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by Edith Nesbit

  • ISBN: 1604596988
  • Category: Fiction
  • Author: Edith Nesbit
  • Subcategory: Classics
  • Other formats: doc lrf mbr mobi
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: SMK Books (May 20, 2009)
  • Pages: 156 pages
  • FB2 size: 1355 kb
  • EPUB size: 1372 kb
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 849
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The Railway Children was one of the first children’s classics I ever read.

The Railway Children was one of the first children’s classics I ever read. I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it. It was a strange old-fashioned hardback copy that I found for threepence at a jumble sale. It was very battered, with all the illustrations coloured in very badly, which was annoying. I started reading the story and was immediately gripped. It wasn’t hard to read at all; it was wondrously easy.

They were not railway children at the beginning. They lived with their father and mother in London. These three lucky children had everything that they needed. Pretty clothes, a warm house, and lots of toys. There were three of them. Roberta - she was always called Bobbie, and was the oldest. Next came Peter, who wanted to be an engineer when he grew up. And the youngest was Phyllis, who was always trying to be good. They also had a wonderful father who was never angry, and always ready to play a game. They were very happy. But they did not know how happy until their life in London was over, and they had to live a very different life indeed.

The Railway Children. автор: Эдит Несбит (E. Nesbit). The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Railway Children, by E. Nesbit. This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever

The Railway Children. Читать на английском и переводить текст. This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at ww. utenberg. Title: The Railway Children. Release Date: November 6, 2008 Last Updated: January 15, 2013. Produced by Les Bowler, and David Widger. The railway children. Although they now knew his name, the children never spoke of him by it-at any rate, when they were by themselves. To them he was always the old gentleman, and I think he had better be the old gentleman to us, too. It wouldn't make him seem any more real to you, would it, if I were to tell you that his name was Snooks or Jenkins (which it wasn't)?-and, after all, I must be allowed to keep one secret. If I were to do that, the book would never come to an end, and that would be a pity, wouldn't it? Well, as I was saying, life at Three Chimneys was never quite the same again.

The Railway Children eBook. To my dear son Paul Bland, behind whose knowledge of railways my ignorance confidently shelters. Chapter I. The beginning of things.

A simple story about the lives of three children living near the railway tracks cannot be told in a better way than this. It has the power to move even the hardest heart. The best thing about the story is that no one is the bad-bad-guy. No one is a miscreant. Children and teenagers. Children's books: 8-12.

Эдит Несбит The Railway Children. They were not railway children to begin with. I don’t suppose they had ever thought about railways except as a means of getting to Maskelyne and Cook’s, the Pantomime, Zoological Gardens, and Madame Tussaud’s. I don’t suppose they had ever thought about railways except as a means of getting to Maskelyne and Cook’s, the Pantomime, Zoological Gardens, and Madame Tussaud’s

When their father is taken away by strangers, three children move with their mother to a cottage near a railway station. Donor Challenge: Help us reach our goal! To the Internet Archive Community

When their father is taken away by strangers, three children move with their mother to a cottage near a railway station. Donor Challenge: Help us reach our goal! To the Internet Archive Community, Time is running out: please help the Internet Archive today. We’re dedicated to reader privacy so we never track you.

This story is about a family who moves to a house near the railway after the father is imprisoned as a result of being falsely accused of selling state secrets. The three children, Roberta, Peter and Phyllis, find amusement in watching the trains on the nearby railway line and waving to the passengers. They become friendly with Perks, the station porter, and with the Old Gentleman who always takes the 9:15 down train. He is eventually able to help prove their father's innocence, and reunite the family.
Reviews about The Railway Children (7):
— And something wonderful did happen exactly four days after she had said this.
I wish I could say it was three days after, because in fairy tales it is always three
days after that things happen. But this is not a fairy story, and besides, it really
was four and not three, and I am nothing if not strictly truthful.

Edith Nesbit had her tongue well in her cheek, of course, as she came to the end of her children's classic, published 110 years ago in 1906. After all, this story of three children forced into sudden poverty with their mother when their father is arrested has its full share of romance: the children thrive in their new environment next to a railway cutting, they make friends everywhere they go, and by a wonderful coincidence one of these friends turns out to be exactly the person who can help them. And yet, the enduring strength of the book has less to do with its romance than its truth. This is a real family, under real conditions, talking as people really talked—a far cry from the magical time-travel of THE STORY OF THE AMULET which preceded it.

Though equally fascinated by steam trains, I did not read the book as a child. I ordered it now as a footnote to Helen Dunmore's recent novel EXPOSURE, which takes THE RAILWAY CHILDREN as its narrative frame—something I naturally didn't know until it was pointed out by friends. Dunmore's focus is primarily on why the father was arrested; with Nesbit, this is simply a fact that the reader must conjecture in the opening pages; it is not until quite close to the end that we hear any details (and discover that the case is very close to Dunmore's). But I think she is right to say nothing up front; it reproduces exactly the child's feeling of being carted off to new places and situations without understanding the adult reason behind it. It also gives a clear foundation for their resilience: their task is simply to help their mother get the new cottage in order, take chores off her hands, and make the most of their new environment.

The three children are Roberta (12), Peter (10), and Phyllis (8). But the author explains on page 30:

— I am tired of calling Roberta by her name. I don't see why I should. No one else
did. Everyone else called her Bobbie, and I don't see why I shouldn't.

