Read the Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit Free Online
Book Title: the Book of Dragons|
The author of the book: E. Nesbit
Date of issue: July 10th 2009
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.61 MB
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Loaded: 2373 times
Reader ratings: 7.8
ISBN 13: 9781557427076
Read full description of the books:
If I told you that E. Nesbit dedicated this book to one of her husband's many illegitimate children, would you be more inclined to read it?
Of course you would.
You'd probably also love to know that E. Nesbit (Edith) was so enamored with her “main man,” one Mr. Bland, that she put on her man pants and made a career out of her writing (at a time when women could barely eke out a living doing anything), and took one for the team.
Her husband was apparently in ill health, and couldn't work, yet every time a widow in the village hollered out that she needed someone to come trim the wick on her candles, Mr. Bland could never mind his own beeswax. He never understood the concept of trimming the candles, but he certainly mastered dipping the wick and nine months after every helpful visit, he would arrive back at the Nesbit/Bland cottage with another bundle of illegitimate joy.
Boy, is there a story there.
So, off would go Ms. Nesbit, off to bring home the bacon, and fry it up in a pan, cause boy oh boy, she could never forget he was a man.
And, even though Ms. Nesbit wanted to write for adults, she kept being steered toward writing for children, but I think she found her compromise by writing in a way that satisfied both parties. The writing in this particular collection is definitely for the 10+ crowd, and, let me tell you, it was the mother of this household who was doing all of the laughing.
Because, presumably, this is a collection of nine stories about dragons, (with almost all dragon's sketched heads resembling giant phalluses, by the way), but peppered throughout are clues from Ms. Nesbit that she loved writing, but she could give a damn about the “dragon” details. (Reminds me a bit of Ray Bradbury. . . he offers the colors, the images, the amazing words, but he asks you, kindly, to surrender your disbelief when it comes to the tedious details).
My favorite example of this is from story #5 of this collection, “The Island of the Nine Whirlpools,” where Ms. Nesbit tells us that the princess lived under a curse for “more scores of years than you would like to add up on your slate,” but as to what the princess did or what the princess ate on a remote deserted island, she can only offer:
I have no doubt that you will wish to know what the princess lived on during the long years when the dragon did the cooking. My dear, she lived on her income—and that is a thing that a great many people would like to be able to do.
This is a sweet collection, but consider me more interested in Ms. Nesbit than dragons, and my next biography will surely be hers, because, lady, I am smitten with your sumptuous story!
However, given that she was a contemporary of George MacDonald's, a Scottish writer who had a career similar to hers, (though his was more spiritual in nature), I can not help but give a greater nod here to Mr. MacDonald's superior writing, and his greater success in writing to children and adult audiences, at the same time.
If you have never read George MacDonald's “A Light Princess,” may I recommend it with every cell of my being? It is 43 pages of some of the most stunning prose ever written and it brings me, almost literally, to my knees in awe.
Adults need fairy tales, too, and it may be the best one ever written.
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Read information about the authorEdith 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 connected to the Labour Party.
Edith Nesbit was born in Kennington, Surrey, the daughter of agricultural chemist and schoolmaster John Collis Nesbit. The death of her father when she was four and the continuing ill health of her sister meant that Nesbit had a transitory childhood, her family moving across Europe in search of healthy climates only to return to England for financial reasons. Nesbit therefore spent her childhood attaining an education from whatever sources were available - local grammars, the occasional boarding school but mainly through reading.
At 17 her family finally settled in London and aged 19, Nesbit met Hubert Bland, a political activist and writer. They became lovers and when Nesbit found she was pregnant they became engaged, marrying in April 1880. After this scandalous (for Victorian society) beginning, the marriage would be an unconventional one. Initially, the couple lived separately - Nesbit with her family and Bland with his mother and her live-in companion Maggie Doran. Nesbit discovered a few months into the marriage that Bland had been conducting an affair with Doran, fathering a child with her and previously promising to marry her. Though they argued ferociously Nesbit did not end the marriage, choosing instead to move in properly with her husband and become friends with Doran. She then began to help support Doran and her own family financially by writing and selling sentimental poetry. Nesbit's writing career therefore truly began as a need to support another woman's child.
As the family grew Nesbit and Bland became increasingly politically active. In 1883 they were amongst the founding members of The Fabian Society, a socialist group that would have an enormous effect on the politics of Britain over the next century. The couple named their third child Fabian after the society. At around the same time Nesbit invited her close friend Alice Hoatson to live with the family as housekeeper and secretary, as Hoatson was pregnant out of wedlock. Nesbit agreed to adopt the child to prevent a scandal. However after the child was born it became clear that the father of the child was none other than Nesbit's own husband - Bland. Nesbit demanded that the mother and baby leave her house; however Bland refused to allow it, stating he would leave her in turn if they could not remain. Nesbit relented and adopted the baby, Rosamund, and later dedicated her book 'The Book of Dragons' to her.
Initially, Edith Nesbit books were novels meant for adults, including The Prophet's Mantle (1885) and The Marden Mystery (1896) about the early days of the socialist movement. Written under the pen name of her third child 'Fabian Bland', these books were not successful. Nesbit generated an income for the family by lecturing around the country on socialism and through her journalism (she was editor of the Fabian Society's journal, Today).
Between 1899 and 1900 Nesbit's life altered dramatically. In 1899 Alice Hoatson had another child, John, with Bland - whom Nesbit dutifully adopted as her own son. That year the family moved to Well Hall House in Eltham, Kent. In 1900 her son Fabian died suddenly from tonsillitis - the loss would have a deep emotional impact and numerous subsequent Edith Nesbit books were dedicated to his memory. These personal upsets were occurring at the same time as Nesbit's increasing success and fame as an author for children. In 1899 she had published The Adventures of the Treasure Seekers to great acclaim.
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