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Enchanted Castle

Enchanted Castle

4.2 18
by E. Nesbit, H. R. Millar (Illustrator)

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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


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.

Author Biography: E[dith] Nesbit (1858-1924) was the author of a number of much-loved stories in which ordinary children encounter magical adventures in the everyday world. Her novels include the three-book series Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and The Story of the Amulet. Her other books include The Enchanted Castle, which is also available from Books of Wonder/Morrow in a handsome gift editionfeaturingPaul o. Zelensky's paintings..

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Puffin Classics Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.75(d)
890L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

There were three of them -- Jerry, Jimmy, and Kathleen. Of course, Jerry's name was Gerald, and not Jeremiah, whatever you may think; and Jimmy's name was James; and Kathleen was never called by her name at all, but Cathy, or Catty, or Puss Cat, when her brothers were pleased with her, and Scratch Cat when they were not pleased. And they were at school in a little town in the west of England -- the boys at one school, of course, and the girl at another, because the sensible habit of having boys and girls at the same school is not yet as common as I hope it will be some day. They used to see each other on Saturdays and Sundays at the house of a kind maiden lady; but it was one of those houses where it is impossible to play. You know the kind of house, don't you? There is a sort of a something about that kind of house that makes you hardly able even to talk to each other when you are left alone, and playing seems unnatural and affected. So they looked forward to the holidays, when they should all go home and be together all day long, in a house where playing was natural and conversation possible, and where the Hampshire forests and fields were full of interesting things to do and see. Their cousin Betty was to be there too, and there were plans. Betty's school broke up before theirs, and so she got to the Hampshire home first, and the moment she got there she began to have measles, so that my three couldn't go home at all. You may imagine their feelings. The thought of seven weeks at Miss Hervey's was not to be borne, and all three wrote home and said so. This astonished their parents very much, because they had always thought it was so nice forthe children to have dear Miss Hervey's to go to. However, they were "jolly decent about it," as Jerry said, and after a lot of letters and telegrams, it was arranged that the boys should go and stay at Kathleen's school, where there were now no girls left and no mistresses except the French one.

"It'll be better than being at Miss Hervey's," said Kathleen, when the boys came round to ask Mademoiselle when it would be convenient for them to come; "and, besides, our school's not half so ugly as yours. We do have tablecloths on the tables and curtains at the windows, and yours is all deal boards, and desks, and inkiness."

When they had gone to pack their boxes Kathleen made all the rooms as pretty as she could with flowers in jam jars -- marigolds chiefly, because there was nothing much else in the back garden. There were geraniums in the front garden, and calceolarias and lobelias; of course, the children were not allowed to pick these.

"We ought to have some sort of play to keep us going through the holidays," said Kathleen, when tea was over, and she had unpacked and arranged the boys' clothes in the painted chests of drawers, feeling very grown-up and careful as she neatly laid the different sorts of clothes in tidy little heaps in the drawers. "Suppose we write a book. "

"You couldn't," said Jimmy.

"I didn't mean me, of course," said Kathleen, a little injured; "I meant us."

"Too much work," said Gerald, briefly.

"If we wrote a book," Kathleen persisted, "about what the insides of schools really are like, people would read it and say how clever we were."

"More likely expel us," said Gerald. "No; we'll have an out-of-doors game -- bandits, or something like that. It wouldn't be bad if we could get a cave and keep stores in it, and have our meals there."

"There aren't any caves," said Jimmy, who was fond of contradicting everyone. "And, besides, your precious Mamselle won't let us go out alone, as likely as not."

"Oh, we'll see about that," said Gerald. "I'll go and talk to her like a father. "

"Like that?" Kathleen pointed the thumb of scorn at him, and he looked in the glass.

"To brush his hair and his clothes and to wash his face and hands was to our hero but the work of a moment," said Gerald, and went to suit the action to the word.

It was a very sleek boy, brown and thin and interestinglooking, that knocked at the door of the parlor where Mademoiselle sat reading a yellow-covered book and wishing vain wishes. Gerald could always make himself took interesting at a moment's notice, a very useful accomplishment in dealing with strange grown-ups. It was done by opening his gray eyes rather wide, allowing the corners of his mouth to droop, and assuming a gentle, pleading expression, resembling that of the late little Lord Fauntleroy -- who must, by the way, be quite old now, and an awful prig.

