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Peterr And The Piskies


  PETER AND THE PISKIES
(1958)
  Cornish folk and fairy tales

       author: Ruth Manning-Sanders
  illustrator: Raymond Briggs
  publisher: Hamish Hamilton
                   227 pages
                   93 b/w illustrations
___________________________________________________________________  

'It was the piskies who told the old widow woman the
 stories in this book, and she told them to me, and now
 I am telling them to you...'


Raymond Briggs illustrates 34 tales concerning piskies, knockers, spriggans
and other Small People from West Country tradition and legend....


Evocative black pen illustrations are scattered through the pages here,
scratched and crosshatched in that simplified, subtle way which identifies
Briggs' early work.

There are Mermaids here, Small People, giants, devyls and more of course, but
alongside the obvious action and excitement you'll find understatement
and maturity to the imagery that's been wrought. Take 'Lutey And The Mermaid'
in which the title character almost succumbs to oceanic temptation. The final
image is a tiny depiction of Lutey on the beach once more, on his knees praying
for his wife and home as his little dog looks on.  He's so small, so exposed and
vulnerable.

Of course it helps that the stories themselves are so well told. Manning-Sanders
has produced numerous compilations of famous and not-so famous legends,
tales and myths over the years. Her storytelling is vivid and descriptive. Briggs
coaxes his illustrations forth from her words. There's the chilly, rain-streaked
view past the mermaid, down the aisle, in 'The Mermaid In Church' and more.
On occasion he takes the authors imagery even further: In 'Lyonesse' he
depicts the two squabbling giants Ing and Ir towering over a tiny port.
They're literally scooping up ships like toys and hurling them at each other,
with their rigging all a-tangle like birds nests, and  matchstick figures
tumbling to their doom - tremendous!
      
Stories in this volume include:

  Peter And The Piskies               Bucca Dhu and Bucca Gwidden
  Skillywidden                            Fairies on the Gump
  Lutey And The Mermaid            Tom and Giant Blunderbus
  Betty Stogs' Baby                    The Crowza Stones
  The Cock-Crow Stone              The Giant Holiburn
  Lyonesse                               Parson Wood and the Devil
  The Boy And The Bull               Madgy Figgey and the Sow
  Saint Margery Daw                  The Tinner, the Dog, the Jew, & the Cake
  From The Head Downward        The Small People's Cow
  Tregeagle                              The Wish-hound
  The Piskie Thresher                 The Demon Mason
  Saint Neot                             The Mermaid in Church
  The Knockers of Ballowal           Mr Noy
  The Witch Of Fraddam             Barker's Knee
  The Giant Of The Mount           Peepan Pee
  The Spriggans, Treasure          Duffy and the Devil
  Cheery                                 The Two Sillies


                                                                                                  
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