The Railway Children

The Railway Children

4.6 21
by E. Nesbit

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Rediscover the timeless tales of children's literature in this beautifully designed series from Pavilion. Exquisitely illustrated and published in uniform editions, these are a must for every child's bookshelf. See more details below


Rediscover the timeless tales of children's literature in this beautifully designed series from Pavilion. Exquisitely illustrated and published in uniform editions, these are a must for every child's bookshelf.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This reintroduction of an English classic follows the adventures of three siblings at the turn of the 20th century. Roberta, Peter and Phyllis live in an upperclass English household with adoring parents and little to worry about, until one day when some men unexpectedly escort their father away. The children are never told exactly why this has happened, but their mother assures them that their father will return. Without the breadwinner, the family must move to a small cottage in the countryside where life is quite different than what they were accustomed. The story is primarily about the children's adventures during this time in the country. They live near a railway station and encounter an array of characters and occurrences that provide ongoing excitement as they anxiously await their father's return. The original illustrations and descriptions of family life and social customs in another era may need some explanation which makes this book perfect for class oral reading. The author was a favorite among young people of the day as the story captures an innocent time quite different from today. 2005 (orig. 1906), SeaStar Books, Ages 8 to 11.
—Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
From the Publisher
 • "Her child characters were remarkable in her day because they are so entirely human. They are intelligent, vain, aggressive, humorous, witty, cruel, compassionate... in fact, they are like adults." —Gore Vidal

Product Details

Oxford University Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.08(w) x 7.72(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Edith Nesbit was a mischievous child who grew up into an unconventional adult. With her husband, Hubert Bland, she was one of the founder members of the socialist Fabian Society; their household became a centre of the socialist and literary circles of the times. E. Nesbit turned late to children's writing. Her first children's book, The Treasure Seekers, was published in 1899 to great acclaim. Other books featuring the Bastable children followed, and a series of magical fantasy books, including Five Children and It also became very popular. The Railway Children was first published monthly in the London Magazine in 1905, and published as a book in 1906, which has been in print ever since.

Read an Excerpt

They were not railway children to begin with. I don't suppose they had ever thought about railways except as a means of getting to Maskelyne and cook's, the Pantomime, Zoological Gardens and Madame Tussaud's. They were just ordinary suburban children, and they lived with their Father and Mother in an ordinary red-brick-fronted villa, with coloured glass in the front door, a tiled passage that was called a hall, a bathroom with hot and cold water, electric bells, French windows, and a good deal of white paint, and 'every modern convenience', as the house-agents say.There were three of them. Roberta was the eldest. Of course, Mothers never have favourites, but if their Mother had a favourite, it might have been Roberta. Next came Peter, who wished to be an Engineer when he grew up; and the youngest was Phyllis, who meant extremely well.Mother did not spend all her time in paying dull calls to dull ladies, and sitting dully at home waiting for dull ladies to pay calls to her. She was almost always there, ready to play with the children, and read to them, and help them to do their home-lessons. Besides this she used to write stories for them while they were at school, and read them aloud after tea, and she always made up funny pieces of poetry for their birthdays  and for other great occasions, such as the christening of new kittens, or the furnishing of the dolls house, or the time when they were getting over the mumps.These three lucky children always had everything they needed: pretty clothes, good fires, a lovely nursery with heaps of toys, and a Mother Goose wallpaper. They had a kind and merry nursemaid, and a dog who was called James and who was their very own. They also had a Father who was just perfect - never cross, never unjust, and always ready for a game - at least, if at any time he was not ready, he always had an excellent reason for it, and explained the reason to the children so interestingly and funnily that they felt sure he couldn't help himself.You will think that they ought to have been very happy. And so they were, but they did not know how happy till the pretty life in Edgecombe Villa was over and done with, and they had to live a very different life indeed...  

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