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Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland) (1858-1924) was an English author and poet whose children[s works were published under the androgynous name of E. Nesbit. She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She started a new genre of magical adventures arising from everyday settings and has been much imitated. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a precursor to the modern Labour Party. Nesbit[s books for children are known for being entertaining without turning didactic, although some of her earlier works, notably Five Children and It (1902) and even more so The Story of the Amulet (1906), veer in that direction. Among Nesbit[s best-known books are The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1898), The Wouldbegoods (1899) and The Railway Children (1906). Other works include The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904), The Enchanted Castle (1907) and The Magic City (1910).
While exploring the environs of their summer home, five brothers and sisters find a Psammead, or Sand-fairy, in a nearby gravel pit: "Its eyes were on long horns like a snail's eyes, and it could move them in and out like telescopes; it had ears like a bat's ears, and its tubby body was shaped like a spider's and covered with thick soft fur; its legs and arms were furry too, and it had hands and feet like a monkey's. " The Psammead is magical and, every day, the ancient and irritable creature grants each of them a wish that lasts until sunset. Soon, though, they find their wishes never seem to turn out right and often have unexpected-and humorous-consequences. But when an accidental wish goes terribly wrong, the children learn that magic, like life, can be as complicated as it is exciting.
It's quite a shock for Edred and Elfrida to discover that Edred is the new Lord of Arden and rightful heir to Arden Castle. It's even more of a shock when they find themselves talking to a white mole. But the Mouldi-warp does prove to be a help (even if he is rather bad-tempered) - especially when it comes to travelling back in time and searching for hidden treasure!
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