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The Railway Children (Puffin Classics)by E Nesbit
Synopses & Reviews
The Railway Children is one of the first children's books with a real life setting and very real problems to be solved. Edith Nesbit (1958 - 1924) was an English poet and author known for her children's books. She is credited with writing over 60 books for children. Nesbit was co-founder of the Fabian Society, which later became the Labour Party. Nesbit wrote about the real world not a fantasyland. She invented the children's adventure story. In The railway Children a family is living near a railway after their father has been falsely accused of selling state secrets to the Russians. The children spend their time watching the trains and waving at the passengers. . They become friends with Perks, the station porter, and with The Old Gentleman who travels on the 9: 45 train. The Old Gentleman l helps them free their father.
About the Author
Edith Nesbit (1858 – 1924), was a mischievous, tomboyish child who grew up to be an unconventional adult. She and her husband were founder members of the socialist Fabian Society and their home became a centre for socialist and literary discussion. Their friends included some of the time’s greatest writers and thinkers, including George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells.
Everything about Edith showed her as a woman trying to break out of the mould demanded by English society at the time – she expressed her individuality through her clothes, hairstyle, lifestyle and her habit of speaking forcefully on almost any subject. She lived her socialism and late in life her charitable deeds brought her close to bankrupcy.
E. Nesbit – she always used the plain initial for her writing and was sometimes thought to be a man – started to write for children after years of successful writing for adult magazines. She was asked to write about her childhood but instead of facts chose to describe her happy girlhood in fiction. The result was books still read today, firm bestsellers for decades. She was brilliant at combining real-life situations with elements of fantasy and humour. Films –such as The Railway Children - have kept her stories in the public eye and her magical fantasies, including Five Children and It, continue to delight each new generation of children.
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