Thursday, July 17, 2008

Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling

“The children were at the Theatre, acting to Three Cows as much as they could remember of Midsummer Night's Dream.”

So begins a time of magic for Dan and Una. It was Midsummer’s Eve and the children have performed the play three times, unwittingly, inside a fairy ring near their home in Sussex. The summoning calls up the mischievous Puck, the last of the People of the Hill left in merry old England. Puck gives them the gift “to see what they shall see and hear what they shall hear, though it should have happened three thousand year;” through which they witness a host of characters who tell, through their stories, the making of England.

Kipling’s adventurous tales and accompanying poems, including the well-known “If-” and “A Smuggler’s Song”, blend familiar accounts of history with fresh and unique insight for the enjoyment of adult and child a like.