On Midsummer’s Eve, Dan and Una enact A Midsummer Night’s Dream three times over - right under Pook’s Hill. That is how they meet Puck, “the oldest Old Thing in England” and the last of the People of the Hills. Through Puck, they are introduced to the nearly forgotten pages of old England’s history and to characters that can illuminate their own historical predicaments.
The god Weland is freed from an unwanted heathen immortality by a novice monk, Hugh, who goes on to become a warrior and leader. The centurion, Parnesius, shows an insight that is absent from the higher echelons of the declining Roman Empire in cooperating with the Picts.
Originally published in 1906, these 10 stories and accompanying poems were intended for both adults and children.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born of English parents in Bombay, India. At 17, he began work as a journalist and then established an international reputation with his stories and verses of Indian and army life. In 1907 he became the first English writer to receive the Nobel Prize.