Author(s): E. Nesbit
The Railway Childrenby E. (Edith) NesbitChapter I. The beginning of things.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. They were just ordinary suburban children, and they lived with their Father and Mother in an ordinary red-brick-fronted villa, with coloured glass in the front door, a tiled passage that was called a hall, a bath-room with hot and cold water, electric bells, French windows, and a good deal of white paint, and 'every modern convenience', as the house-agents say.There were three of them. Roberta was the eldest. Of course, Mothers never have favourites, but if their Mother HAD had a favourite, it might have been Roberta. Next came Peter, who wished to be an Engineer when he grew up; and the youngest was Phyllis, who meant extremely well.We are delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive Classic Library collection. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. The aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature, and our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. The contents of the vast majority of titles in the Classic Library have been scanned from the original works. To ensure a high quality product, each title has been meticulously hand curated by our staff. Our philosophy has been guided by a desire to provide the reader with a book that is as close as possible to ownership of the original work. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful classic work, and that for you it becomes an enriching experience.
'The Railway Children was one of the first children's classics I ever read. I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it. I started reading the story and was immediately gripped. E. Nesbit remembered exactly what it felt like to be a child' Jacqueline Wilson
"It's a story that was written more than 100 years ago, yet The Railway Children commands the affections of the British people like few other fictions" Daily Telegraph "Guaranteed to jerk a tear from the most stony-faced child" Observer "The Railway Children was one of the first children's classics I ever read. I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it. I started reading the story and was immediately gripped. E. Nesbit remembered exactly what it felt like to be a child" -- Jacqueline Wilson "Her child characters were remarkable in her day because they are so entirely human. They are intelligent, vain, aggressive, humorous, witty, cruel, compassionate... in fact, they are like adults" -- Gore Vidal "So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this way...my 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics!" National Association for the Teaching of English
Edith Nesbit was born in 1858. Her father died when she was only three and so her family moved all over England. Poverty was something she had known first hand, both as a child and as a young married woman with small children. Like the Railway Childrens' Mother, she was forced to try and sell her stories and poems to editors. Her first children's book, The Treasure Seekers, was published in 1899. She also wrote Five Children and It but her most famous story is The Railway Children which was first published in 1905 and it hasn't been out of print since. Edith Nesbit was a lady ahead of her time - she cut her hair short, which was considered a very bold move in Victorian times, and she was a founding member of a group that worked towards improvements in politics and society called The Fabian Society. She died in 1924.