HOBBERDY DICK by K. M. Briggs

HOBBERDY DICK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hobberdy Dick's last years (mid 1600s) at Widford Manor, after centuries as its guardian hobgoblin, are spent with an unpromising merchant's family just out from the city. Mr. Widdison, though decent, is a Puritan who is ignorant and intolerant of the old ways, and his second wife is a pretentious, social-climbing shrew who abuses her hired gentlewoman Anne, a descendant of Widford's earlier, higher-born owners. But then there's young Joel who takes well to the country and falls in love with Anne; their match is approved when she inherits a family treasure, long buried on the property and now unearthed through Hobberdy Dick's intercession. A scene in which humans and unseen hobs work together to rescue young Martha Widdison from a powerful witch carry the story to its most fanciful extreme, while Mrs. Widdison's airs and scolding provide some realistic ballast at the other; Briggs never trivializes Dick or the other folklore figures, and all told she makes a light but full-bodied potion of the separate conventions of magic and manners.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1977
Publisher: Greenwillow/Morrow