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Leon Garfield was born in Brighton in 1921. His brief art studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II, when he joined the army. After the war he worked as a hospital laboratory technician until in the 1960s his literary success enabled him to devote himself completely to writing. He lived with his wife, the children's writer, Vivien Alcock, in Highgate, North London, which has featured in many of his novels.
He is the author of a large number of highly acclaimed novels, some of which have been serialised for television, including Devil-in-the-Fog, and Jack Holborn. Black Jack was made into a full-length feature film, and was joint winner of the International Jury Award at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival. The famous film director, John Huston, made his last screen appearance in 1987 in the film of Mr Corbett's Ghost.
He was working on a four-hour dramatisation of The Odyssey for BBC Radio when he died on 2nd June 1996.
Smith, though only 12, is an accomplished pickpocket, saved from the gallows by his own stealth and speed. One dark evening he witnesses a murder, a stabbing, and finds a document belonging to the dead man, which he feels must be valuable. The only problem is, Smith can't read.
Smith is a sort of artful dodger character of his time. Set in 18th century London, this is the story of a 12 year old and how, having pickpocketed an elderly man only to see him immediately murdered realises he must put right his wrong and find out who murdered him without being implicated himself. Evocative of time and place with a compelling and often humourous storyline and an array of interesting characters this is a story you'll be drawn into and you won't want to let go. _____________ Puffin Fact! Smith vividly portrays life in London during the eighteenth century, when there was great pickpocketing was rife and the penal system was cruel and inhumane. Download more Puffin Facts here! _____________ Dear readers, dreamers and adventurers, Ever wanted a friend who could take you to magical realms, talk to animals or help you survive a shipwreck? Well, you'll find them all in the PUFFIN BOOK collection. A PUFFIN BOOK will stay with you forever. Maybe you'll read it again and again, or perhaps years from now you'll suddenly remember the moment it made you laugh or cry or simply see things differently. Adventurers big and small, rebels out to change their world, even a mouse with a dream and a spider who can spell - these are the characters who make stories that last a lifetime. Whether you love animal tales, war stories or want to know what it was like growing up in a different time and place, the A PUFFIN BOOK collection has a story for you - you just need to decide where you want to go next... We want to know which is your favourite. Tell us or tweet a photo of your old beloved copy - and we might just send you a new A PUFFIN BOOK so you can pass the story on. Love - PUFFIN @puffinbooks #shareapuffinbook
An action-packed story of pirates, ghosts, treasure and mutiny – young Jack Holborn finds himself swept up in dizzying dangers after he stows away aboard the Charming Molly. It’s an adventure that sweeps across the high seas and back into eighteenth century London. Leon Garfield’s brilliant evocations of the past make his stories last from one generation to the next. Just click here to view our range of Children’s Classics.
Two boys, Lewis and Richard, travel to paris in 1789 for very different reasons, and find their ideals challenged in the events of the French Revolution and the September massacre.
'When you take out the heart of gold, you must put something back in its place. Otherwise our princess would die.' Giorgio, a poor student, sets out on a journey to win the heart of Princess Charlotte of Oberweselberg. On the way an old woman promises he shall have the princess - but for a price. Giorgio must bring her the princess's golden heart. Can he do the wicked deed which will possess for him the fortune he desires?
In a cave on the wild side of St James' Park live two ragged children; young Nick and his nine-year-old sister Jubilee. Once they had a father, but now they are alone - and Nick knows it is his responsibility to find Jubilee a husband. But who would want to marry a girl who can neither cook nor sew, read nor write?
'As far as the eye can see, scarlet men are marching . . . A rich and splendid company, but none more so than the drummer boy.' But a moment later, the sound of Charlie Samson's drum was swallowed in a wild thunder. The glorious scarlet troops had been ambushed. Men were dead and dying all around, and all the beauty was gone. All that was left was himself and his drum, and a few shady nightwalkers - cowards who came crawling from the ditches and knaves who scoured the dead for wealth . . .
'Him what's born on the chime . . . he's the one what'll have communications with the devil.' At the age of fourteen, 'chime-child' Peter Gannet is apprenticed to a locksmith in Covent Garden. But his desperate longing to escape from the insufferable adults around him and go to sea leads him into some dubious undertakings. Before long, the old ship's carpenter's dire prophecy comes true, for in the locksmith's workroom he meets a phantom with an empty sleeve. Tense and atmospheric, this is a gripping thriller about ghosts, a wall of hands, envy, dishonesty and finally murder!
Secrets whispered up a chimney, a golden locket with a broken chain, murder in the streets of London - and suddenly young Barnacle is plunged into a terrifying mystery. The December Rose is a thrilling tale of deceit, espionage and murder set in the teeming, colourful Victorian London.
Eastward in Clerkenwell lies the Mulberry Pleasure Garden: six acres of leafy walks, colonnades and pavillions. In this bosky setting parade a variety of characters of awesome granduer, innocence and evil - and all are subject to a ring of blackmail terror.
