{ePUB} The Enchanted CastleAuthor E. Nesbit – Moncler2018.co

I started this book in the naive hope that it would be a palate cleanser after the book on Pierpont Morgan While it was mildlysophisticated than Five children and It it seemed less adroit than The Railway Children, and again as always with E.Nesbit, founder member of the Fabian Society, part of me is reading wondering where s the Socialism view spoiler afterall what s the point of writing children s books if you can t slip in some good old fashioned Agitprop hide spoiler There are two types of enchantment in this book One is the everyday sort, evidenced by how enthralled the reader might be as they proceed through the book, and especially by the young charmer Gerald who sweet talks his way through pretty much every situation This is enchantment that lives up to the term s origins, where chanting, speaking, singing and silent perusal of words creates the magic that keeps us literally in its spell.Then there is the sort of enchantment that manifests itself most strikingly in this book, the kind described eloquently by Nesbit herself in Chapter Nine There is a curtain, thin as gossamer, clear as glass, strong as iron, that hangs forever between the world of magic and the world that seems to us to be real And when once people have found one of the little weak spots in that curtain which are marked by magic rings, and amulets and the like, almost anything may happen And in The Enchanted Castle it inevitably does.The theme of the book can be described as Be careful what you wish for Siblings Gerald, Kathleen and James find themselves absolutely free to enjoy their affluent middle class summer holiday in a West of England private school, near the fictional village of Liddlesby A youthful expedition takes them into the grounds of Yalding Castle where they meet with housekeeper s daughter Mabel and find that magic of the everyday sort gets rapidly superceded by enchantment that makes their holidays unforgettable.Nesbit wrote for a middle class audience ofthan a century ago and sensibilities in manners and language have shifted over that time, but not so much that we can t have sympathy for the children that Nesbit has conjured up for this tale Witty resourceful Gerald steals the show but Mabel impresses too, and Mademoiselle s literal translations into English of French vocabulary and idioms are well and humorously observed no doubt informed by Edith s own childhood education in France The joyous culmination of the enchantments has much in common with The Piper at the Gates of Dawn chapter of the nearly contemporary Wind in the Willows both works perhaps were a kind of final golden vision of Edwardian England before the horrors of the Great War were visited on all and sundry. This story is wonderful I have memories of this reading this as a child and of watching a BBC serial of the book when I was 6 yrs old Reliving the part of the story that stuck with me, the part where the children put on a play and short of audience members they make some out of hats, coats and hockey sticks and paint paper masks for faces, which then under the magic of the ring view spoiler come alive and are described in the most sinister way and have to be entombed in an underground vault until the magic wears off and they become a pile of clothes again hide spoiler E Nesbit is one of the greatest authors of all time You might not think so, but if you could only see the chain of minds that lead directly from children like me who read her books and grew up to be grown ups that believe in the power of both magic, and common sense, it would be a golden chain of the greatest stories of magic for the last 100 years. Why don tpeople know about E Nesbit Kids these days cries the 23 year old Her fantasies are rich and original, with an undercurrent of creepy that keeps me coming back even as a semi adult ish type person The sequence with the statues in this book is especially shiver worthy if you ve read Nesbit s short horror story, Man Size in Marble, which I highly recommend It s in the Edward Gorey edited and illustrated Haunted Looking Glass, recently re issued New note Anyone who recently saw and enjoyed the Doctor Who episode Blink REALLY needs to read both of the above An old favorite that I just re read and it s still so wonderful I think my favorite part is when the respectable Ugly Wugly goes into the secret passage and finds a really good hotel, because as E Nesbit so truly points out, that really is some people s idea of a dream come true Excitingly, my daughter is reading it now and discovering the magic of E Nesbit My life and point of view has been so shaped by the English children s books I read as a child that it is very exciting to see her be attracted to that literary world or set of worlds and enter them. This is a book very close to my heart, and in my top ten of my all time favourite classic children s books I first read this when I was 8 or 9, and have re read it many times since In fact my copy is