescue an imprisoned maid, surrounded by young lady guards, to whom he tells stories.
Reviewers suggest giving this a second read, and I agree that it is better the second time. I also agree that I would have loved to hear the author r
At first I was just giving it a chance - the story was okay if a little hokey. I kept listening, though, and by the time Martin was telling the six milkmaids his second story I was strangely hooked. This is one of those stories inside a story - tricky to pull off - but Farjeon's writing has a mesmeric quality that I found myself wishing to prolong. I could stay in that orchard a good while, I think. The story about the Mill was a flop, but I loved the others. I've read a few books, but "Martin P ...more
Hall's Bookshop
Oct 03, 2015 Hall's Bookshop rated it it was ok
Shelves: lucas
I wanted to be fascinated by this; set on the Sussex Downs, not a million miles away from where I grew up, it's a nostalgic story of music and laughter, written in a style that is a sort of cross between A.E. Housman and Enid Blyton, with a ton of folklore thrown in. However, I actually found it very hard to read, even being generous with its intentions. A forgotten children's book that is, perhaps now only of interest to scholars - certainly not for children.
Nov 24, 2011 Lucy rated it liked it
I couldn't make up my mind between magical and twee. I found the format in the end a bit too predictable although then again the repetition is what makes a good fairy tale. The stories within the book are excellent - on balance I think I would have preferred them as stand-alones. Glad I read it, though, and will read next her 'Perkin the Pedlar' which has been recommended to me.
Mar 24, 2009 Kay rated it it was amazing
I was given this as a gift by my aunt when i was a child and loved it! The format of short stories strung together with short interludes enthralled me, each one written so beautifully and perfectly. Highly recommendable for anyone who still longs for a bit of childhood back.
Margot Ayer
Nov 11, 2011 Margot Ayer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I love this book more every time I read it and it has influenced much of my writing. Even though it is a collection of fairy tales wrapped in the romantic tale of a charming rural troubador, the stories have a hint of darkness and danger to them.

Aug 30, 2007 Mike rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
An amazing book - original tales within tales. So splendidly written, heart-wrenchingly beautiful, and very tantalizing despite its chaste innocence. Guaranteed to make an imaginative young girl (or boy) swoon.
Nataly Ron
Jul 30, 2016 Nataly Ron rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, a pleasure to read. Seemingly simple fairy-tales framed by another tale, all about nature of love, categorized as a children literature but with rather adult insights. Will definitely re-read it.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Aug 22, 2010 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of fairy tales
I seriously considered putting this on my fantasy shelf, but it isn't really fantasy. Definitely more like a fairy tale. Though it loses some intensity toward the end, there are a lot of undercurrents and nuances that I think a younger reader might miss. Definitely worth a re-read, later on.
Nov 28, 2008 louisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
Few things are better than hidden children's classic. Let alone ones with this much joy, play, love, and depth.
Sep 27, 2008 Barbara rated it really liked it
A long, long, time ago....
Feb 10, 2009 Megan added it
Shelves: children-s
Absolutely delightful - series of short stories strung together with interludes in the apple orchard.
May 28, 2008 Genevieve rated it it was amazing
I am so glad to see that this book is back in print. Eleanor Farjeon is a genius at writing original fairy tales.
Feb 20, 2011 Miranda rated it it was amazing
read as a child and can still relate as an adult. one of those things that gives you a warm homely feeling
Sep 08, 2015 Robynn is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am re-reading a beloved book of my youth. I am glad it is holding up well for me and that I am again finding Farjeon is a wonderful storyteller.
Jul 20, 2009 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those books that I can't wait to read to my children one day...
Charles rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2008
ECL rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2012
Francesca rated it it was amazing
Mar 27, 2014
Christy rated it it was amazing
Feb 03, 2012
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Daughter of Benjamin Leopold Farjeon, sister of Herbert Farjeon.

Eleanor Farjeon was an English author of children's stories and plays, poetry, biography, history and satire. Many of her works had charming illustrations by Edward Ardizzone. Some of her correspondence has also been published. She won many literary awards and the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award for children's literature is presente
More about Eleanor Farjeon...

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