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E. Nesbit's Psammead Trilogy: A Children's Classic at 100 [Hardcover]

Claudia Nelson , Monica Flegel , Mavis Reimer , Teya Rosenberg , Naomi Pueo Wood , Donna R. White , David Rudd , Jan Susina , Ann Dowker , Suzanne Rahn , Julia Briggs , Jennifer Marchant , Esther Gilman Richey , Raymond E. Jones
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Book Description

April 13 2006 0810854015 978-0810854017
The year 2006 marks the hundredth anniversary of book publication of the final volume of the Psammead trilogy-Five Children and It (1902), The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904), and The Story of the Amulet (1906)-a remarkable series of fantasy novels for children by an equally remarkable writer, Edith Nesbit. In this trilogy, Nesbit combined fantasy and history with the domestic realism and humor of her Bastable books-The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1899), The Wouldbegoods (1901), and The New Treasure Seekers (1904)-the books that established her reputation as one of England's preeminent writers for children. By doing so, she not only earned popularity with several generations of child readers, but she also established her claim to a position in the pantheon of important writers for children. The essays collected in this volume celebrate the completion of the Psammead trilogy. Written by both established and new scholars in England, Canada, and the United States, these essays employ differing critical strategies and place Nesbit in various contexts to assess her achievement. In producing books with memorable comic moments, character-testing adventures, plausible child characters with real feelings and real limitations, and interesting and challenging thematic material, Nesbit produced in the Psammead trilogy books that children still read with enjoyment. Such fantasies truly are classics of children's literature. Teachers and students of children's literature and of British literature and culture will find this a valuable guide to critically reviewing and enjoying Nesbit's works.

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...the collection offers an enticing array of shifting perspectives...The pleasure of these essays lies not only in their individual arguments but also in the way they creatively challenge and complement each other, demonstrating the vitality of contemporary Nesbit criticism. (Children's Literature Association Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 2 (2007))

a most admirable and timely volume. (English Literature and Translation)

Nesbit's works of fantasy nestle on many a child's bookshelf, and in this trilogy three of them reside: Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and The Story of the Amulet. In this collection of 13 essays scholars peek behind the fantasy and find plenty, including such topics as the ideologies of gender in the Psammead Trilogy, Fabianism and didacticism, the writing of empire, magical realism in the form of generic manipulation and mutation, comic spirituality and communicating humor, staging desire in Five Children and It, Nesbit's and Dickens's literary borrowings, parallels with the nineteenth-century moral tale, socialist utopia in The Story of the Amulet, H.R. Millar's expansions and subversions of the trilogy, and Edgar Eager's revisions. (Reference and Research Book News, August 2006)

About the Author

Raymond E. Jones is a professor in the Department of English and Film Studies, the University of Alberta. He is author of Characters in Children's Literature (1997) and of articles on children's authors ranging from Maurice Sendak and Philippa Pearce to Monica Hughes and Michael Bedard. He is co-author, with Jon C. Stott, of Canadian Children's Books: A Guide to Authors and Illustrators (2000) and co-editor, with Jon C. Stott, of A World of Stories: Traditional Tales for Children (2006).

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the whole story... Oct. 23 2006
By Yuck
For anyone who's interested in this book, it is simply a collection of essays about the Psammead Trilogy. I was very disappointed with my order as there wasn't anything shown which suggested this wasn't the actual Psammead Trilogy, three children's stories by E. Nesbit.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars E. Nesbit is a must read Aug. 17 2008
By Loving Mom - Published on Amazon.com
E. Nesbit's writing is superb. She doesn't preach down or dumb down but fully expects children to be as alert interested, articulate and imaginative as they are if you let them.I read her books at around 12 years old and enjoyed and remembered them. My smart 7 year old has had many of her books read to him a few times but the adult who reads it gets as much pleasure and interest as he does.There's nothing cutesy or predictable. Her stories are about real children who act, feel and think like three dimensional children. Gore Vidal felt,in the Dec.3rd 1964 New York Review of Books, that E.Nesbit was crucial childhood reading. He says it better than me so google it. The Psammead is an ancient curmudgeonly wish granter. The fact of receiving what one wishes for may not be as ideal as one hopes for and the varied scrapes these children find themselves in are interesting. Their relationships as older and younger siblings are dealt with in a real and lively way. E. Nesbit wrote in England during the Victorian era and so the settings and trappings are of the period but her expression of human thoughts ,feelings and behavior are very fresh and not at all stilted. The children are trying hard to live up to the values they believe in and often fall short but find ways to try to repair any problems they have caused or tripped into. E. Nesbit was a very interesting character ahead of her time in many ways (again Google and Wickipedia provide more than I can). Her books teach ethical, honorable and compassionate behavior without a hint of preachiness. They also teach kids to think for themselves clearly and creatively. They are a lot of fun. She wrote about 40 books for children so you wont run out soon!
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Essays, NOT the Trilogy Jan. 21 2010
By Nesbit lover - Published on Amazon.com
Please note that this is a collection of 13 essays on the trilogy by E. Nesbit, not the trilogy itself!
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