The Confidence Man follows 14-year-old Hans Ruppert and a band of Protestants as they leave their home town and seek peace and freedom from Persecution in the New World. They are led by a mysterious hussar, who has offered to lead then to safety. To Hans he is a fascinating figure, but to the others he is a swindler, likely to abandon them at any moment.
A Puffin Book - stories that last a lifetime. Puffin Modern Classics are relaunched under a new logo: A Puffin Book. There are 20 titles to collect in the series, listed below, all with exciting new covers and fun-filled endnotes. London street urchin Smith is 12 years old, and an experienced pick-pocket. One day on Ludgate Hill, he robbed an old gentleman, and one minute later watched him silently murdered by two men, who chased him for the document he had stolen but could not understand. Smith artfully dodges the two men and winds up in the odd company of a wealthy blind man, who takes Smith into his home and provides him with an education. But this new comfort is lost when Smith himself is suspected of the very murder he witnessed. Leon Garfield was a British novelist, born in 1921. He is best known for children's historical novels, though he also wrote for adults. He wrote more than thirty books including Shakespeare's Stories - retellings of Shakespeare's plays for children, and he won many awards including the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal. He died in 1996, aged 74. Also available in A Puffin Book: GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM and BACK HOME by Michelle Magorian CHARLOTTE'S WEB, STUART LITTLE and THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN by E. B. White THE BORROWERS by Mary Norton STIG OF THE DUMP by Clive King ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY by Mildred D. Taylor A DOG SO SMALL by Philippa Pearce GOBBOLINO by Ursula Moray Williams CARRIE'S WAR by Nina Bawden MRS FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH by Richard C O'Brien A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle THE CAY by Theodore Taylor TARKA THE OTTER by Henry Williamson WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams SMITH by Leon Garfield THE NEVERENDING STORY by Michael Ende ANNIE by Thomas Meehan THE FAMILY FROM ONE END STREET by Eve Garnett
Across the continents of the ancient world wandered the Storyteller, enchanting all who heard him with his wondrous tales of the gods. He longed for a glimpse of the all-powerful deities of his stories, and listened eagerly to those who had experiences such encounters. And interwoven with his journey is the story of Heracles - a magnificent story with all the intense drama and high tragedy of the Greek Myths.
One stormy December night some time in the eighteenth century, a coach came thundering down the long hill outside of Dorking on its usual journey into London. But something unusual was to happen that night as one of the passengers unepectedly gave birth to a child. Not until he was eight did Sam Chichester discover that the coachman and guard he called 'Ma and 'Pa' were not his real parents. Sam will need to grow up, leave home, and find love before he will finally uncover the truth about his parentage.
A bargain of a lifetime - seven years off the end of his life in exchange for a fortune now! By day, Mr Fast was a solicitor's clerk, drawing up strangle-tight agreements and contracts. By night he repaired to his rooms to spy upon his neighbours (for he had no friends) and to dream of being richer than other men. But when old Mr FIshbane offers him what he most desires in return for seven years off the end of his life, he could never imagine the little lost spectre that will come to haunt him . . . Another remarkable novel from Leon Garfield.
'My father, that stern and upright man, was nothing but a swindler and a thief!' What is the matter with old Mr Jones? Endless footsteps and low groans can be heard from his room in the dead of night. Only his son William knows the a terrible secret: his father betrayed his business partner Mr Diamond, and swindled him out of a great fortune. William resolves to go to London, find Mr Diamond and make amends. But the murky big city, with its sinister characters and treacherous back streets, is no place for a boy of twelve. And Mr Diamond's own son is not the sort of person to forgive and forget. Danger and deceit lie waiting... Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can find out more about the wonderful author and learn some Cockney rhyming slang! Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Leon Garfield and Edward Blishen retells some of the most famous Greek myths in this classic of children's literature. This is the epic history of the Greek Gods told from their violent beginnings to the creation of man.
Set in the streets of London, the story follows the hopes and aspirations of young Tim and his pet monkey, Pistol, as they use their wits to get money out of rich folk. Their apparent success is brought to a halt one disasterous foggy evening , and Tim and Pistol are led off to Newgate Gaol...
On the night that Piggot's Comet will appear over Brighton, the town plan to honour it with music and dancing. Harris, however, has other ideas. Being scientifically minded, he thinks only of observing the comet in detail. He persuades his good friend Bostock to part with his father's telescope in exchange for the affections of Harris's sister, Mary. Unfortunately, as Mary does not care for Bostock, Harris is forced to apply his powerful mind to the problems of courtship and love.
Life in eighteenth-century London was hard and especially so for the city's apprentices. For seven long years they struggled for their livelihoods among the fetid houses and sinister quays of old London. But despite their hardships there was hope and even fun. This compelling story-cycle follows them round the year, through the dark, cold winter nights to midsummer in the city, The lamplighter, the pawnbroker, the midwife or the clockmaker, their stories interweave delightfully to paint a colourful picture of life in London 200 years ago.
Harris and Bostock are best friends, but they are as different from one another as night and day. Harris thinks up harebrained schemes and Bostock gets in trouble for them. When Harris puts his baby sister Adelaide in the words to see if she will be adopted by a fox, little do they realize that they are starting a chain of events that will be remembered in their little seaside town as the Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris.
