Edith Nesbit was a hugely influential writer whose books include The Railway Children and Five Children and It. The Bastable Series is ripe for rediscovery, and will appeal to fans of Arthur Ransom's Swallows and Amazons, which it inspired.
When their widowed father's business fails, the Bastable children decide to restore the family fortunes themselves. No longer able to afford school, the children have all the time in the world to devise ingenious money-making schemes: from digging for treasure in their Lewisham garden to becoming highwaymen on Blackheath Common. All too often their efforts lead to trouble rather than treasure, until one adventure finally pays off...
Published with illustrations by Gordon Browne, newly scanned from the original edition.
The Story of the Treasure Seekers is the first book in the Bastable trilogy, which continues with The Wouldbegoods and New Treasure Seekers.
'She's the children's writer with whom I most identify. [Nesbit] said, "By some lucky chance, I remember exactly how I felt and thought at 11." That struck a chord with me. The Story of the Treasure Seekers was a breakthrough children's book. Oswald is such a very real narrator, at a time when most people were writing morality plays for children' J. K. Rowling
'I loved the direct first-person narrative in the clear, forthright tones of Oswald Bastable' Jacqueline Wilson
'Endlessly surprising and inventive. But she is more than that ... She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had, while being the one who could most easily and sweetly break your heart with a phrase. Just try saying "Daddy oh my Daddy" without catching your breath. She made the magic worlds feel as near as the Lewisham Road and she bathed the Lewisham Road in magic' Frank Cottrell-Boyce
A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.
I loved the direct first-person narrative in the clear, forthright tones of Oswald Bastable — Jacqueline Wilson
If Britain is to children's fantasy as Brazil is to football, then Edith Nesbit is our Pele - endlessly surprising and inventive. But she is more than that. There were fantasy writers before Edith Nesbit but she is the one that brought the magical and the mundane together in a moment of nuclear fusion. She opened the door in the magic wardrobe, pointed the way to platform nine and three quarters. She even had a hand in building the Tardis. And these are among her minor achievements. She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had, while being the one who could most easily and sweetly break your heart with a phrase. Just try saying "Daddy oh my Daddy" without catching your breath. She made the magic worlds feel as near as the Lewisham Road and she bathed the Lewisham Road in magic — Frank Cottrell-Boyce
I love E. Nesbit — Neil Gaiman