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The Enchanted Castle (Puffin Classics)by Edith Nesbit
Like the four children of Edward Eager's Half Magic who fell in love with this book, many of us on the Kids' Team were quite taken with it as well. Adventure, magic, and sibling squabbles are all told with a delightfully British sensibility. The Enchanted Castle, like Nesbit's other books, is a great way to introduce young readers to fantasy that isn't too dark or frightening.
Synopses & Reviews
An invisible princess, a magic ring, and more adventures than you could dream of. This is what Gerald, Kathleen and Jimmy find when they stumble upon a mysterious castle. At first it all appears to be a lark. But the children soon discover they need all their bravery and ingenuity to contend with the castle's supernatural forces. Exquisite watercolor illustrations.
Gerald, Cathy and Jimmy wake a beautiful princess from her hundred year sleep in an enchanted garden. It's really only Mabel, the housekeeper's niece - but the garden really is enchanted, and the ring she slips on really is magic.
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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