Otto of the Silver Hand / Written and Illustrated by Howard Pyle

by Howard Pyle

Hardcover, 1909 ? (written in)



Local notes

Fic Pyl





Scribner's (1909?), Edition ?, 136 pages. $2.95.


Born into a family that is already engaged in a blood feud with another noble house, Otto is sent to live with monks, but is reclaimed at age 12 by his militant, but loving father. The gentle-natured boy is kidnapped and mutilated by the rival family. Pauline, his captors daughter helps him escape. His father allows him to return to the monks who place him under the emperor's protection. His silver hand is a replacement for the one Otto lost while in captivity, but his injury does not prevent him from maturing wisely and marrying Pauline.

Original publication date


Physical description

9.2 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Diwanna
I didn't really enjoy this as much as I thought I would. Some exciting parts, but Otto is really a wuss.
LibraryThing member Stbalbach
Otto of the Silver Hand has been classified as a milestone in children's literature being one of the first historical novels written for children by an American. As such it has been influential. It's also very well done, striking a balance between readability and invoking the period accurately. As
Show More
an adult with some background in Medieval history, I found it a lot of fun and as a kid probably would have even more so.
Show Less
LibraryThing member antiquary
This was a book that impressed me as a child --I created a piano piece based on the scene when the hero's father's castle is destroyed which I called "the Fall of Drachenhausen" which involved a lot of crashing chords and one repeated note representing the ringing of the bell. The story itself I
Show More
found grim, while the hero's hand being cut off while he was a child, and his nobly renouncing vengeance later, though no doubt a good morally lesson, was emotionally unsatisfying.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Hamburgerclan
This is a tale set in Medieval Germany. Otto is the son of a robber baron, whose mother dies soon after childbirth. Since the keep of a robber baron is unsuitable for an infant, Otto is sent to a monestary for the first twelve years of his life. Then his father comes to take the boy home and
Show More
introduce him to the life of a baron and knight. All in all, the story is nice enough, but there's nothing really compelling about it. In fact, Otto himself is rather uninspiring. A pity, too, since you could probably weave a nice tale about a gentle and gracious soul encountering a rough and tumble world. Oh, well. Were I needing some waiting room material, however, this is a book I'd be glad to have on hand. (er, no pun intended...)
Show Less
LibraryThing member Petroglyph
This is a fairly old-fashioned, straight-forward adventure tale for children set in medieval Germany and told through a nineteenth-century romance filter. Otto is a snivelling weakling, monks are ultra-wise holy men, and emotions are high-running and free-flowing. Women are invisible, except when
Show More
they faithfully wait for their hero to come back and marry them (offscreen, of course), or when they die in childbirth (also offscreen).

The parts that do not focus on Otto do serve up some pretty solid adventuring, though, and at a little over one hundred pages this is a very quick read. I guess you could do worse if you want to know what a late nineteenth-century children's book feels like.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
The edition my library found for me had no illustrations, which makes it unappealing to me as they are meant to be part of the book. The forward made it even more so, as it talks about the so-called dark ages, and promises plenty of violence and moralizing. So, after stumbling through the first
Show More
paragraphs and not feeling at all engaged or charmed, I gave up. *Iff* I am given or stumble upon a cheap illustrated version I will try again.
Show Less
LibraryThing member quondame
A Medieval story about a young boy caught up in a murderous feud after being raised in a monastery. It all about the pictures really. They are something, the knights and men at arms in particular. The older women seem to mix later 14th &15th cent style elements and the final young maid looks to be
Show More
wearing an artistic reform tea gown.
Show Less
LibraryThing member DinadansFriend
There are no castles like Howard Pyle's castles. The illustrations are great, but the rest of the book is a late childhood tale. The original copyright was in 1888, however.
LibraryThing member Chris_El
The Artwork in this book is amazing. The story is interesting and it does have a bit of a sad ending. It does make one think about the cost of violence and peace.


½ (66 ratings; 3.7)
Page: 0.3752 seconds