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Puck of Pook's Hill (Puck #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,079 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
A pair of children happen across an ancient shrine, where they conjure up an impish sprite named Puck, who treats them to a series of tales about Old England. Rudyard Kipling, the storyteller behind Puck's fables, lived in the East Sussex region of Pook's Hill. To amuse his children, Kipling created these quasi-historical stories about the people who lived in their neighbo ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 27th 2006 by Dover Publications (first published 1906)
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Nandakishore Varma
I read this because it was available free on Kindle (now I am on a "Kindle"-ing spree).

This book carries with it a childhood memory for me. I used to buy comics from the Higginbothams' bookstall in the railway station (they still have stalls all over railway stations in South India, but carry mostly magazines) - Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Bugs Bunny... freely available in those days and costing the lordly sum of one rupee. My father on this occasion, however, decided t
J.G. Keely
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
The more familiar I become with Kipling's many short, fantastical works, the clearer it becomes that almost every fantasy author of the past century owes him a great debt. I have pointed out before that he has written works which lay out whole subgenres--blueprints which later authors like C.S. Lewis, H.P Lovecraft, Neal Gaiman, and Susanna Clarke have expanded upon.

And in this collection, we can see yet another branch of influence. In several stories spanning centuries of English history, Kipli
John Frankham
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A magical tale which starts when the two children, Dan and Una, are rehearsing scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream in a field near their house on the South Downs. They enjoy it so much they rehearse three times in a circular clearing. This conjures up the last of the old hill people, Puck, who, through a series of narrated tableaux over several months, shows them the spirit of England, from Roman, Saxon, and Norman times, through Magna Carta to the Middle Ages.

The first chapter in simple marv
Monica Davis
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, classics
A pair of children happen across an ancient shrine, where they conjure up an impish sprite named Puck, who treats them to a series of tales about Old England.

Expect the unexpected with Puck (from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream") as your guide. Characters from various periods of history make appearances, and tell their wondrous tales. Be wary not to be magicked by Puck's "Oak, and Ash, and Thorn", lest you forget the story.
Oliviu Craznic
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A classic. Interconnected short stories of England history, told by a Faun, a medieval knight, a Roman centurion, a painter dealing with cannons and pirates...
However, most of the stories are pure historical adventure, no supernatural involved whatsoever, or including false supernatural events („the Evil spirit in the bottle” showing the direction is but a Chinese compass, „the hairy devils of the Jungle” are mere gorillas etc.).
NB The story of the outlaws guarding the Wall against savage attack
Courtney Johnston
Feb 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, own, history, poetry
Puck of Pook’s Hill and Rewards and Fairies are two collections of children’s stories, based on English folktale and history. As stories, none are nearly as funny or moving as anything from the Jungle Book or the Just So Stories, but on re-reading them I was really struck by how the collections are structured.

There is the basic structure - two collections of about a dozen stories each, in which each story is bookended by two connecting poems. But then there’s a series of layers across the storie
James Lyon
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you like Harry Potter, this book is for you!

The British have a wonderful tradition of excellent adult authors writing fantasy children’s books that are also fun reads for adults. J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter”, C.S. Lewis’ "Alice in Wonderland" and "Chronicles of Narnia", and J. M. Barrie’s "Peter Pan" all spring to mind. Even J.R.R. Tolkien’s "Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" were YA accessible and appropriate. But who would have thought Rudyard Kipling falls into this category?

The book Puck o
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Nostalgia seekers
Such a delight. I can't wait 'til my niece is old enough for this. I've revisited a number of childhood reads in recent weeks, and this is the one that has worn best. I imagine that says something about my penchant for whimsy and nostalgia. There's nothing sophisticated about Kipling's take on what made Britain great, but for some reason I can overlook all his failings as he uses fairy tales as illustration for a history lesson. I can even tolerate the AntiSemitism. Go figure.
Chris Purser
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was first published in 1906, and a modern child, 10+ years, could still enjoy it, if they are a good reader, and are into historical adventure told in an old-fashioned and very masculine style, with a touch of fantasy softening the edges.

Two Edwardian children, Dan and Una, live out in the country in a place called Pevensey, and receive lessons in the morning from a governess. In the afternoon, they can run loose in the countryside. They accidentally summon up the fairy Puck one midsummer e
Sep 02, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rudyard Kipling has left a plethora of fantastic writing behind him, ranging from his moralistic Just-So Stories and his beautiful and far-reaching collection of poems, to his delightful work for children. Each story in Puck of Pook’s Hill – which was first published in 1906, and is possibly the most charming novel which Kipling turned his hand to writing – ‘mixes war and politics with adventure and intrigue’.

The foreword to Hesperus Minor’s beautiful new reprint of Kipling’s classic children’s
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Written by Rudyard Kipling to amuse his children, this book is a wonderfully entertaining little gem. A brother and sister stumble across Puck, the woodland sprite of English mythology also known as Robin Goodfellow. (Those up on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer's Night Dream" will recognize Puck as the jester to the King of the Fairies, Oberon). Puck teaches them about Old England from the time of William the Conqueror, to the Roman's guarding Hadrian's Wall against the PIcts, and even into the court ...more
Mary Findley
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is a children's story intending to teach some English history in an entertaining fashion, and it does a really good job of that. Certainly his child audience was a lot better educated than our sis today for the most part. The language and imagery is rich, even when he's not writing actual poetry. I found his religious perspective very disturbing, however, as I always do with Kipling. He is a humanist, but he also claims that Protestantism was an evil bringer of destruction and hatred to Eng ...more
I have enjoyed this book since I was a teenager and read it again every once in a while. The empire support is phrased in such away that you can easily accept it, but there is a strong racist element underneath. If I were reading it with children I would be very careful and annotate it orally.
This time I have been reading a book about Roman remains in Britain so I wanted to read the chapters about Parnesius, a Roman British centurion in the Thirtieth Legion serving on Hadrian's Wall. Kipling's
Nov 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: sff
The one where two children meet Puck, the last fairy remaining in England, and he introduces them to dead Saxons, Normans, Romans, and stories that tell of British history.