Mr Corbett is a cruel employer and his young apprentice Benjamin can't help but wish he were dead. So when a strange old man offers to make this wish come true, Benjamin finds it impossible to refuse. Sure enough, Mr Corbett meets an untimely death, but the tables turn on the terrified apprentice who finds himself cursed with the ghost of the man he hated most in the world . . . A brilliant collection of three short stories from a master story-teller, who will keep you turning the pages until the very end.
If you love a good story, then look no further. Oxford Children's Classics bring together the most unforgettable stories ever told. They're books to treasure and return to again and again. When orphan Jack stows away on the Charming Molly, he never guesses that he'll be sailing off on the adventure of a lifetime with a crew of pirates. There are ghosts, treasure, mutiny, and secrets galore - and looming over everything is the captain, who Jack knows is the only one who can help him discover the truth about his past
Jackson is cold and starving in the dreadful winter weather. He's looking forward to the steaming pie that is payment for a long night's work. When the huge black dog comes - growling and glaring - Jackson gives it half his meal. One bargain soon leads to another - and to some unexpected rewards . . . With an engaging (and very creepy) story, illustrated in colour and black and white on every double page spread, this story is ideal for newly confident readers.
Young Smith was a pickpocket - a very accomplished one. But one day his pick-pocketing was to lead him into a sinister and dangerous web of murder, intrigue and betrayal.
If ever I learned anything during that night, it was that, if you should hear the noise of running feet, you should not be angry, but think that somebody down below might be gasping and groaning and struggling to save his life. If you should see a boy raise his fists as if to bang on your door and then stumble away, it is not because he's a dirty little ruffian, but because he's just caught sight of somebody coming round a corner with a terrible hook. 'Really,' said Leon Garfield, 'what I try to write is that old-fashioned thing the family novel, accessible to the twelve-year-old and readable by his elders.' This classic tale of a boy who sets out to right the wrongs committed by his swindler father demonstrates how extraordinarily successful Leon Garfield was as a story-teller. His work transcends all generations. First published in 1980, John Diamond won the Whitbread Award that year, as the best children's story book, and also the prestigious Boston Globe-Horn Honor Book Award. The Horn Book wrote: Narrated with the verve and pace of a picaresque novel, [John Diamond] combines a cast of remarkable eccentrics with superb sensory descriptions...A series of heart-stopping pursuits through the twisting London streets, narrow escapes, encounters with the denizens of Whitefriars, Foxes Court, and Hanging Court Alley move the story at a precipitous rate toward a thoroughly satisfying and surprising resolution. The plot is as convoluted as William's search - packed with unexpected turns, vain hopes of treasure, false clues, and masked identities...Richly imagined and audacious in its balance of humour and suspense, the book is as absorbing as it is compelling.
An atmospheric and chilling thriller set in 19th century London. Bartholomew Dorking finds himself inexplicably tied to the murdering villain Black Jack, who should have hung from the gallows - but who has now, it seems, come back from the dead! BLLeon Garfield was one of the most celebrated children's authors of the twentieth century, and won the Guardian Award, The Whitbread Award, and the Carnegie Medal BLThis is a fast-paced, roller-coaster ride of a read, and is accompanied by energetic black and white line drawings by acclaimed artist Jason Cockcroft
A dramatic and eerie story of lost identity and family secrets, told in Leon Garfield's memorable and distinctive style. George Treet is happy with his life as part of a family of travelling actors. But George's world turns upside down when he discovers that Mr Treet is not his real father, and that he must go and live with his real family. Where someone, somewhere out in the fog, is waiting for him...BLLeon Garfield was one of the most celebrated children's authors of the twentieth century, and won the Guardian Award, The Whitbread Award, and the Carnegie medal BLThis is a fast-moving, exciting read and is accompanied by atmospheric black and white line drawings by acclaimed artist Jason Cockcroft
A brilliant collection of three short stories from a master story-teller, who will keep you turning the pages until the very end. The chilling title story tells of a young apprentice who makes a pact with a strange old man one New Year's Eve to rid the world of Mr Corbett, his cruel employer. Sure enough Mr Corbett meets an untimely death, but the tables turn on the terrified apprentice who finds himself cursed with the ghost of the man he hated most in the world...
With a magical text by Leon Garfield and superbly evocative pictures by Charles Keeping, this strangely moving story of a ghostly wedding has become a classic of its time. It is now reissued in paperback with a new cover.
The companion volume to the highly acclaimed SHAKESPEARE STORIES. Leon Garfield presents anew nine more of Shakespeare's memorable dramas. Together Leon Garfield and Michael Foreman have produced a literary and illustrative tour de force that pays homage to the world's most celebrated playwright.
Twelve Shakespeare plays presented afresh by Leon Garfield in narrative form. These are not simple retellings, but more like a refashioning of the dramas as stories, which remain true to the essential spirit of the original versions. The author has captured all the richness of character, plot, mood and setting in Shakespeare's works. It is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for the young.
One of a series which offers classic and contemporary fiction for schools to suit a range of ages and tastes this book contains adaptations of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest.