The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit
Like most children's fantasy adventures, The Enchanted Castle begins with several displaced children, removed from their usual situation due to unfortunate events, and finding their independence in new surroundings. In this case, Gerald, Jimmy and Kathleen find themselves staying at Kathleen's school over the summer holidays in the care of her French teacher. But adventure is on the way, as soon they find a secret path into a beautiful garden where a young princess lies asleep in the centre of a hedge maze.
Of course, she's not real a princess, only the housekeeper's niece, but soon her games of make-believe come astonishingly real as the children discover that her ring is really magical and capable of granting any wish they desire! Of course, being children, their wishes usually lead them to trouble; and in a book full of living statues, dinosaurs, headles... Read More
Edith Nesbit wrote children’s fantasy during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Nesbit’s first great success was The Story of the Treasure-Seekers (1899). Her most celebrated book remains The Railway Children, published in 1906. Her great gift was the ability to create child characters who are real young human beings behaving naturally. Her unhappy marriage gave her much experience with children; as well as bringing up her own four by her philandering husband, she consented to bring Bland’s illegitimate offspring into her household. We have presented those books of Edith Nesbit’s that are easiest to find.
The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit
7 Books in 1 — (1989-1907) Ages 9-12. This book contains seven of E. Nesbit’s related stories about the Bastable children. Each book is also available singly. Publisher: The Railway Children — The train wouldn’t care. It would go rushing by them and tear round the corner and go crashing into that awful mound. And everyone would be killed. Her hands grew very cold and trembled so that she could hardly hold the flag. And then came the distant rumble and hum of the metals, and a puff of white steam showed far away along the stretch of line.’ Five Children and It —The Psammead is a small, furry animal from thousands of years ago that has eyes on long horns like a snail’s eves, ears like a bat’s ears, and a tubby body shaped like a spider’s and covered with thick soft fur; its arms and legs are furry too, and it has hands and feet like a monkey’s. But the best thing about the Psammead is that it can grant wishes. The Phoenix and The Carpet — When the children from “Five Children and It” accidentally hatch the egg of the mythical Phoenix, it shows them how to use their magic carpet to travel anywhere they want… and a whole new round of adventures begins! The Story of The Amulet — The children’s mother is very ill, and their father has been sent abroad on business. With both their parents away, they discover their old friend the Psammead – captured and put up for sale! If only they could get wishes from the Psammead, they could wish their mother well again, and wish their father home. But the Psammead can’t give them any more wishes. Luckily it knows where they can find an ancient Egyptian amulet that could give them their ‘heart’s desire’ – if only it was in one piece! The Story of the Treasure Seekers —”‘I’ll tell you what, we must go and seek for treasure: it is always what you do to restore the fallen fortunes of your House.’” When the Bastable family runs short of money, the children decide it’s up to them to find a way to restore their family fortunes. Will they succeed in rescuing their father from the visits of policeman and debt collectors? The Would-Be-Goods —The Bastable children behave so badly that their father sends them away to live in the countryside. Determined to be good in the future, they form a society, the ‘Wouldbegoods’, for being good in. But things don’t go exactly as they plan… The Enchanted Castle — Sent to live in the countryside for the summer, Jerry, Jimmy and Cathleen discover a secret castle containing a sleeping princess — and (although he’s worried that she might slap him for it) one of the boys kisses her, and she wakes up. But shouldn’t a real princess be taller? Is the castle really enchanted — or was the ‘princess’ just pretending?
The New Treasure Seekers — (1904) Ages 9-12. A collection of new adventures about the Bastable children. The six Bastable children fill their free time with entertainments that don’t always turn out as they plan. But whether telling fortunes at a party, unwittingly assisting an elopement, reforming their nasty cousin Archibald, or even getting arrested, it is all good fun, and usually for a good cause.
The House of Arden — (1908) Ages 9-12. Publisher: The famous Arden family treasure has been missing for generations, and the last members of the Arden line, Edred, Elfrida, and their Aunt Edith, have nothing to their names but the crumbling castle they live in. Just before his tenth birthday, Edred inherits the title of Lord Arden; he also learns that the missing fortune will be his if — and only if — he can find it before the turns ten. With no time to lose, Edred and Elfrida secure the help of a magical talking creature, the temperamental Mouldiwarp, who leads them on a treasure hunt through the ages. Together, brother and sister visit some of the most thrilling periods of history and test their wits against real witches, highwaymen, and renegades. They find plenty of adventure, but will they find the treasure before Edred’s birthday?
Harding’s Luck — (1909) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Hardling’s Luck is a sequel to The House of Arden, a great favorite of Nesbit fans; it’s a story of injustice, poverty, deformity, magic, romance, suspense, sacrifice, and triumph over adversity that comes to its point with a fateful twist…
The Book of Dragons — Ages 9-12. Publisher: Eight madcap tales of unpredictable dragons — including one made of ice, another that takes refuge in the General Post Office, and a fire-breathing monster that flies out of an enchanted book and eats an entire soccer team! Marvelous adventure and excitement for make-believers of all ages. 24 illustrations.
The Magic City — (1910) Ages 9-12. Publisher: When young Philip Haldane builds a play city out of odds and ends, the fantastic creation comes to life, and he and new stepsister Lucy are magically transported into it. Now they must try to save the Magic City by fulfilling an ancient prophecy — despite a mysterious adversary determined to steal their glory for herself. How Philip and Lucy come to forge a friendship and together triumph over impending disaster makes for a riveting read.
Wet Magic — (1913) Ages 9-12. Publisher: When four siblings journey to the seashore for a holiday, one of them unwittingly summons the sister of a mermaid who is captured by a circus, and the children set out to save the imprisoned being. After a daring midnight rescue, the children’s reward is an incredible journey beneath the waves and into the hidden kingdom of the mermaids. But they soon find themselves in a race against time as they struggle to prevent a war and save their new underwater companions! Here is a triumphant tale by one of the finest storytellers to ever write for children, and a pioneer of fantasy literature for this age group.
These Little Ones — (1909) Ages 9-12. Story collection. Publisher: “It had been a good day; lessons had been easier than usual, and teacher had read them a story of some naughty little boys who had thrown a dog into the water and aimed stones at it, and about a good little boy who had saved its life; and of how the dog had loved him ever after.” Thus begins “The Dog-Dream,” one of the 10 stories in this poignant and sometimes bittersweet collection of tales about the tragedies of childhood. Some of the other Nesbit stories included are: “The Criminal,” “The Ashpits,” and “Thor and the Hammer.”