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The Magic World

E. Nesbit

Book Overview: 

Talking cats, birds, fish and bells, wicked fairies, uglified princesses – adventure, magic, and more magic. A delightful collection of stories for children of all ages.

The Magic World is an influential collection of twelve short stories by E. Nesbit.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Edward woke up in his bed with the feeling that there was some one in the room. And there was. A dark figure was squeezing itself through the window. Edward was far too frightened to scream. He simply lay and listened to his heart. It was like listening to a cheap American clock. The next moment a lantern flashed in his eyes and a masked face bent over him.

‘Where does your father keep his money?’ said a muffled voice.

‘In the b-b-b-b-bank,’ replied the wretched Edward, truthfully.

‘I mean what he’s got in the house.’

‘In his trousers pocket,’ said Edward, ‘only he puts it in the dressing-table drawer at night.’

‘You must go and get it,’ said the burglar, for such he plainly was.

‘Must I?’ said Edward, wondering how he could get out of betraying his father’s confidence and being branded as a criminal.

‘. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Sadly, this book is not at all what I hoped it would be. While E. Nesbit's writing is always delightlfully fanciful, in this collection of short stories she falls back at almost every turn on tired, gender-based stereotypes.

The stories about boys and men feature strong, independent, likeable char...more

Edith Nesbit (1858-1924), though one might not agree with her socialist politics, was a wonderful children’s story teller who was admired by C. S. Lewis, beginning with The Story of the Treasure Seekers in 1899. We have previously enjoyed some of her books, including The Railway Children, Five Ch...more

This was just absolutely fun! My only regret is that I didn't find Edith Nesbit's books while I was still a child. I still smile and laugh when I think of the stories I've read by her. One doesn't quickly forget them, which may be the greatest magic of all!

A very fun collection of children's stories! There are recurring themes of naughty children, adult unfairness, separation from parents (whether through death, poverty, or work overseas), loyalty, justice, pluck, and reconciliation. As for genre, they mostly range somewhere between fairy-tale and...more

"The Cat-hood of Maurice" - a boy abuses the family cat, and learns to see things from the feline point of view. (3 stars)

"The Mixed Mine" - two boys find a magic spyglass, and use it to make their fortunes. (3 stars)

"Accidental Magic" -Quentin falls asleep on the altar stone at Stonehenge, and w...more

I listened to an excellent audio streaming version of this, narrated perfectly by Johanna Ward. All E. Nesbit should be narrated by Johanna Ward; her voice encapsulates all that is droll and witty and excellent about Nesbit. Elsewhere, I've seen The Magic World described as "influential" and I ha...more

A very fun collection of stories. I especially liked "The Mixed Mine", "The Princess and the Hedge-Pig", "Belinda and Bellamant" and "The Magician's Heart". 3 1/2 stars.

Not everyone is successful at writing literary fairytales, especially those stories that mix the modern world with traditional wonder tales of magic and enchantment. Joan Aiken was one who mastered this deft conjoining of old and new, as did her predecessor Edith Nesbit. Maybe it takes a special...more

Just love how E. Nesbit writes directly to children in the Edwardian
times about things they know and understand. She was an astounding
woman for her time - she and her husband were founder members of
the Fabian society, her husband was a philanderer so Edith not only
had the mistress live with them...more

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2018: A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym. I didn't have an actual male pseudonym author to call on from my TBR list so this is the closest I could get; using an initial is also a common practice by female authors to hide their gender.

A mixed bag, but...more

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