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The Enchanted Castle
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The Enchanted Castle

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  5,118 ratings  ·  352 reviews
Afterword by Peter Glassman. "Originally published in 1907, this book concerns four likable English children and their adventures with a magic ring. It's hard to imagine a more appealing showcase for Nesbit's fantasy than this handsome volume....Zelinsky's artwork is as lively as the story and very much of the period....Beautiful."--Booklist. A Books of Wonder Classic.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 21st 1992 by HarperCollins (first published 1907)
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Manny
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 their surprise, they find it can make inanimate objects come to life, or make you rich. After a while, they come to a truly startling conclusion: the ring can do anything at all! When its latest power w ...more
Heather
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 of the greatest stories of magic for the last 100 years.
Chris
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 the term's origins, where chanting, speaking, singing and silent perusal of words creates the magic that keeps us literally in its spell.

Then there is the sort of enchantment that manifests itself most
...more
Elena Delos (EscribadeAvalon)
¡Uno jamás termina de aprender! Hace poco fui a mi librería de viejo favorita (que vende libros en excelentes condiciones, lucen como nuevos y son originales, además de tener ofertas increíbles!) y encontré un librito llamado "el castillo encantado" y se me enredó en los dedos, por ende lo traje a casa ¡y que bueno! pues no conocía la obra de Nesbit y me impresioné mucho, ahora entiendo de donde es que se inspiraron grandes como C S Lewis...

La historia de tres hermanitos que conocen un castillo
...more
Sarah Hale
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 the cover threatens to fall off). In many ways this is an underrated novel of E. Nesbit, and I will readily admit it is not one of her best. Nonetheless, I still love it more than 'The Railway Children', ' ...more
Julie
As a general rule I do not like fantasy but I had heard that this book was similar to but better than Harry Potter and I do like HP. For me, this book was okay, at best. I think what made HP so much better than other fantasy books I have read is that Rowling made me care about the characters and created a world that I could truly imagine and be interested in. This book just read like a chronology of events about people I knew nothing and cared nothing about. It also seemed very disjointed...a li ...more
Molly Westerman
Jul 27, 2010 Molly Westerman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, including but not limited to children and fantasy-lovers
This book is just delightful. Nesbit doesn't create perfect little darlings, though her child characters are certainly likable and engaging--it's just that they seem to be actual people. They get hungry and irritable, and have moments of sweeping exhilaration, and want to be kinder and braver and better-organized and all that than they manage to be most of the time. The adult narrator of The Enchanted Castle has a low-lying dry wit that I enjoy; this voice seems to ally itself with the children ...more
Trin
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 you've read Nesbit's short horror story, "Man-Size in Marble," which I highly recommend. (It's in the Edward Gorey-edited-and-illustrated Haunted Looking Glass, recently re-issued.)

New note: Anyone who
...more
Ariel
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, my daughter is reading it now and discovering the magic of E. Nesbit. My life and point of view has been so shaped by the English children's books I read as a child that it is very exciting to see her be ...more
Jenny
Four English children discover the magic of a ring, a castle, true love, and many adventures. How amazing that over 100 years later this story still enchants children and adults alike. The mix of magic with everyday life is brilliant! My children and I enjoyed reading this story that inspired other fabulous authors like C.S. Lewis. We're grateful for Nesbit's creativity that not only kept us spellbound, but also opened the way for many of the modern fantasy books that we love.
Julie
Apr 15, 2008 Julie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: E. Nesbit fans
Shelves: children-s, fantasy, 2007
I read this book years ago and the only thing I really remembered about it was the children finding a princess in the center of a hedge maze, who turned out to be the housekeeper's daughter. (That's basically chapter 1.) I liked E. Nesbit's writing style, but the children in the book were rather selfish at times. The book is okay, but it didn't make me want to go on a big E. Nesbit kick or anything.
Jill
My children and I listened to this (narration performed by Virginia Leishman) in the car. It didn't start out as something the children loved but after a several minutes, we were all interested in the story.

