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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.
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