Today is the birthday of E. Nesbit, writer of delightful children’s stories, born 1858.
Nesbit is one of the lesser-known influences on C.S. Lewis’s Narnia:
“Lewis was deeply indebted to E. Nesbit, not only in matters of plot, character and image, but even in small details of phrasing. When he set out to write his Chronicles of Narnia, he though of them as being Nesbit books: as belonging to a type or genre practised by E. Nesbit. In many respects the Narnia books begin where the Nesbit books leave off: The Magician’s Nephew, the first of the series, begins with an allusion to Nesbit.”
For your reading pleasure, we have picked FIVE of E. Nesbit’s best books that are available as FREE ebooks…
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The enchanted castle of the title is a country estate in the West Country seen through the eyes of three children, Gerald, James and Kathleen, who discover it while exploring during the school holidays. The lake, groves and marble statues, with white towers and turrets in the distance, make a fairy-tale setting, and then in the middle of the maze in the rose garden they find a sleeping fairy-tale princess.
The “princess” tells them that the castle is full of magic, and they almost believe her. She shows them the treasures of the castle, including a ring she says is a ring of invisibility, but when it actually turns her invisible she panics and admits that she is the housekeeper’s niece, Mabel, and was just play-acting.