Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard

Author: Eleanor Farjeon


I have been asked to introduce Miss Farjeon to the American public, and although I believe that introductions of this kind often do more harm than good, I have consented in this case because the instance is rare enough to justify an exception. If Miss Farjeon had been a promising young novelist either of the realistic or the romantic school, I should not have dared to express an opinion on her work, even if I had believed that she had greater gifts than the ninety-nine other promising young novelists who appear in the course of each decade. But she has a far rarer gift than any of those that go to the making of a successful novelist. She is one of the few who can conceive and tell a fairy-tale; the only one to my knowledge—with the just possible exceptions of James Stephens and Walter de la Mare—in my own generation. She has, in fact, the true gift of fancy. It has already been displayed in her verse—a form in which it is far commoner than in prose—but Martin Pippin is her first book in this kind.

I am afraid to say too much about it for fear of prejudicing both the reviewers and the general public. My taste may not be theirs and in this matter there is no opportunity for argument. Let me, therefore, do no more than tell the story of how the manuscript affected me. I was a little overworked. I had been reading a great number of manuscripts in the preceding weeks, and the mere sight of typescript was a burden to me. But before I had read five pages of Martin Pippin, I had forgotten that it was a manuscript submitted for my judgment. I had forgotten who I was and where I lived. I was transported into a world of sunlight, of gay inconsequence, of emotional surprise, a world of poetry, delight, and humor. And I lived and took my joy in that rare world, until all too soon my reading was done.

My most earnest wish is that there may be many minds and imaginations among the American people who will be able to share that pleasure with me. For every one who finds delight in this book I can claim as a kindred spirit. J. D. Beresford.


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Chicago: Eleanor Farjeon, "Foreword," Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard, ed. Altemus, Henry in Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard Original Sources, accessed June 24, 2024,

MLA: Farjeon, Eleanor. "Foreword." Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard, edited by Altemus, Henry, in Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard, Original Sources. 24 Jun. 2024.

Harvard: Farjeon, E, 'Foreword' in Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard, ed. . cited in , Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard. Original Sources, retrieved 24 June 2024, from