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Book Title: The Enchanted Castle and Five Children and It|
The author of the book: E. Nesbit
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Reader ratings: 3.2
Edition: Barnes Noble Classics
Date of issue: November 1st 2005
ISBN 13: 9781593082741
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 870 KB
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The Enchanted Castle (1907) begins when three children stumble upon a mysterious house and discover an invisible princess and a magic ring. At first it all appears to be a great adventure. When the children need an audience for a play they have mounted, they make their own out of old clothes, pillows, and umbrellas. Then things go inexplicably wrong. To the young dramatists’ horror, as the curtain falls, there is a ghastly applause. The creatures have come alive—and they prove to be most disagreeable!
In Five Children and It (1902), a group of children are digging in a sandpit one day when they discover a small, bad-tempered sand-fairy known as the Psammead, who is allowed to grant one wish per day. The children wish for many things—to be beautiful, to be rich, to grow wings—but none of the wishes turn out right. Luckily, the magic wears off at sunset, but will that be soon enough?
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Read information about the authorEdith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet; she published her books for children under the name of E. Nesbit.
She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later connected to the Labour Party.
Edith Nesbit was born in Kennington, Surrey, the daughter of agricultural chemist and schoolmaster John Collis Nesbit. The death of her father when she was four and the continuing ill health of her sister meant that Nesbit had a transitory childhood, her family moving across Europe in search of healthy climates only to return to England for financial reasons. Nesbit therefore spent her childhood attaining an education from whatever sources were available - local grammars, the occasional boarding school but mainly through reading.
At 17 her family finally settled in London and aged 19, Nesbit met Hubert Bland, a political activist and writer. They became lovers and when Nesbit found she was pregnant they became engaged, marrying in April 1880. After this scandalous (for Victorian society) beginning, the marriage would be an unconventional one. Initially, the couple lived separately - Nesbit with her family and Bland with his mother and her live-in companion Maggie Doran. Nesbit discovered a few months into the marriage that Bland had been conducting an affair with Doran, fathering a child with her and previously promising to marry her. Though they argued ferociously Nesbit did not end the marriage, choosing instead to move in properly with her husband and become friends with Doran. She then began to help support Doran and her own family financially by writing and selling sentimental poetry. Nesbit's writing career therefore truly began as a need to support another woman's child.
As the family grew Nesbit and Bland became increasingly politically active. In 1883 they were amongst the founding members of The Fabian Society, a socialist group that would have an enormous effect on the politics of Britain over the next century. The couple named their third child Fabian after the society. At around the same time Nesbit invited her close friend Alice Hoatson to live with the family as housekeeper and secretary, as Hoatson was pregnant out of wedlock. Nesbit agreed to adopt the child to prevent a scandal. However after the child was born it became clear that the father of the child was none other than Nesbit's own husband - Bland. Nesbit demanded that the mother and baby leave her house; however Bland refused to allow it, stating he would leave her in turn if they could not remain. Nesbit relented and adopted the baby, Rosamund, and later dedicated her book 'The Book of Dragons' to her.
Initially, Edith Nesbit books were novels meant for adults, including The Prophet's Mantle (1885) and The Marden Mystery (1896) about the early days of the socialist movement. Written under the pen name of her third child 'Fabian Bland', these books were not successful. Nesbit generated an income for the family by lecturing around the country on socialism and through her journalism (she was editor of the Fabian Society's journal, Today).
Between 1899 and 1900 Nesbit's life altered dramatically. In 1899 Alice Hoatson had another child, John, with Bland - whom Nesbit dutifully adopted as her own son. That year the family moved to Well Hall House in Eltham, Kent. In 1900 her son Fabian died suddenly from tonsillitis - the loss would have a deep emotional impact and numerous subsequent Edith Nesbit books were dedicated to his memory. These personal upsets were occurring at the same time as Nesbit's increasing success and fame as an author for children. In 1899 she had published The Adventures of the Treasure Seekers to great acclaim.
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