I don't believe in doing synopsis on my reviews because you can get the info from the book jacket. My review is what I thought about the book. So here you go:

We loved it. After we finished listening to it, my 7-year-old daughter begged me to put it back in again. A day later she named severa
...more
CLM
When Gerald, Kathleen and Jimmy find the enchanted castle they don't immediately take it seriously. Yet bit by bit they realize the magic is more powerful than expected, and they need every ounce of imagination and courage to come out on top.
Maria
Three siblings, Gerald, Jimmy and Kathleen get together during their summer holidays and decide on searching for a cave or something of the like where they can play and spend their time. After setting out for the woods, they come across a magnificent home that looked very much like a castle, surrounded by lush green grass, crystal clear lakes with swans floating on it, pretty gardens, statues as white as snow and a magnificent waterfall, the scene looked like a picture out of a book. They soon b ...more
Angus Mcfarlane
I'm not sure why I wanted to read this book. I think that someone on facebook suggested it was special in some way, so I put it on my 'to read' list or downloaded a free copy to iBooks. And then, after finishing something heavier, I started reading it for some light relief. I expected a kids story with a simple storyline filled with imagination and innocence. The result was a little different.

The beginning reminded me of Enid Blighton - adventures of the famous five - three kids in this case, af
...more
Mark Dewey
[Although I read Gutenberg EText no. 3536, I strongly recommend reading no. 34219 instead—the formatting is way better and it's divided into chapters. That edition is also listed on Goodreads.]

Let me preface this by saying it is a very interesting book, and that I may reveal some things in the story (although not the plot—the plot isn't standard, though, it seems: it's more adventure-driven on a case-by-case basis, kind of like a collection of stories about the same people, only linked together,
...more
Kwoomac
What I love about Nesbit is her focus on the children in her stories. This is my second book by her, the first being Five Children and It. There are loads of similarities between the two. The children are pretty much without supervision. The adults who do appear in the stories are simple and easily controlled.Sometimes the kids tell them the truth and aren't believed, other times the kids stress the true parts of their adventures, leaving out the bits that might concern the mostly inattentive ch ...more
Gale
THE PRICE OF MAGIC!

This turn-of-the century children's classic proves a gentle fantasy in the style of her FIVE CHILDREN AND IT. Typical of her fantasy stories these children learn the hard way that wishes are not really free--that sooner or later there is a price to be paid. In this tale three siblings and a neighbor girl (who pretends to be a princess) find themselves relatively free of adult supervision one summer in the English countryside. Obviously the lack of parents and guardians is a c
...more
Juushika
When three children discover a castle, a sleeping princess, and a magic ring over their summer holiday, what they find are magics false and true and tricky, beginning them on a rambling journey of enchanted adventure. The Enchanted Castle is a book of fluff and whimsy, but it's not without heart. Much of the plot is the near-episodic doing and undoing of mischievous magicstales of "be careful what you wish for," but never quite in the way either characters or audience expect. Characterization is ...more
Amy
I'm being generous with my ratings because I was not the intended audience for this book and while I thought it was good I wish I had read it twenty years ago. The book has a timeless feel that many children's Brit Lit books do. The plot is basically that four ordinary children find a magic object and have strange things happen to them. Some of the things seemed silly to me (once again - I am not the intended audience) but some of the things were really funny. At one point the little boy in the ...more
Julie
This story was first published by E. Nesbit in 1907 and the vocabulary and style of the story seemed dated. As a result, I think that most children would not enjoy it. The tale contains many interwoven elements of traditional fantasy, including the start of the enchanted Princess story (e.g. the Princess is asleep and must be awoken with a kiss from her Prince), that ends up having a twist in that the Princess is not really a Princess and is actually the housekeeper's niece playing a trick on th ...more
Pamela(AllHoney)
If I were much younger, maybe about 9 or 10 years old, I'm sure I would have given this book five stars. But I'm much older and while it was a nice fanciful read, I wasn't in love with it. Three siblings, Gerald, James and Kathleen, are passing their summer holiday together at a private school, somewhere in England. They go out to explore and find Yalding Castle and a young princess, who isn't really a princess. They find a magic ring and all sorts of magical things happen.

