(Edith Nesbit), 1858–1924, English author of children's books, adult novels, and poetry. A socialist and cofounder of the Fellowship of the New Life, out of which grew the Fabian Society
, Nesbit rebelled against the sentimentality of much of the children's literature of her time. Using humor, imaginative plots, and distinct characterizations, she wrote tales of both fantasy and naturalistic adventure. Three of her realistic books feature the Bastable children: The Story of the Treasure Seekers
(1899), The Woodbegoods
(1901), and The New Treasure Seekers
(1904). Another family group, known as The Five Children, are featured in three of her fantasy books: Five Children and It
(1902), The Phoenix and the Carpet
(1904), and The Story of the Amulet
(1906). Her children's novel The Railway Children
(1906) has been adapted for film and television.
See biographies by D. L. Moore (1933), N. Streatfeild (1958), J. Briggs (1987), and E. Fitzsimons (2019).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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