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

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

English Literature and Translation
a most admirable and timely volume.
Reference and Research Book News
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.
August 2006 Reference and Research Book News
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.
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Product Details

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Part 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Chapter 1. The "It" Girl (and Boy): Ideologies of Gender in the Psammead Trilogy Chapter 3 Chapter 2. A Momentary Hunger: Fabianism and Didacticism in E. Nesbit's Writing for Children Chapter 4 Chapter 3. The Beginning of the End: Writing Empire in E. Nesbit's Psammead Books Chapter 5 Chapter 4. Generic Manipulation and Mutation: E. Nesbit's Psammead Series as Early Magical Realism Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Materiality, the Wish, and the Marvelous: E. Nesbit's Comic Spirituality in the Psammead Trilogy Chapter 7 Chapter 6. Communicating Humor in E. Nesbit's Fantasy Trilogy Chapter 8 Chapter 7. Where It Was, There Shall Five Children Be: Staging Desire in Five Children and It Chapter 9 Chapter 8. Textual Building Blocks: Charles Dickens and E. Nesbit's Literary Borrowings in Five Children and It Chapter 10 Chapter 9. Five Children and It: Some Parallels with the Nineteenth-Century Moral Tale Chapter 11 Chapter 10. News from E. Nesbit: The Story of the Amulet and the Socialist Utopia Chapter 12 Chapter 11. The Amulet and Other Stories of Time Chapter 13 Chapter 12. "Exactly As It Was"? H.R. Millar's Expansions and Subversions of the Psammead Trilogy Chapter 14 Chapter 13. Only Half Magic: Edward Eager's Revision of Nesbit's Psammead Trilogy Part 15 About the Editor and Contributors
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