Books

Five Children and It

E Nesbit

'Don't you know a sand-fairy when you see one?'

I dare say you have often thought about what you would do if you were granted three wishes. The five children - Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and their baby brother - had often talked about it but when they are faced with the grumpy sand-fairy they find it difficult to make up their minds. And that is just the beginning of their dilemmas. As they discover, there is nothing quite like a wish for getting you into terrible trouble.

BACKSTORY: Learn about what it was like to be a child in 1902 and try some fun activities!

The Railway Children

E Nesbit

'"Stand firm'" said Peter, "and wave like mad!"'

They were not railway children to begin with. When their Father mysteriously leaves home Roberta (everyone calls her Bobbie), Phyllis and Peter must move to a small cottage in the countryside with Mother. It is a bitter blow to leave their London home, but soon they discover the hills and valleys, the canal and of course, the railway. But with the thrilling rush and rattle and roar of the trains comes danger too. Will the brave trio come to the rescue? And most importantly, can they solve the disappearance of their Father?

BACKSTORY: Find out all about steam trains and learn what it was really like to be a child in Edwardian times.

The Railway Children

E Nesbit

Although E. Nesbit regarded her poetry as her most important work, it is her children's books (written 'to keep the house going') that ensured her lasting fame and which are still enjoyed with such affection today. Her readers have their oen favourites, but the film version of THE RAILWAY CHILDREN, with Jenny Agutter as Roberta, the eldest daughter of the man unjustly sent to prison, and the Bernard Cribbins as the friendly railway porter, brought the book to a new generation of readers who love it for Roberta's courage and the satisfaction of the ending when her father is vindicated and restored to his family. The film is regularly shown on British Television.

Biography

Edith Nesbit was born in 1858. Her father died when she was only three and so her family moved all over England. Poverty was something she had known first hand, both as a child and as a young married woman with small children. Like the Railway Childrens' Mother she was forced to try and sell her stories and poems to editors.Her first children's book, The Treasure Seekers, was published in 1899. She also wrote Five Children and It but her most famous story is The Railway Children which was first published in 1905 and it hasn't been out of print since. Edith Nesbit was a lady ahead of her time - she cut her hair short which was considered a very bold move in Victorian times and she was a founding member of a group that worked towards improvements in politics and society called The Fabian Society. She died in 1924.