LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Let me take you back in time some 40-odd years. Iím a young teenager, and Iíve just read Tolkien, and C S Lewis, and Mervyn Peake. I want to read more stuff like that. But I canít. Thereís nothing out there. This may seem incredible to you young things, used to being able to wander into Forbidden Planet on a whim, and to dedicated science fiction/fantasy sections in every branch of Waterstones. But back in them there days, science fiction was pretty thin on the ground, and fantasy even harder to come by, with the result that I ended up scratching around for whatever I could find and reading all sorts of odd things. This is one of those things. My local library had a copy, and I took it out any number of times. Eleanor Farjeon is almost forgotten now (and, indeed, was then), other than as the writer of 'Morning Has Broken'; she wrote short, magical stories, in much the same vein as Joan Aiken and Jane Yolen Ė though Aikenís are spikier, and Yolenís more fantastic. Farjeonís are whimsical; maybe a little more mannered and twee than I realised as a child, set in a bucolic idyll of a historical England that never existed, but sweet for all that. The framing story is this: Martin Pippin is on his travels when he meets a young farmhand stricken by grief because the girl he loves is being kept from him, locked in her fatherís well house, surrounded by an apple orchard, and guarded by six man-hating milkmaids. (How anyone manages to go to the lavatory is a question never answered.) Martin undertakes to release her, and accordingly inveigles himself into the orchard and worms his way into the good graces of the girls by singing them songs and telling them stories. Only the youngest milkmaid, Joscelyn, is hard to overcome Ö Long out of print; this is a print on demand edition, and is riddled with flaws (the blurb on the back is for a different book; the songs are laid out with no line breaks), but it doesnít matter. Iím glad to have a copy.
Review: Martin Pippin in the Apple OrchardUser Review - Goodreads
"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 ...