The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit

The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit

Three children, forced to remain at school during the holidays, go in search of adventure. What they find is a magic castle straight out of a fairy tale, complete with an enchanted princess at the center of a maze. Or is it? The castle turns out to be just a country estate, and the princess is only the housekeeper’s niece, playing at dressing up. But the magic ring she shows them proves — to her surprise and horror — to really be magic. Soon they are caught in an adventure where statues come alive, lost lovers are reunited, and wishes can be granted — but always for a price. (Summary by Peter Eastman)

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The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit

There were three of them – Jerry, Jimmy, and Kathleen. Jerry’s name was Gerald, and Jimmy’s name was James; and Kathleen was never called by her name at all, but Cathy, or Puss Cat, when her brothers were pleased with her, and Scratch Cat when they were not pleased. And they were at school in a little town in the West of England – the boys at one school, and the girl at another. They saw each other on Saturdays and Sundays at the house of a kind lady; but it was one of those important houses where it is impossible to play. So they looked forward to the holidays, when they would all go home. Then they could be together all day long and play in the house and explore the Hampshire forests and fields. Their Cousin Betty was expected there too. Betty got to the Hampshire home first, and the moment she got there she began to have measles, so that the three children couldn’t go home at all. You may imagine their feelings. It was absolutely impossible to spend seven weeks at Miss Hervey’s house, so all three wrote home and said so. This surprised their parents very much, because they had always thought the children liked to go to dear Miss Hervey’s house. However, they were ‘jolly decent about it’, as Jerry said, and let the boys go and stay at Kathleen’s school, where there was no one except the French teacher.

The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit

‘We must have some sort of play during the holidays,’ said Kathleen, when she had unpacked and arranged the boys’ clothes in the drawers, feeling very grown-up. ‘Let’s write a book about what schools really are like. People would read it and say how clever we were.’

‘More likely expel us,’ said Gerald. ‘No; we’ll have an out-of-doors game. We could get a cave and keep stores in it.’

‘There aren’t any caves,’ said Jimmy. ‘And, besides, Mademoiselle won’t let us go out alone.’

‘Don’t worry,’ said Gerald. ‘I’ll go and talk to her.’

It was a thin and interesting-looking boy that knocked at the door of the room where the French teacher sat reading a book. Gerald could always make himself look interesting when he met new grown-ups. It was done by opening his grey eyes rather wide, and having a nice expression.

‘I hope I am not disturbing you,’ said Gerald, when he came in…

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