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Book Title: The Book of Dragons|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 972 KB
v The author of the book: E. Nesbit
Edition: Dover Publications
Date of issue: October 26th 2004
ISBN 13: 9780486436487
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books The Book of Dragons:This book, published in 1901, is described as a fantasy classic for children of middle school age, as well as something that will enchant people of all ages. It has eight stories featuring youngsters and dragons who come to cross purposes and clash. And how it ends depends on courage, luck, and much help from the author.
I chose this book because I wanted to read something light after a string of heavier books, and because I like imaginative stories with dragons in them. But I failed to see the charm in these stories. And it had nothing to do with this being a children's book and me being an adult. I enjoy reading children's books that are well written and have memorable characters. These stories did not fit that description. They were juvenile and nonsensical, with undeveloped characters in stories that changed direction on a whim, leaving big plot holes in their wake. The girls, for the most part, were written as pretty and sweet, but silly or helpless, and either less than intelligent or treated as if they were. The dragons were mostly rampaging creatures wanting to feed on whatever got in their way with the children bent on stopping them to win the day. And if the children were lucky, they lived happily ever after, after much killing was done, while learning a lesson or two along the way.
The biggest problem was, I couldn't find anything magical about most of these stories which I feel might have been written as intentionally silly. But whatever it was that was supposed to be amusing about them was lost on me. Plus, I have my doubts about middle school children finding these stories satisfying or memorable. And there was a lot of violence treated casually in this book, as there often is in fairy tales.
Did I enjoy anything about this book? I enjoyed the concepts behind some of the stories, such as in the first tale called "The Book of Beasts" where a young boy finds a magical and potentially dangerous book that was better left closed. But the resolution to the story undid everything good that led up to it, as was the case with so many of these stories. Another story that was very close to a classic fairy tale was "The Island of the Nine Whirlpools." It was my favorite in the bunch. It was about a queen who, more than anything, wanted a baby. So she made a deal with a witch to have one, despite the witch's warning that sorrow would accompany the joy, which indeed it did in a way she never could have imagined.
I wish I could recommend this book, but I can't. Classic children's books are wonderful. Winnie the Pooh books are a great example. I'll remember those tales always, unlike those in this book.
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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