Children Nesbit, Edith: Five of Us – and Madeline. v1. 15 Nov 2015
#1  GrannyGrump 11-15-2015, 05:19 AM
Five of Us – and Madeline
By Edith Nesbit 1858–1924)
With a glossary for young readers.

Some contents first published ca. 1907~1912. Published in book form 1925. The text of this book is in the public domain in countries where copyright is “Life+90” or less.

Edith Nesbit Bland, English author and poet, published approximately 40 books for children under the name of E. Nesbit. Her innovative body of work influenced many subsequent fantasy writers. She also wrote for adults, publishing about a dozen novels and countless short stories.

* * * *

This is Nesbit’s final book, edited and published the year after her death. It is highly reminiscent of the Bastable series – we again have a rather self-important boy, Clifford, narrating the adventures and misadventures of himself, his four siblings, and the detested Cousin Madeline. Young readers who loved Oswald Bastable, and who have less critical demands about story arcs and consistency, will enjoy this book.

“Five of Us” is considered by many critics to be Nesbit’s weakest work. But perhaps it should be considered as a collection of short stories or vignettes, rather than a novel.

* * * *

Notes of possible interest: Several episodes can be found in magazine archives. Stories that became Chapters 6, 8, 9, 10 appeared in Pall Mall Magazine 1907 ~ 1909; and in late 1912 The Strand Magazine published “The Sleuth Worm” (see Chapter 5), which was not a “Clifford” story (the hero was “Leonard Surtees”). The style of Chapter 3 makes it seem likely that it also was not born as a “Clifford” story. That those stories were allowed to languish for more than a decade could indicate that Nesbit had no intention of publishing them as a book.

Italics, punctuation, and diacritics formatted; some spelling and punctuation modernized and standardized. A glossary for young readers has been added, annotating some terms no longer in general use, or in use primarily in the UK. Embedded fonts for drop-caps and small-caps. Due to copyright restrictions, illustrations were omitted.

Not one of the best Nesbits, and not recommended as a first-time read if you've never read any of her work before. But any Nesbit is not to be sneezed at -- there are plenty of chuckles and chortles to be found here
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