The kindle version I r
...more
Sarah
I've just re-read this after several decades and it passed the test of time with flying colours. It was always my favourite novel by E. Nesbit, although her short stories are arguably even better. The writer explores the potential of having a magic ring in a series of exciting and inventive stories - yes, it is episodic, but that's a necessary part of the formula when each wish takes the (usually unfortunate) wisher into completely new territory. Some of the episodes are simply entertaining but ...more
Elizabeth
I read the Enchanted Castle when I was younger and have some very fond memories of it. Nesbit has a way of writing that reminds me quite a bit of Diana Wynne Jones (Nesbit inspired DWJ, I believe); the plot advancement and revelations are very similar.

I loved the dialogue and the way the kids spoke; I don’t know what it is, but earlier writers did such a good job at writing kids that made them actually sound like kids—-mature kids, even (mature kids are different from kids who sound too old for
...more
Kathy
When my children were little we read, I thought, all the E. Nesbit books and loved them. (We also loved Edward Eager and Jane Langton and...others who have the delicious knack of making ordinary worlds shift to extraordinary happenings).

Somehow I missed this one, which I picked up the other day at a rival's bookshop (well, there are no rivals in the book world, not really).

It has all the pleasures of a good E. Nesbit, and I much enjoyed it; a group of children, a magic ring, a castle, gardens, r
...more
Pam Kirst
I needed some good story-telling to balance out all the challenges Kabat-Zinn poses, so I grabbed up a paperback by Edith Nesbit. I bought the two-book volume after reading a novel based on Nesbit's life--in that book, the author proposed that the fictional writer's craft supported not only her family but her husband's infidelities. The non-fiction bios I've read support that--the Nesbits had an unconventional and controversial life, to be sure.

Her work, however, remains vital and readable, and
...more
Mary Catelli
Once upon a time -- there were two brothers, Gerald and Jimmy, and a sister, Kathleen, who could not go home from boarding school because of measles, and after some wangling, they ended up staying at the sister's school, where there is a single teacher, the French mistress, staying during the holidays. Gerald is polite and persuades her it would be nicest all around if they went out by day with their meal in a picnic basket, and they set out in search of a rumored cave.

They find it. It leads to
...more
Sherwood Smith
I haven't reread these, and need to, but I devoured them when I was a kid, and fantasy was rare. Also, too many of them betrayed the reader with the horrible "It was all a dream," or "when the children came home, their adventures became just a dream, soon forgotten" endings. As I recall, Nesbitt never transgressed that way.
Karlan
As a Nesbit fan, I was pleased to find a copy of this charming, amusing, fantasy published in 1907. After trying to read Elizabeth Bowen, this provided a welcome break. The escapades of four children exploring a mansion, using a ring which granted wishes and helping along an adult romance was truly entertaining.
Eva Lucia
Also posted on Eva Lucias blog

Edith Nesbit wrote “The Enchanted Castle” in 1907 and introduced the readers of the early 1900s to an enchanting and creative universe. There are so many great elements in this book. It is the story of four children (Gerald, Jimmy, Cathy and Mabel) and their fairy tale which becomes a quest for discovery and a meeting with unfamiliar and magical features and creatures. The reader is presented to this unique world and is allowed to join the four children on their jou
...more
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Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet; she published her books for children under the name of E. Nesbit.
She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later connec
...more
More about E. Nesbit...
The Railway Children Five Children and It (Five Children, #1) The Phoenix and the Carpet (Five Children, #2) The Enchanted Castle & Five Children and It The Story of the Treasure Seekers (Bastable Children, #1)

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“If you're lucky enough to be different, don't you ever changed" - Taylor Swift” 8 likes
“Oh, if I could choose,” said Mabel, “of course I’d marry a brigand, and live in his mountain fastness, and be kind to his captives and help them to escape and-“ “You’ll be a real treasure to your husband.” said Gerald.” 7 likes
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