"The Enchanted Castle" was, if I remember correctly, the first book by Edith Nesbit I ever read. I was around 10 years old at the time, and my godmother gave me the German edition of the book.
It was love at first sight, becoming one of those firm favourites of my childhood I kept returning to now and again.
For the next Christmases or birthdays, I was given a few more Edith Nesbit books, all of which I loved, especially "The Magic City". But the first one I read will forever hold a special place in my heart, as do the first Narnia book I read, "Madita" by Astrid Lindgren, and a few others.
Some time ago, Moncia posted on her blog about Edith Nesbit's books, and this reminded me of my old love for her writing.
I went and downloaded all I could find by her in Amazon's kindle shop. Since then, I have read and reviewed a few books. You can easily find those reviews (one of them containing some biographical info about the author) by typing "Nesbit" in the search bar at the top left corner of my blog.
Thanks to my download spree, I have now finally read this all-time favourite of mine in its original language. As I own the German copy and compare the two versions now, I can say that the translation, published in 1957, is a very good one. But of course nothing beats the original, where Nesbit's very own humour and knack for storytelling come through unfiltered.
Now to the book itself:
Siblings Gerald, Jimmy and Kathleen are spending their summer holiday away from home and, somewhat at a loss, start exploring their surroundings.
Coming across a beautiful park and castle, they are not all that surprised to find a sleeping beauty in the middle of a maze.
Is there magic at play, or just a lonely little girl playing at being princess?
Everything that happens from that moment on is more adventurous than the children could have ever imagined. There are even some slightly dangerous moments, but you won't be surprised if I tell you that all ends well.
That is also true for the love story that is hinted at a few times and fully explained later on in the book, but with not so much detail as to be boring for children, who are meant to be the main readership.
The whole book is full of great ideas, well-rounded characters and witty conversation.
If you have not read it as a child, you have lost out on something. But there is still time - read it now.
It won't take long, I promise.
I've loved Edith Nesbitt since I was a child! I also read the Narnia books and liked those a lot, too. Did you read the Anne of Green Gables series when you were a girl? Those were another favorite of mine.ReplyDelete
I know about the "Anne of Green Gables" books but have never read them. Did you read the "Little House on the Prairie" series by Laura Ingalls Wilder? I discovered these when I was around 12, and loved them all. I have never re-read them, though, and wonder what I'd make of them as an adult.Delete
I adore the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a child, and have reread them several times as an adult. There's so much American history captured in those books that they're truly classics and we'll worth reading.Delete
She is such an enchanted writer! I didn't discover her until I was an adult and came across The WoodbeGoods and then The Railway Children and then everything I could find...But I think I have not read this one and will try to find it. Thank you, Meike!ReplyDelete
She was, wasn't she! And I never guessed what a turbulent and often rather sad life she had until I did some research about her for one of my reviews.Delete
I hope you'll find the Enchanted Castle, Kristi!
I'm quite sure this is on an upstairs shelf, and I haven't read it. Thank you!ReplyDelete
You are welcome, Nan! I imagine you giving it to your sweet grandchildren in a few years :-)Delete
I will read it! I think I must have read it as a child as she was one of my favourites authors too, but I am sure it will merit re-reading. By now you will have had your eye test and I hope it went well.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jenny! It can be so interesting to re-read a childhood favourite as an adult.Delete
I have been rereading Tove Jansson's Moomins books ('Comet in Moominland' etc) and find they help (oddly) in these times, even though written in the 1940s and 1950s. I have loved the Narnia books, Little House on the Prairie series, and Anne of Green Gables ones too. When I start rewatching our Australian TV series "Seachange", I think I may be looking in part for a sense of community. JeanReplyDelete
Hello Jean, I think this is your first visit (or at least your first comment) on my blog - welcome!Delete
The Moomins books were ones I really liked as a child, too, but have never reread them. Like you, I do comfort-reading and -watching when things (i.e. the world in general) are getting at me.
I love the Moomins books... :) ♥Delete
I don't think I read any of Edith Nesbit's books in childhood, but I bought a Swedish audio version (on cassette tape) of the Enchanted Castle back around 2005 and listened to that more than once. After I bought my Kindle I've read some of her other books but I don't think I read The Enchanted Castle in English yet. A couple of months ago, I (re)listened to The Railway Children from Audible, though. (Read it on Kindle a few years ago.) I might go looking for the Enchanted Castle too now :)ReplyDelete
Have you read "The Magic City", Monica? That is my second favourite of all of Edith Nesbit's books.Delete