"Entrez!" said Mademoiselle, in shrill French accents. So he entered.

"Eh bien?" she said, rather impatiently.

"I hope I am not disturbing you," said Gerald, in whose mouth, it seemed, butter would not have melted.

"But no," she said, somewhat softened. "What is it that you desire?"

"I thought I ought to come and say how do you do," said Gerald, "because of you being the lady of the house."

He held out the newly washed hand, still damp and red. She took it.

"You are a very polite little boy," she said.

"Not at all," said Gerald, more polite than ever. "I am so sorry for you. It must be dreadful to have us to look after in the holidays."

"But not at all," said Mademoiselle, in her turn. "I am sure you will be very good children."

Gerald's look assured her that he and the others would be as near angels as children could be without ceasing to be human.

"We'll try," he said, earnestly.

"Can one do anything for you?" asked the French governess, kindly.

The Enchanted Castle. Copyright © by E. Nesbit. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Edith Nesbit (1858 – 1924), was a mischievous, tomboyish child who grew up to be an unconventional adult. She and her husband were founder members of the socialist Fabian Society and their home became a centre for socialist and literary discussion. Their friends included some of the time’s greatest writers and thinkers, including George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells.

Everything about Edith showed her as a woman trying to break out of the mould demanded by English society at the time – she expressed her individuality through her clothes, hairstyle, lifestyle and her habit of speaking forcefully on almost any subject. She lived her socialism and late in life her charitable deeds brought her close to bankrupcy.

E. Nesbit – she always used the plain initial for her writing and was sometimes thought to be a man – started to write for children after years of successful writing for adult magazines. She was asked to write about her childhood but instead of facts chose to describe her happy girlhood in fiction. The result was books still read today, firm bestsellers for decades. She was brilliant at combining real-life situations with elements of fantasy and humour. Films –such as The Railway Children - have kept her stories in the public eye and her magical fantasies, including Five Children and It, continue to delight each new generation of children.

