The Mildenhall Treasure

Buried one foot below the surface of a field called Thistley Green in the English town of Mildenhall, a most fantastic Roman treasure lay for centuries until a ploughman came along in the 1940s and accidentally dug it up. What followed was a tragedy, involving human greed and abuse of a good man's innocence. Gordon Butcher, discoverer of this treasure, was entitled by British law to the full amount of its market value. Although Butcher was not aware of this law, another ploughman named Ford did know about it, and managed to bamboozle Butcher out of the fortune.

This remarkable story was written in 1946 by a young Roald Dahl, who went on to write such beloved classics as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Dahl's inimitable style blazes through even in his early career. The true story, republished with stunning art by Ralph Steadman, is as riveting as if it had happened today, with heartbreaking notes of unbearable unfairness and sincere naiveté. Each page, thickly covered with rich, dark splashes of paint, sketchy faces, and bits of collage, has a wild and ominous tenor, reflected in the ferocious weather that fateful day when the hapless farmer discovered--and lost--the greatest treasure ever found in the British Isles.