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The Enchanted Castle

E. Nesbit

Book Overview: 

Three children, forced to remain at school during the holidays, go in search of adventure. What they find is a magic castle straight out of a fairy tale, complete with an enchanted princess at the center of a maze. Or is it? The castle turns out to be just a country estate, and the princess is only the housekeeper’s niece, playing at dressing up. But the magic ring she shows them proves — to her surprise and horror — to really be magic. Soon they are caught in an adventure where statues come alive, lost lovers are reunited, and wishes can be granted — but always for a price.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .the invisible could meet on equal terms.

"Good-night," said Mabel. "You're a darling, Cathy; you've been most awfully good to me, and I sha'n't forget it. I didn't like to say so before the boys, because I know boys think you're a muff if you're grateful. But I am. Good-night."

Kathleen lay awake for some time. She was just getting sleepy when she remembered that the maid who would call them in the morning would see those wonderful Princess clothes.

"I'll have to get up and hide them," she said. "What a bother!"

And as she lay thinking what a bother it was she happened to fall asleep, and when she woke again it was bright morning, and Eliza was standing in front of the chair where Mabel's clothes lay, gazing at the pink Princess-frock that lay on the top of her heap and saying, "Law!"

"Oh, don't touch, please!" Kathleen leaped out of bed as Eliza was reaching out her hand.

"Where on earth did you get hold of t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

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 th...more

This is a novel I like a lot, which I've experienced in different ways at different points in my life. I first read it when I was six or seven, and thought it was a great story. There are these kids, and they find a castle, and a magic ring. At first they think it's an invisibility ring. Then, to...more

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 no more secrets. The plan of t...more

Los niños protagonistas, los cuatro, insoportables.

Why don't more people 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 y...more

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...more

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...more

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,...more

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...more

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