Book Review of The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
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Five Children and It (Puffin Classics)


Following the tragic death of her fifteen year old son, Fabian, Edith Nesbit’s writing moved from naturalistic to magic and fantasy. Five Children and It was one of the first things she wrote after Fabian’s death and in it she immortalised him as an adventure-loving character called Robert – giving him angel’s wings to fly with.

This file includes: The Enchanted Castle, Five Children and It, In Homespun, The Magic City, The Phoenix and the Carpet, Pussy and Doggy Tales, The Railway Children, The Story of the Amulet, The Story of the Treasure Seekers, New Treasure Seekers, and The Wouldbegoods. According to Wikipedia: "Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 - 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet whose children's works were published 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 precursor to the modern Labour Party... Nesbit published approximately 40 books for children, both novels and collections of stories. Collaborating with others, she published almost as many more. According to her biographer Julia Briggs, Nesbit was "the first modern writer for children": "(Nesbit) helped to reverse the great tradition of children's literature inaugurated by [Lewis] Carroll, [George] MacDonald and Kenneth Grahame, in turning away from their secondary worlds to the tough truths to be won from encounters with things-as-they-are, previously the province of adult novels." Briggs also credits Nesbit with having invented the children's adventure story. Among Nesbit's best-known books are The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1898) and The Wouldbegoods (1899), which both recount stories about the Bastables, a middle class family that has fallen on relatively hard times. Her children's writing also included numerous plays and collections of verse. She created an innovative body of work that combined realistic, contemporary children in real-world settings with magical objects and adventures and sometimes travel to fantastic worlds."


Edith Nesbit - Edith Nesbit Poems - Poem Hunter

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.