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Enchanted Castle 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it from the first page to the end its a must read for all ages.
Iowa_Art_Fan More than 1 year ago
I have been searching for this book for over ten years...I had forgotten what the title of the book was. But I can remember reading this book as a child, and it being one of my favorites on my bookshelf. I only came across it, thru my iPhone app of free books..and read halfway thru the book, only to figure out it that it was my long, lost classic book...that had gone missing in action, when we moved. So glad to have found it! I will share this with my daughter when she is old enough, and hopefully it will become one of her favorites as well! This is a good book for tweens to adults (if you like fantasy). They find an "enchanted castle" and meet different characters along the way. You must have a nice imagination yourself to enjoy the book...i'm guessing the 1-2 star reviews weren't open minded enough to enjoy the book.
Elizabeths_pen More than 1 year ago
I do not know if I had ever feared something fictional before I met an Ugly Wuggly. I highly doubt that I had ever narrated my own doings before I was introduced to Jerry. I know for certain that I never called anyone a "dear" before meeting Kathleen. I know without a shadow of a doubt that all of these things and more became part of my life at age 8, between the covers of a paperback copy of Edith Nesbit's "The Enchanted Castle." The book fueled the fire of my childhood imagination, introducing my young mind to a very ordinary world where extraordinary things still happened. "The Enchanted Castle" is the tale of 3 children and their summer escapades while their parents are abroad. Seeking a bit of adventure, they find a great deal more than they bargained for, including a magical ring that does whatever you say it will do. Through their adventures with the ring, the children discover that what you want isn't always what is best for you. They learn that families must love each other and stick together, come what may. In fact, the bond between the siblings in spite of their clear irritation of one another is quite touching. Perhaps most beautifully of all, the children find that perhaps the most magical things in the world take place without spells or rings, when grown ups remember how to believe in things. While one flowing storyline, several main events in the novel are clearly carved in my mind, popping up the moment someone mentions invisibility, statues, garden mazes, magic rings, or perhaps the odd Ugly Wuggly. Nesbit's writing style is both charming and memorable. Upon examining my own writing and imagination, I can directly trace many of my own habits back to this book. Read this book for yourself. To your children. To a friend. Enjoy it, regardless of your age. But only crack the cover (or the screen, as the case may be), if you have an ember of childlike imagination left in you. Fan the flame, that the spark of young magic may never quite die.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story+great author=5stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How many pages/chapters? And the rating is what I hope it should be compared to others
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was such a great book, I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys fantasy books. It is very make believe, but it has a splas of reatily. This is a great book for childern, just like me. I think adults might also enjoy this book. This is defanitly a 5 STAR book! Gera;d, Kathleen, Mabel, and Jimmy make it feel as if you are there! ~~It all starts when they find an old ring after Mabel decides to play tick on the children and says she is a princess and she is really the house keeper's niece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book about 3 kids named Jimmy, Gerald, and Kathleen. They wanted to find out if there was really a castle. They traveled around and they ended up in a maze which was an enchanted garden. They got to the middle of the maze and they found a princess. They woke the princess from her hundred-year sleep. They found out that the princess was sleeping on a magic ring. You will find out the magic ring gets them through some not very good adventures. I think you will like this book becase I did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hey everybody! Just wanted to say how much I loved this book. I'm glad I took this book out of the library in 5th grade, cuz I still love it! I'll recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fanciful, fantastical, fairy-tales!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for those into fiction. If you like edward eager then you will love e nesbit.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
i usually love reading! but when i read this book, i was like: gosh! when's it gonna end! but i'm the kind of person that cannot leave a book unread, so i had to finish it. Edith just stretched the story too far. i mean, main story is: four kids find a magical ring, they get in trouble, they get out of trouble, the end. but this was: four kids find a magical ring, they get in trouble, they get out of trouble,they get in trouble, they get out of trouble,they get in trouble, they get out of trouble, etc, the end. it was just annoying. also, it had a lot of stuff mixed in it, and it wasnt written very well. it didnt have the essential 'flow' a book needs. it had fantasy, adventure, friendsip, and a teensy weensy of romance (the prince or watever with the princess...?) if you want to read a good book that has all these things (including the 'flow'), read the Narnia series or the Harry Potter series. theyre very well-written. C. S. Lewis and J. K. Rowling are amazingly good authors, not some amateur like edith-whats-her-face. im not descriminating her, im just saying her book is not good. there are tons of better books out there, so dont waste your time on this one. ------------- PS: i know, im thirteen, so it may seem as if thats the reason why i disliked the book, but i read this book 2 and a half years ago, back when i was ten. i hated it right from the beginning. it just never got interesting... ---------------------- for some books i enjoyed, look beow in the also recommended section of my review. ----------------------------------------------- Toodles!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Enchanted Castle was a very good book. The main characters were Gerald (often called Jerry), James (often called Jimmy), Kathleen (often called Cathy or Catty) and Mabel. Gerald, James and Kathleen were brothers and sister. They find a magic ring that makes them invisible, grants them wishes and do that ever else they might want it to. The ring turns Mabel and Gerald invisible, it turns some fake people (made of broom sticks(for the arms and legs), the body was made of rolled up rugs and blankets.) Then it turned Jimmy into an old, rich man and he forgets who everyone is, then it makes Mabel become four yards long. Then it turns Kathleen into a statue. Of course everything was turned back to normal at the end of the book. The book is also full of other types of magic, magical creatures, there's a room full of sparkling jewels and hidden passage ways. There's also a ghost, a princess and there are also a couple of romance stories, one very romantic love story and the other a funny and wacky love story. This book has all the elements that make up a wonderful book. The book is a conbination of a fantasy story, a horror story, a romance story and a mystery story all rolled up into one. This book has something for everyone, adults and children alike will love and cherish this book. It's one of those rare books that you can read over and over again with out ever getting bored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive only read part of this book and I cant get though it !!! It is abso lutly terrible. Hard to understand and doesnt give much detail. At some parts it gave too much detail. I really didnt understand it. Im one of those people who if i start a book i finish it. That was not the case with this book and you could give me a book and i WILL read it. It was hard for me to het through just a few chapters of it and im a really good reader! Dont waste your time and money on this book even if it does cost 99 cents!!!!! WARNING do not buy this book! I am not meaning to critisiz the auther but tjat is my opinion!
Mark Schwartz More than 1 year ago
It wasn't terrible, but it could of been a lot better. The beginning was boring, with many confusing sentences i couldn't understand till the 5th or 6th time re-reading it. I personally, don't think its worth buying.