Alas for period prejudices. The story starts with the tale of Weland Smith and the sword he made, and then introduces you to charming people from various historical periods, with mostly-lovely poetry between the sections -- and just about the time you're going, "Oh, ooh, all this is going to add up to the Magna Carta," in walk
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another freebie read on my phone in stolen moments. A sweet romp, though the cadences were took a bit of getting used to with my modern ears. The story is a fanciful way of outlining the early history of England, with the mythical Puck introducing two children to characters out of their local history. As an American kid I never would have picked up on that, but as an adult Anglophile I was able to enjoy it immensely. Well worth your time.
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved reading this book. It gives so much depth to the understanding of the history of both East Sussex and Britain as a whole. It also gives one an understanding of the expanse of knowledge which Kipling had in his education. Looking up characters of legend such as 'Weland' was interesting.
Feb 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, classics, paranormal
Two early 20th century children, living in Pevensey, England, have a chance encounter with the legendary Puck, who undertakes to bring them a series of first hand accounts of the history of their region. Fun combination of fact and fancy.
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful. I only wish it were longer...
Catherine Hill
Sep 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
This is charming English history for kids and people who have been taught history is boring.
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently listened to the Librivox audio of Puck of Pook's Hill, which reminded me again how much I love Rudyard Kipling.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Puck of Pook's Hill (1906) is Rudyard Kipling's paean to England and history and youth, as Puck, "the oldest Old Thing in England," introduces to two children, siblings Dan and Una, various figures and events from throughout three thousand or so years of British history.

The first of the ten tales in the book features Puck's account of the advent, worship, and end of pagan Gods in Britain, focusing on one in particular, Weland, Smith of the Nordic Gods. In the second through fourth stories, the
serina khristi
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
It is very interesting and ghost type story
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cuatro o cinco historias que duendes y espectros le cuentan a dos chicos simpáticos y bien educados. Son historias míticas de Inglaterra vueltas a contar por sus protagonistas.
A favor: el oficio de Kipling para contar cuentos, con héroes haciendo lo que corresponde.
En contra: no tendrían tanta gracia para quien ignore plenamente estas historias.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Enchanted by the theatre, Dan and Una decide to recreate their own version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Finding the perfect spot, an old fairy ring, they set about their play, and are so enchanted that they perform it three times in a row. After a final bow, they sit down in the centre of the fairy ring - whereupon, the bushes part and Puck enters, stage left. Using his fairy magic, Puck then conjures up the past to entertain the two amazed children - a Roman centurion, a Renaissance artisan an

Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, kids-ya, classics
I've read a lot of Kipling's work lately, and the depth, complexity, and artistry of his writing has left me amazed and grateful that I made the decision to pick up so many of his stories.

Puck of Pook's Hill falls is one of those stories. Essentially Puck of myth and legend visits two children, siblings, and gifts them with tales of Britain's history from the days of the Roman Empire to medieval times to the 1400s using the ghosts of individuals who might be historical (I'm not British history
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As one might expect from Rudyard Kipling, the language in this book is clean and energetic. The basic story is surprisingly complex, though it seems simple on the surface. One midsummer's day, two children reenacting a scene from Shakespeare conjure up a being from the deep past - Puck, or Robin Goodfellow himself. Over the coming months, Puck shows Dan and Una scenes from the history of their house, beginning with the forging of a sword by the mythical Wayland Smith, and ending with the loss of ...more
Dec 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Puck is a fairy, but this is only nominally a fairy story. He exists in the story only as a framing device, summoning warriors from across Britain's noble history to tell exciting tales of valor and deceit to a pair of dumbshit aristocratic children. It's a concept so similar to the premise of Holdstock's Mythago Wood that I at least wouldn't be surprised to learn he was inspired by it. But unlike Holdstock's culture heroes, Kipling's figures come from some mellowing afterlife campfire. They all ...more
Griselda Heppel
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a charming runthrough of English history, sparked by the conceit of two children, Dan and Una, managing (by mistake) to conjure Puck up one midsummer night's eve. The playful fairy proceeds to entertain them by bringing to life a range of characters: Weland the legendary smith to the gods; Sir Richard Dalyngridge, a Norman knight from William the Conqueror's army; Parnesius, a centurion guarding Hadrian's Wall; and several more. The children are enthralled by this magical way of learning ...more
When three children perform Midsummer Night's Dream three times, they accidentally open up the fairy mound behind them, but the only fairy left is Puck, the first fairy ever to come to England. He introduces them to several people from history, who relate their tales. There's Wayland, who came as a god and left as a blacksmith. There's Sir Richard, a Norman who conquered a Saxon estate with kindness and hard work, then he and a friend were captured by Vikings and taken on an amazing adventure to ...more
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Joseph Rudyard Kipling was a journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist.

Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888). His poems include Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), The Gods of the Copybook Headings (1919), The White Man's Burden (1899), and If— (1910). He is regarded as a major innovator in
More about Rudyard Kipling...

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“It isn't what you say so much.
It's what you mean when you say it.”
“Cites and Thrones and Powers
Stand in Time's eye
Which daily die;
But, as new buds put forth
To glad new men,
Out of the spend and unconsidered Earth,
The cities will rise again”
More quotes…