So we get to know them by boys' names: Bobbie, Peter, and Phil. This matches the children's active independence, yet Nesbit does not turn the girls into tomboys; her gender balance is carefully thought out, and breaks the usual pattern of an elder boy leading the girls. Peter is there for physical strength and mechanical ingenuity, but Roberta is the one with the most responsibility, the one closest to her mother, the thinker, and in many ways the protagonist of the book. It is she who suggests that they get up early on their first morning, light the fire, lay the table, and put the kettle on for breakfast. After which, they go outside, discover the railway, and lose track of time:

— They had made an excellent fire, and had set the kettle on it at about half past five.
So that by eight the fire had been out for some time, the water had all boiled away,
and the bottom was burned out of the kettle. Also they had not thought of washing
the crockery before they set the table.

But their mother is nothing if not resilient too, and soon the children are off to visit the little rural station and make the first of their many friends. Even here, Nesbit values truth. Very few of the adults who come to help them fall in love with their cuteness at first sight; the children make mistakes and have to work on repairing them. Peter makes friends with the Station Master only after he has been caught "mining" coal from the heap outside the station and has duly apologized. Perks, the porter who tells them so much about trains, is as easily offended as befriended, and the children risk upsetting him when they plan something nice for his birthday. The bargee whom they encounter on the nearby canal behaves like an aggressive bully, and it is only when they help him in an unexpected crisis that they see his good side. I was also struck by the fact that while the book is naturally full of adventures, they are mostly of a small and believable kind. The biggest of them, when they save a train from crashing, is not saved for some grand climax, as another author might do, but placed before the half-way point in the book. It is the simplicity and naturalness of the book that makes it great—not its romance but its truth.

In reviewing THE STORY OF THE AMULET, I pointed out Nesbit's occasion tendency to insert herself into the story as a moralist, generally to advance her socialist beliefs. There is much less of that here. A Russian emigré who shows up in the village turns out to be a celebrated leftist writer, but little else is made of it. There is one slightly awkward scene where the local doctor tell Peter how to treat girls, but in general the life-lessons are introduced subtly in the everyday course of events; this is indeed an improving book to read, but the kids will never know it! Of course, Nesbit does introduce herself frequently into the action as author, with charming effect as in my first two quotations above. The mother who spends her days writing stories for sale while the children roam free in the countryside is Nesbit herself, who passed through some hard times of her own. Which leads to a delightful example of what we would now call meta-fiction:

— "I say," said Peter, musingly, "wouldn't it be jolly if we all were in a book and you were
writing it? Then you could make all sorts of jolly things happen, and make Jim's legs get
well at once and be all right tomorrow, and Father come home soon and — "

Little does Peter know, they are already in a book, and their mother is indeed making all sorts of jolly things happen. But she is not doing it the easy way. And that is what makes this more than a footnote to a later novel, more than a charming period piece, but a true classic, as satisfying now as in the year it was written.
Such a delightful story... perfect for reading to children at bedtime. I read it after finding out that it was one of CS Lewis's favourites. An avid CS Lewis fan, I was curious to read and try to figure out the reason for his fascination with this book. Glad I did. Innocent, with believable characters and story line.
I read this book first as a child; when I saw it available from Kindle now, when I am almost 70, I remembered nothing except that I had liked it. So--I got it. I am glad I did, because I promptly then took a serious fall and ended up in the hospital, with a crushed knee, wanting to read something gentle and simple, not my usual fare. I found "The Railway Children" on my KIndle, and began to lose myself in it. It has enough plot to keep you going (What happened to the children's father? Why is the family suddenly living in straitened circumstances? Will they return to their earlier high-class life?), but the plot is not the point; not at all. You are drawn to the believable simplicity of these innocent children--two sisters and a brother, all with "boys' names" and all living adventures their times and cultures might have restricted to boys. They have moved to live near the railway with their mother, who writes both serious things (that you suspect have something to do with their missing father), and children's poems and stories. Instead of focusing on the gracious life they must have lost, they look for the adventures and beauties of their new world. The first of many "life lessons" the book teaches. There are more, and each child approaches the elements of their new lives in his or her own special way. Bobbie is the more reflective and perceptive of the three, and it is often through her eyes that we watch other people and events. We see the children dare to make friends even with people who start out gruffly rejecting them--we see embodied the Buddha's teaching "Not by hatred does hatred cease, but by love hatred ceases." Not that the book is using such language or pretending to be an apology for any particular religious or spiritual culture. It is simply showing what happens when these innocent children consistently choose honesty, trust, generosity and love over the ways most of us are accustomed to choose.

Does this mean the book becomes a mere vehicle for obvious preachments? I think not; it would have irritated me if it had! No, it simply, over and over, through showing how the children interact with each other, other people, and situations, shows us the benefits of living by the "good old fashioned values". We keep feeling fresh and innocent ourselves, and cheering the children on in their efforts to solve mysteries and make good things happen. We end up relishing such innocence for ourselves.

I was sorry when the book ended, because I knew I'd now go back to the thrillers and political intrigue stories I tend to read; they would interest me, educate me, and in some way dismay me. I'd escape their impact saying "This is only fiction anyhow." But I didn't want to escape the impact of "The Railway Children", and I hope very sincerely that this book is NOT "only fiction anyhow".
When a family must step away from the life they've always known, for circumstances out of their control, they try to make the best of it. Bobbie, Peter, and Phyllis have grown up affluent, raised by parents who make time for them and servants who feel like family. One day all of that changes. After a late night visit from strange men, their father goes away and soon they do as well. Moving with their mother to the country, they find a whole new perspective on life.

The children are children - sometimes at their most kind and others saying just the wrong thing for not knowing any better. But at heart they were raised right and usually do the right thing. They get off to many adventures while their mother is uncharacteristically distracted by the family's troubles. Following along with them is great fun. Their capacity for helping others is quite heartwarming, as is their family dynamic. Travel back to a simpler time and see hardship through the eyes of a child, who can't quite grasp the why of it but can find the joy in life regardless.

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