E. Nesbit

A picture of the author E. Nesbit

E. (Edith) Nesbit (1858-1924) was an English author and poet who published over sixty books for children. She was most likely the inventor of the genre that became wildly popular in book and movie adaptations, known as "children's adventure fiction." Her most popular work included The Railway Children (1906), and her Bastable series, namely The Wouldbegoods (1901), and The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1899).

Nesbit had a creative dark side: her horror stories were well regarded. Fans described her as the "mistress of the ghost story and tales of terror." This juxtaposition-- creating children's adventures and horror-- probably provided a sort of catharsis during her prolific writing career.

Nesbit created non-fiction early in her career; she co-founded the Fabian Society, and wrote extensively about socialism in the 1880's. Even in her children's work, Nesbit did not sugar-coat; she focused on the realities of a hard life, rather than creating fantasy, parallel worlds as did so many of her contemporaries, such as Lewis Carroll and Kenneth Grahame. Her time travel book The Story of the Amulet is considered one of her most inventive tales.

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