looking decidedly battered and worse for wear you always know you re on to a good book when the cover threatens to fall off In many ways this is an underrated novel of E Nesbit, and I will readily admit it is not one of her best Nonetheless, I still love itthan The Railway Children , The Treasure Seekers , etc, with perhaps the exception of The Story of the Amulet the sequel to Five Children and It , which comes a very close second.The story concerns three children, two brothers Gerald and Jimmy , and their sister, Cathy They are on holiday, away from their parents don t all the best adventures happen on these types of occasions , and staying in Cathy s boarding school under the supervision of the French schoolmistress, who sits around looking wistful To break the monotony of the boarding house, they decide to explore the local countryside, and get hopelessly lost They come across a hole in a hedge which leads to an underground passage, which itself leads them into a beautiful garden with an ornate castle at its centre The garden is seemingly deserted, and the feeling of magic grows as they come to the entrance of a maze Following a scarlet thread, which brings them to the maze s epicentre, they discover a sleeping princess, who Jimmy wakens with a smacker on her cheek Gerald ought to have done this as he was the eldest, but he chickened out After providing a feast for them in the castle bread and cheese the princess turns out not to be a princess after all, but a girl named Mabel Nonetheless she does possess a magic ring The Enchanted Castle is a very episodic, with the children having different adventures in each chapter What joins the chapters together to a unified whole is the enchanted ring Through its powers they can become invisible and make wishes They help the local policeman catch a burglar, make the statues in the garden come alive, and help the French schoolteacher find her long lost love The wishes they make also quite naturally get them into all sorts of scrapes, including getting the ring stuck on their finger, growing too tall in Alice in Wonderland style, and making inanimate objects come alive into Uglie Wuglies ,terrifying than it sounds Throughout all this, Nesbit writes in her typically relaxed, natural style, and her characters, while not well rounded, talk and act like real children albeit from 1907 It is this inherent realism that makes the magical elements seem so real Special mention should also go to H R Millar, who illustrated the original book with evocative line drawings, effectively capturing the main elements of the story In short, I can t praise this book highly enough As the tattered state of my personal copy can testify, I love it to bits. I re read this recently while I was experimenting with my new e reader and downloading free books sourced from Project Gutenberg I have a theory that the format in which you read a book affects your reading experience, that an e book is actually different from a print book, and the different editions of a print book offer a changed experience It occurs to me that you might create this effect simply by altering the font and size in your e book, too But in this case, my enjoyment was marred by a weird effect in which none of the em dashes were rendered, and this is a big deal because Nesbit used them a lot I think I would have liked it better had I read my own old print copy, so very familiar, that would bring back memories of having read that book, that particular book, many times before Still, I m keeping my original rating on the grounds that I m not going to ding the book simply because of a formatting error.I ve always loved this book because the magic is so clever view spoiler a ring that is what you say it is hide spoiler Jerry, Jimmy, And Cathy Stumble Upon A Mysterious Castle With A Beautiful Princess Asleep In The Garden The Princess Is Really Mabel, The Housekeeper S Niece, Who Is Only Pretending To Be Royalty But When She Shows Them A Secret Room Filled With Treasure Where They Discover A Magical Ring, Enchantment Becomes A Reality An entertaining children s story liberally sprinkled with moments of profundity Here s an example of her describing an experience the children have with a strange light in the midst of living statues Everything changes or, rather, everything is revealed There are nosecrets The plan of the world seems plain, like an easy sum that one writes in big figures on a child s slate One wonders how one can ever have wondered about anything Space is not every place that one has seen or dreamed of is here Time is not into this instant is crowded all that one has ever done or dreamed of doing It is a moment and it is eternity It is the centre of the universe and it is the universe itself The eternal light rests on and illuminates the eternal heart of things I can see why C.S Lewis was a fan and can see how reading her children s stories could have played a part in convincing him to write the Chronicles of Narnia And now I m obligated to readmyself.