First published in 1842, Robert Browning's poetic version of the legend about the lost children of Hamelin is sub-titled 'A Child's Story' and was originally intended only for the private enjoyment of Willie Macready, young son of the famous actor. Once in print, it became a perennial favourite with generations of children (and compilers of poetry ...
First published in 1842, Robert Browning's poetic version of the legend about the lost children of Hamelin is sub-titled 'A Child's Story' and was originally intended only for the private enjoyment of Willie Macready, young son of the famous actor. Once in print, it became a perennial favourite with generations of children (and compilers of poetry anthologies for children!) Kate Greenaway's illustrations, engraved by her regular printer Edmund Evans, were first published in 1888 and have become as popular as the poem itself, being considered by John Ruskin to be her finest work.
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Publishers Weekly, 1986-05-23 Browning's poem, a classic, is based on a legend from medieval times. It tells of a brightly-clad stranger who offers to rid the town of Hamelin of rats, for an agreed-upon sum of money. When he plays a haunting tune on his pipe, the rats follow him to their deaths in the river, but the mayor won't pay the piper. In revenge, the piper lures the children out of town into a cave, forever separated from their parents, though in a Utopian land of beauty. The poem's language is rich and lyrical, although spots are difficult for children to grasp, which is why many of the versions for children are adaptations. Here is a new, unabridged edition, dramatically illustrated in glowing colors (sometimes verging on gaudy). It's full of motion and expression, capturing the spirit of the poem and the details of the medieval town, as well as the Eden-like land where the children are taken. (59)
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