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The Wool-Pack
The Wool-Pack cover.jpg
Front cover of the first edition
Author Cynthia Harnett
Illustrator Cynthia Harnett
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Children's historical novel
Publisher Methuen
Publication date
25 October 1951
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 184 pp (first edition)
OCLC 621582
LC Class PZ7.H228 Wo
PZ7.H228 Ni

The Wool-Pack is a children's historical novel written and illustrated by Cynthia Harnett, published by Methuen in 1951. It was the first published of four children's novels that Harnett set in 15th-century England. She won the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising it as the year's best children's book by a British subject.

G. P. Putnam's Sons published the first U.S. edition in 1953, entitled Nicholas and the Wool-Pack: an adventure story of the Middle Ages. In 1984 it was reissued under yet another title, The Merchant's Mark (Minneapolis: Lerner). Both American editions retained Harnett's illustrations.

A television miniseries based on the story was broadcast by the BBC in 1970.

Plot summary

Set in the Cotswolds near Burford, Oxfordshire, The Wool-Pack begins in 1493 when Nicholas Fetterlock, the twelve-year-old son of a rich wool merchant, learns from his father that he is betrothed to Cecily Bradshaw, the daughter of a rich cloth merchant. Within the guild, Nicholas discovers the work of swindlers who could ruin his father's business. Nicholas, Cecily, and a friend determine to stop them.


The Wool Pack was adapted by the BBC as a 90-minute film entitled A Stranger on the Hills, televised in 1970 as a three-part series for children. It starred Raymond Millross as Nicholas Fetterlock, with Godfrey Quigley and Thelma Barlow as his parents. The series was filmed by the BBC in Bristol.

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