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Tales of the New Forest

by Philip Klitz 1850

Reproduced in print 2003 - this Ebook 2004/2005


All pages are in pdf format which requires Acrobat Reader - free download

Introduction - I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII - VIII - IX - X - XI - XII - XIII - XIV - XV - XVI - XVII - Appendix



For many years in the early 1800s Philip Klitz wrote articles about the New Forest for a Southampton weekly newspaper, the Hampshire Advertiser.

Four years before his untimely death in 1854, he published a collection of these articles under the lengthy title, Sketches of Life, Character and Scenery in the New Forest: A Series of Tales, Rural, Domestic, Legendary and Humorous. The book attracted favourable reviews throughout the country and became known by its shortened title, Tales of the New Forest.

Philip Klitz, a gifted musician and composer, was the son of George Philip Klitz who emigrated from Hesse to Britain at the end of the 18th century. He became a bandmaster with the British Army and eventually settled at Lymington on the edge of the New Forest.
It was here that his son Philip came to love this vast expanse of forest and heath, it’s people and wildlife. His Tales of the New Forest is a valuable insight into the life of the forest before the onset of modern roads, the influence of media and the effects of urbanization.

Stewart William Klitz



When you acceded to my request that I might be allowed in this manner to associate your Name with these humble pages, many pleasurable feelings were engendered by your kindness. Treating, as these stories chiefly do, of Forest life, it was to me most gratifying to be permitted to inscribe them to a Forest resident of so great literary fame. True I might have been daunted in thus daring, as it were, your critical opinion, before which I could not safely present these artless and unstudied papers, but I was too conscious from many past kindnesses, that the structure of these stories would not be severely scanned and I knew that if your literary acumen were of the highest order, your disposition to judge kindly is likewise uniform and unbounded.
Gratitude moreover, for long and unvaried patronage, not only in the course of my own professional career, but in a portion of my father's, prompts me to embrace this occasion to assure you of the lively remembrance with which your former favours also are cherished by,

Your faithful and obliged Servant,

Southampton, February, 1850.


In travelling out of line of composition, the Author of the following Sketches would briefly explain to the Reader (whose indulgence he entreats), the casual circumstances from which they have their origin.

In the course of a summer-day’s ramble in the Forest, in the company of an esteemed friend, the writer related to his companion the substance of some of these stories, the incidents of which he had become familiar, by lengthened residence in a Forest town and by professional visits throughout the entire district.

His auditor suggested that the tales that had been told him might furnish themes for more lasting record by the pen and, thus encouraged, he diverted that instrument from its wonted practice among crotchets and quavers and turned it to “literary” uses.

Most of the stories that follow appeared in the columns of the 'Hampshire Advertiser' and the idea of their re-issue, in a collected form, first occurred to certain friends for whose judgement in matters less personal he has great regard.
He trusts that in adopting their advice on this occasion, he will not be charged with presumption, seeing that his little Book - although it be the first-born - is not thrust forward as a child “of parts”, but modestly, as needing favour and as having no pretensions.

Hard copy of the book 'Tales of the New Forest' can be obtained from
The St Barbe Museum, Lymington or The New Forest Museum, Lyndhurst or by contacting: EMAIL HERE

Klitz Family History

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