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I'm glad I stumbled across this, as I haven't read it since I was a child, although as I was reading it this time I could still vaguely remember bits of it. First published just over a hundred years ago this book has entertained countless adults and children since then.

When siblings, Gerald, James and Kathleen can't go home form their respective boarding schools in the holidays, due to illness at home, it is decided that they will stay at Kathleen's school, and be looked over by a servant and the French Mistress. Thus the adventures of this intrepid trio soon begin. Deciding to take a picnic they stumble across what they decide is an enchanted castle, and meet the princess of the said castle, or Mabel as it becomes apparent after some time. With Mabel claiming that a ring is magic, much to everyone's surprise it does appear to be so, and thus their adventures get under way, but also the grounds of the building also seem to be enchanted.

Children will love this, when they are younger to have it read to, as they are older, to read themselves, and then again as adults, and then starting the whole process off again if they have children. This tale is simply timeless and can appeal to all ages, as when you are older it reminds you of your own imagination as a child. Full of magic, and some romance, there isn't really anything that you can find wrong with it.
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I was four years old when the 1979 BBC production was aired for the first and only time on UK television and I can still remember it vividly. It had such an effect that I have tried in vain to obtain a copy both before and since the advent of the Internet but to no avail - the BBC has not released or repeated the show despite the huge cult following the show received.

Naturally, mother and father bought me the tv-tie-in novel which was one of the first novels I read, just a few years later. That particular copy, like the ugly-wugglies, had taken on a life of its own and secreted itself somewhere in the bowels of my parents' house and remains elusive (or, like a number of my Star Wars figures was probably given to the church jumble sale behind my back!).

Alas, I turned to Amazon to buy my 2 year old daughter a copy to read to her at bedtime. Each night for a fortnight we read a chapter (or half of the more substantial ones) and from the off she herself was enchanted. The idea of magic rings, secret passages and statues coming to life thrilled her and delighted me thirty odd years on. I had to spend some time explaining to her, being only two, what exactly invisibility is (now she pretends to be invisible in an effort to avoid bed!) and she has remarked that the odd shop mannequin resembles an ugly-wuggly. The stories have had an effect and stimulated her imagination.

The book itself is beautifully written and although the 1907 turn of phrase is not quite 'street' it flows and has a wonderful nostalgic power (and my daughter has since remarked such things as 'it's a splendid morning' to our great amusement).

Nesbit was clearly on form when she picked up the pen to compose this volume as there is absolutely no filler and the adventures come thick and fast with the magic of the castle weaving its way through the lives of the characters and mischievously dropping them into awkward pickles that the children must resolve because the adults just wouldn't understand. The ultimate message is clear and affecting, there is magic in life, you just have to recognise it - oh, and be careful what you wish for!

One little note to heed, is that if reading this to a child, be aware that the racial 'n' word appears, which I didn't want to use to a two year old, but it's easily avoided - there is a scene where one of the characters 'blacks-up' in an effort to convince punters at a fair that he is an Indian fakir. You are rather led into the event before you realise what is happening but we used it as an opportunity to explain the beauty of having many races in the world. As Nesbit shows us, only unspoiled minds can see magic, fortunately they are also colour-blind.

But this story is a gem, all things considered, and will appeal to readers of all ages, especially those of us who believe, or need reminding, that there is some magic left in the world

After I read my daughter The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, I was able to show her the 1988 BBC production - how sad that this is not possible for The Enchanted Castle. Come on BBC, make us happy and release this wonderful serial.
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on 6 August 2016
Edith Nesbit is a clasic story teller for children who enjoy reading to themselves or to be read to...seem perhaps a bit old fashion nowadays but still very enjoyable..
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on 4 July 2017
Great story and lovely illustrations but the type face and type setting in this book are very odd. It's like someone has cut and pasted it all into a word document, changed the font to arial, narrowed the margins, reduced the paragraph settings, printed it out and stuck it in a book. I would not recommend this edition at all.
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on 6 March 2013
This is of its period in style and values, and utterly engaging. The elder boy is both infuriating and decent, his brother a stubborn little ass, his sisters brave and clever. Four children, the magic formula, (See C.S Lewis, whom this pre-dates), are joined by a series of other characters, not all of them human, in amazing, sometimes comic, sometimes sinister and sometimes beautiful adventures. The weirdness is firmly grounded in the social structure of the period, with the house, the servants, the food the children always crave and even the clothes they have to wear, or replace. I hadn't read this since I was a child myself, but it's lost none of its charm.
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on 6 July 2011
I bought this to introduce my daughter to other authors and as something to listen to when she can't sleep. she has enjoyed the story and often goes to her room to listen to it during the day to relax.
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on 23 June 1999
This is a classic book that I read when I was ten and found again recently. Nesbit manages to blend the world of magic with mundane reality in a way that is immensely appealing. Will spark imaginations of children anywhere.
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on 18 January 1999
This book stands out among all others from my childhood. It stirred my imagination like no other book, and I have often thought of it since. The atmosphere it creates is wonderful and lives on long after reading it. I look forward to my children being of a suitable age to read it to them.
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on 27 April 2011
Delightful and enchanting children's story (but I am an adult!). I read this nearly in one sitting as I got caught up with the characters and the imaginative incidents. I rather enjoy the simpler fantasy world from the past. Beautifully written a bit sort of Swallows and Amazons but with magic!
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on 23 October 2009
This product is being reviewed by the recipient not the purchaser:

I have just started this book and I love it. Flora aged 9
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