The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the subject of a legend from the town of Hamelin, Lower Saxony, Germany, in the Middle Ages. The earliest references describe a piper, dressed in multicolored clothing, who was a rat-catcher hired by the town to lure rats away with his magic pipe. But then the citizens refuse to pay for this service, and he retaliates by using his instrument’s magic power on their children, leading them away like he did with the rats.
Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) was one of the premier illustrators of the early 20th Century. He illustrated many books, the first of which was published in 1893. Throughout his career he had developed a very individual style that is was to influence a whole generation of children, artists and other illustrators. His haunting humour and dreamlike romance adds to the enchantment and fantasy of children’s literature.