WILLIAM TELL by Nina--Adapt. Bawden


Email this review


Bawden retells the legend of William Tell in direct, dignified prose, with concrete words that make a strong impression but none of the contrived details with which another author might attempt to do so. First, she shows us the bountiful Alpine area where ""the people could have been happy and prosperous""; the harsh, fat, lazy Austrian bailiffs and soldiers whose tax demands render the people ""thin and sullen and frightened""; and the worst bailiff, Gessler, whom we see jealously throwing an old farmer out of his warm stone house. Then come: William Tell's refusal to salute Gessler's hat, his famous forced feat of marksmanship in the marketplace, a storm on the lake which allows him to escape on the way to prison, and his shooting Gessler through the heart--""'So perish all tyrants,' he cried""--which inspires the people of Switzerland to successful revolt. A stirring tale, relatively underexposed here--everyone knows about the son and the apple, but how many American children know the whole story?--and emphatically illustrated in this Swiss illustrator's hearty primitivist style.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1981
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard