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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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E. Nesbit

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Standard Disclaimer:

This is a brief discussion of E. Nesbit and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Nesbit.

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Nesbit: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)

I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Nesbit tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Nesbit worthy; in sum, to help you rank E. Nesbit (and the works by Nesbit listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.

A Few Words About E. Nesbit

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the “Other Resources” section below will lead you to some information about the “Notable Books” listed farther down this page.

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Other E. Nesbit Resources

E. Nesbit Resources on the Web

A complete bibliography of this remarkably prolific writer’s work is available at Books and Writers [archived copy]. Or here’s another full bibliography [archived copy].

Of dedicated sites, there is The Edith Nesbit Society.

Possibly the most useful critical analysis on the web is, despite its age (from 1964), the estimable Gore Vidal’s essay “The Writing of E. Nesbit” in The New York Review of Books. Another lengthy and interesting critical essay is “Partners in crime: E. Nesbit and the art of thieving” [archived copy], by Marah Gubar in Style. Also, the helpful Encyclopedia of Science Fiction has an Nesbit, E. entry of value. And there is a good discussion, Daily Magic, by Edward Eager at the Horn Book site.

A discursive but germane essay with the cumbersome title “E. Nesbit, Simone de Beauvoir, Mavis Gallant, H. G. Wells, and Jorges Luis Borges. All in a Kind of Spaghetti. With Miniature Cities” appears at the Crooked House blog. Another brief but utile essay, “E. Nesbit: Reshaping Children’s Fantasy”, appears at the Education Week site. There is also a brief but interesting blog entry, “150 Today: E. Nesbit” at Nigeness. And the PBS web site has a useful biography, “A Woman Between Worlds” [archived copy].

Because of the immense popularity of her children’s books, few today know that she started out (and went on for some time) as a writer of mostly dark adult fiction, most often supernatural or fantastic, but sometimes sf-ish (and, at least at the time, well received). Those interested in her work in those areas can check the Nesbit “Unrated Books by Rated Authors” page of this site.

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E. Nesbit Resources in Print

Some of the major works are:

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Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by E. Nesbit **

(For more possible titles by this author, see the “Unrated Books by Rated Authors” page.)
(Nesbit’s books are all “children’s books” as Oz or Pooh or Alice are “children’s books”. Much of Nesbit’s work is not truly fantasy but reads much like it; her several delightful mainstream works were omitted here with regret.)

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This page was last modified on Thursday, 15 April 2021, at 4:06 pm Pacific Time.