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The Magic World

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  271 ratings  ·  22 reviews
At her imaginative best, Nesbit takes us through such tales as "The Cat-hood of Maurice", "The Mixed Mine", "Accidental Magic", "The Princess and the Hedge-pig", The Related Muff", "Justnowland", "Kenneth and the Carp" and more.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 1996 by Puffin (first published 1912)
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(showing 1-30 of 706)
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Diane
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 but all the children were bought up
together. Edith loved children and it came through in her stories.
So in the lovely fairy tale "The Princess and the Hedge-pig" you
have the King and Queen trying to pla
...more
JoAnn
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!
Wayne S.
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 Children and It, and The Enchanted Castle. Unlike the others, The Magic World is not a novel but a collection of twelve fantasy short stories.

In "The Cat-Hood Of Maurice," a thoughtless boy is taught a l
...more
Melissa
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 characters, whose oft-heroic actions generally bring them happiness and good fortune.

The stories about girls and women feature flat, helpless characters who do almost nothing, and are saved by other people.
...more
An Odd1
While fathers are in India, lonely mischievious children find magic and happy homes. Troublemakers are rewarded, but so are honesty and kindness. Peoplewhounderstand do not lecture condescendingly, rather escape Whereyouwanttogo. #3 and 8 hint at the author's Bohemian life - her obsession that Bacon wrote Shakespeare, and work toward an egalitarian Utopia.
"By far the most uncomfortable thing to be in is disgrace.. We have all been there .. where the heart sinks and aches .. outside all hope an
...more
Elisabeth
3.5 stars. None of these short stories pack quite the same punch as Nesbit's full-length children's fantasies, but there are some fun ones in here. Most of them deal with mixing magic into the everyday lives of the child characters (I'd say "Kenneth and the Carp" and "The Mixed Mine" were a couple of the best), but there are also some cute almost-parodies of the old-fashioned fairytale—I particularly liked "The Princess and the Hedge-Pig." There's also one non-fantasy story which strayed in ther ...more
Heather
E. Nesbit is possibly my favorite children's author. She has the most delightful way of writing to rather than just for children, yet with a dry sense of humor that pleases adults, too. Take, for example, the princess in one of these stories who turns to the "Royal Match Catalogue Illustrated" to find her prince, choosing one whose bio stipulates "Wants Princess who doesn't object to a christening curse . . ." Some of these stories are of ordinary children who find themselves in magical situatio ...more
Barbara
Truly enjoyed this book would make a great read aloud book to kids. I read it after reading that A.S. Byatt's book The Children's Book was a fictional account of E. Nesbit. Since I listened to both I think it was the same reader as well.
Jenn
A wonderful counter to the depressing contributions of Oscar Wilde and Hans Christian Anderson and the Grimm Boys. (I like reading them too but their fairy tales are so depressing). These stories I would not hesitate to read at bed time to a small child.

Has anyone ever considered turning them into individual illustrated works?
Sally
A charming collection! I love E. Nesbit's wit and the way she writes fantasy. She makes it feel as though it's part of another world but then it's actually not - one King and Queen leaving the magical kingdom to go live in Tooting, another pair retiring to keep pigs and hens. Fun stuff, and this collection reminded me both of Enid Blyton and Eva Ibbotson with the style of the stories and their telling.

Favourites: The Cat-Hood of Maurice, The Mixed Mine, The Princess and the Hedge-Pig, The White
...more
heidi
I love love love E Nesbit. Charming as always.
Mary
Charming does not even begin to describe these stories. They are sly, funny, strange, and, like a good great aunt, you can never quite tell if they are genuinely affectionate or slightly mocking you or both. There is also an aching sorrow under these stories, like the way that so many royals have difficulties with their finances, and how one king tears down all of the beautiful wild places and builds ugly sprawling developments. Makes me desperate to read a biography of Nesbit.
Abigail
Some of the stories in this collection are imaginative and good, like The Mixed Mine, or Septimus Septimusson (I hope I spelled that right). But in a few others the plot is too abrupt, and becomes almost a deux ex machina. Like Bellamant being able to produce his godfather just like that, or the hedgehog who suddenly knows everything and turns out to be a prince. Poof! Problems all solved. Happy contrived ending. I expected better from Edith Nesbit.
Jen
Such a fun collection of stories - like the brothers Grimm, but with a cheeky, English twist.
Catherine
I enjoyed several of these but I eventually lost interest and didn't finish.
Mary
The author is much better at writing full length fiction. This book is a collection of her short stories. The first story is horrible. The boy in the story tortures his cat and the family cook abuses the cat.
Mark Dewey
This was pretty interesting. There were lots of christening/fairy stories. I wonder if Gail Carson Levine gleaned inspiration from E. Nesbit, though there are loads of other ways she could have gotten on that track.
Heather
This is the best collection of E. Nesbit's short stories I've read. The stories were entertaining, amusing and imaginative.
Maureen E
Short stories by Nesbit. Nice enough, but none of them really stuck out as fantastic.
Emma
This is a fun book. It has sevrel fun stories in it.
Chinonso Anunkor
I laughed out loud.. a lot
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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 The Enchanted Castle & Five Children and It

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“There is nothing more luxurious than eating while you read—unless it be reading while you eat. Amabel did both: they are not the same thing, as you will see if you think the matter over.” 1515 likes
“So he caught her in his arms and kissed her, and they were very happy, and told each other what a beautiful world it was, and how wonderful it was that they should have found each other, seeing that the world is not only beautiful but rather large.” 5 likes
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