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The Enchanted Castle

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  7,487 ratings  ·  568 reviews
Jerry, Jimmy, and Cathy stumble upon a mysterious castle with a beautiful princess asleep in the garden. The princess is really Mabel, the housekeeper's niece, who is only pretending to be royalty. But when she shows them a secret room filled with treasure where they discover a magical ring, enchantment becomes a reality.
Paperback, 291 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by Puffin (first published 1907)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  7,487 ratings  ·  568 reviews

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Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
I started this book in the naive hope that it would be a palate cleanser after the book on Pierpont Morgan. While it was mildly more sophisticated than Five children and It it seemed less adroit than The Railway Children, and again as always with E.Nesbit, founder member of the Fabian Society, part of me is reading wondering 'where's the Socialism' (view spoiler)?

Then all
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love children's classics and magical adventures
This story is wonderful. I have memories of this reading this as a child and of watching a BBC serial of the book when I was 6 yrs old. Reliving the part of the story that stuck with me, the part where the children put on a play and short of audience members they make some out of hats, coats and hockey sticks and paint paper masks for faces, which then under the magic of the ring (view spoiler) ...more
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.
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nesbit, fantasy
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
Nov 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, mg
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
Jun 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Sarah Hale
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Александра Огнаноска
Adventure is always a few steps ahead! This thought continues echoing throughout the tale. Whether it's hiding under our blankets, imagining there's a vast cave next door or looking for pearls, emeralds and marbles.

Indeed, I haven't read a more heart-warming and jovial story than the story of Jerry, Jimmy and Cathy.

The siblings whose friendship and mutual loyalty strengthens as they're mastering the art of dealing with various supernatural beings. Three personalities - three different, yet tho
Melissa McShane
I re-read this recently while I was experimenting with my new e-reader and downloading free books sourced from Project Gutenberg. I have a theory that the format in which you read a book affects your reading experience, that an e-book is actually different from a print book, and the different editions of a print book offer a changed experience. (It occurs to me that you might create this effect simply by altering the font and size in your e-book, too.) But in this case, my enjoyment was marred b ...more
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining children's story liberally sprinkled with moments of profundity. Here's an example of her describing an experience the children have with a strange light in the midst of living statues:

"Everything changes or, rather, everything is revealed. There are no more secrets. The plan of the world seems plain, like an easy sum that one writes in big figures on a child's slate. One wonders how one can ever have wondered about anything. Space is not; every place that one has seen or dreamed
The banter and humor was fantastic and subtle. I need to go on another adventure with Nesbit and see what other characters she comes up with. Her writing is magic. The Railway Children is next! ...more
Luisa Knight
What a hilarious twist at the beginning!!

I don't want to give anything away but I was quite surprised and pleased with how the story began. Very extraordinary and entirely clever - I had to chuckle!

The story is about two brothers and a sister that find themselves on an adventure during their school holiday. All kinds of fascinating things happen to them when they go through a little tunnel and come upon a castle ... an enchanted castle, it would seem!

A touch slow at times but worth the read as
Cynthia Egbert
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love Nesbit and this one is no exception. All of the greatest fantasies and nightmares of childhood in one delightful story!

A few thoughts I must remember:

"'Perhaps there's given up being magic because people didn't believe in it anymore,' said Kathleen. 'Well don't let's spoil the show with any silly old not believing,' said Gerald with decision. 'I'm going to believe in magic as hard as I can. This is an enchanted garden, and that's an enchanted chaste, and I'm jolly well going to explore.'"
Nov 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy E. Nesbit, her books are filled with magic, but mindful of the careful what you wish for mantra. Magic never is completely magical and harm-free in her books. Something always goes a little haywire.

This book takes a sister and her two brothers on a journey with a self-proclaimed princess from a nearby castle. Of course, this princess is merely the housekeeper’s niece, but she claims to have magical items that fill the children's time with mischief and fun. They go about town having a lit
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 Davis
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
In many ways, my discover of E. Nesbit (chronicled here) is like my discovery of Diana Wynne Jones. There is the same breathless enjoyment of the author's creativity, humor, and imagination. There is the same gulping of one book after another. There is the same desire to begin buying copies for everyone I know.

The Enchanted Castle is said to be one of Nesbit's very best. The LibriVox recording is far from "best" but it'll do, especially if I imagine the narrator as a beloved uncle earnestly shar
Josh Wilson
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Josh Wilson
This is a whimsical story about four children who find a magic ring, after they stumble upon a hidden passage to a magnificent castle estate. Every chapter is its own episode. I think E. Nesbit has written a British version of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer. They're not similar in theme, but they both give the sense of taking you through several mini-plots until the end, which reveals the overarching narrative. I was afraid the end would simply be the conclusion of another of these episodes,
This book reminded me enough of C.S. Lewis to hold my interest. However, I can't say I overly enjoyed it. I think perhaps I would have enjoyed it more when I was younger. It did get better as is it went along but it lacked any sense of...urgency. Or point? Not that all plots need a point but the various adventures felt strung together without too much rhyme or reason until near the end (which probably was the point since Childhood and Imagination and stuff felt lacking.)
I'd read it to a
Nov 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked this book as a quick read to complete my Pre-Tolkien requirement for a reading bingo. So the irony that the Pre Tolkien book I picked turned out to be a different type of cautionary tale about the danger of magic rings is rather delightful.
Kat  Hooper
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Another endearing children’s fantasy by a woman who obviously knows what children like. You can’t go wrong with Edith Nesbit and most of her books are available free in the public domain.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Nice old-fashioned tale of children experiencing magic.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe this isn't a movie! My kids will be reading this.
Sean DeLauder
Not as riddled with commentary and digressions as Peter Pan and not as thin as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (two books I appreciate for their place in child fantasy history, and continue trying, but failing, to finish), but somewhere in the middle. The middle is not necessarily a good place to be, depending on your surroundings. Sitting between a sweaty man and a screaming child on a cramped subway car is not an ideal location. I'm sure both have fans and for some the halfway point between the two ...more
The Mustache Louie Matos
I want everyone that follows my reviews to understand that my objectivity succumbs to my subjectivity in this book. This is a first time read for me, despite the book’s status as “Classic.” It really reminded me of my own childhood with my brother, Marc, and my sister, Dee. We were as close and precocious as Jerry, Jimmy, and Cathy, getting into all sorts of troublesome adventures. This is a very magical sort of read, as the title suggests, filled to the seams with whimsy. You have to enjoy fant ...more
Tracy Smyth
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a nice little story but you would thinks that children would learn not to make silly wishes when all of their other wishes have not been successful. They really got into strife by not thinking their wishes through
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Too confusing for me, felt like it was jumping all over the place.
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The Library Lived In: The Enchanted Castle - Feb. 2017 8 5 Feb 25, 2017 01:40PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Publication Date 2 150 Nov 19, 2012 08:12AM  

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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

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