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The House of Arden

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The famous Arden family treasure has been missing for generations, and the last members of the Arden line, Edred, Elfrida, and their Aunt Edith, have nothing to their names but the crumbling castle they live in. Just before his tenth birthday, Edred inherits the title of Lord Arden; he also learns that the missing fortune will be his if—and only if—he can find it before he The famous Arden family treasure has been missing for generations, and the last members of the Arden line, Edred, Elfrida, and their Aunt Edith, have nothing to their names but the crumbling castle they live in. Just before his tenth birthday, Edred inherits the title of Lord Arden; he also learns that the missing fortune will be his if—and only if—he can find it before he turns ten. With no time to lose, Edred and Elfrida secure the help of a magical talking creature, the temperamental Mouldiwarp, who leads them on a treasure hunt through the ages. Together, brother and sister visit some of the most thrilling periods of history and test their wits against real witches, highwaymen, and renegades. They find plenty of adventure, but will they find the treasure before Edred’s birthday?


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The famous Arden family treasure has been missing for generations, and the last members of the Arden line, Edred, Elfrida, and their Aunt Edith, have nothing to their names but the crumbling castle they live in. Just before his tenth birthday, Edred inherits the title of Lord Arden; he also learns that the missing fortune will be his if—and only if—he can find it before he The famous Arden family treasure has been missing for generations, and the last members of the Arden line, Edred, Elfrida, and their Aunt Edith, have nothing to their names but the crumbling castle they live in. Just before his tenth birthday, Edred inherits the title of Lord Arden; he also learns that the missing fortune will be his if—and only if—he can find it before he turns ten. With no time to lose, Edred and Elfrida secure the help of a magical talking creature, the temperamental Mouldiwarp, who leads them on a treasure hunt through the ages. Together, brother and sister visit some of the most thrilling periods of history and test their wits against real witches, highwaymen, and renegades. They find plenty of adventure, but will they find the treasure before Edred’s birthday?

30 review for The House of Arden

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    This story started so well we regretted not reading this sooner. Edred and Elfrida are orphans and visit their ancestral castle only to learn of a rhyme that if said before your 8th birthday can reveal the missing treasure. Being poor orphans they decide to find the treasure and restore the Arden house to it's former glory. This book starts really well, we love the brother/sister relationship and the way the challenge of being nice to each other for a whole day was unachievable. There was a lovel This story started so well we regretted not reading this sooner. Edred and Elfrida are orphans and visit their ancestral castle only to learn of a rhyme that if said before your 8th birthday can reveal the missing treasure. Being poor orphans they decide to find the treasure and restore the Arden house to it's former glory. This book starts really well, we love the brother/sister relationship and the way the challenge of being nice to each other for a whole day was unachievable. There was a lovely humour and fast pace to the story. But then the story begins to be exactly like The Time Garden by Edward Eager, even the fact that there was a carpet of thyme and the time travel, obviously The House of Arden came first.After that we began to lose interest and the rest of the book was a 3 star or less for us.

  2. 4 out of 5

    V. Briceland

    American mid-twentieth-century author Edward Eager was so smitten by Edwardian British author E. Nesbit that, in middle of his classic magical adventures, he would stop the action and encourage his young readers to investigate her books. It was from Nesbit's interlocking tales of time-travel, The House of Arden and Harding's Luck, that he paid homage to Nesbit by playing around with the central premise of the two works, when the adventures of one of his sets of protagonists dovetail with the adv American mid-twentieth-century author Edward Eager was so smitten by Edwardian British author E. Nesbit that, in middle of his classic magical adventures, he would stop the action and encourage his young readers to investigate her books. It was from Nesbit's interlocking tales of time-travel, The House of Arden and Harding's Luck, that he paid homage to Nesbit by playing around with the central premise of the two works, when the adventures of one of his sets of protagonists dovetail with the adventures of children who would become the focus of later, as yet unwritten novels. It was The House of Arden that had inspired this timey-wimey twist that wouldn't have been inappropriate in a Doctor Who serial. Edred and Elfrida's adventures into their household's past brush up against the adventures of 'Cousin Dick,' another time traveler like themselves, whose tale and whose contrasting perspectives on some of the same events were told in the later-published Harding's Luck. It's something of a shame that The House of Arden is much the lesser of the novels. It's difficult not to contrast the two. Edred and Elfrida come from decidedly posher circumstances, while Dick is a vagrant. Dick has control of his magic, in his story; Edred and Elfrida are reduced to composing effete stanzas of verse and hoping their magic warden, the Mouldiwarp, is in a mood to transport them into the past or back to the future. Dick's search for a place to call home is touching and noble; it makes Edred and Elfrida's grubbing about the past for a cash gain look self-serving and greedy. Most annoyingly, while Cousin Dick is adventurous and resourceful, Edred and Elfrida are simps in comparison, and too much of The House of Arden and its magic depends on them minding their manners and resolving not to quarrel—reducing the Mouldiwarp to a tetchy nanny not half as engaging as as any that P. L. Travers penned. It's still a good romp, though, especially when taken as the lead-in to a much-superior sequel from which it can't fully be separated.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dorian

    This is one of E. Nesbit's less well-known books, though I must say I prefer it to, say, "The Treasure-Seekers'. Edred and Elfrida Arden, aged 10 and 12 respectively, find themselves the last heirs of the noble house of Arden, which is a step up from being the children of a seaside lodging house, but not as much of a step up as it might be, given all the Arden lands have long since been sold, and basically what they (or rather Edred) have inherited is a ruined castle and a couple of fields. But th This is one of E. Nesbit's less well-known books, though I must say I prefer it to, say, "The Treasure-Seekers'. Edred and Elfrida Arden, aged 10 and 12 respectively, find themselves the last heirs of the noble house of Arden, which is a step up from being the children of a seaside lodging house, but not as much of a step up as it might be, given all the Arden lands have long since been sold, and basically what they (or rather Edred) have inherited is a ruined castle and a couple of fields. But there is magic, which can come to the rescue! If Edred and Elfrida can work things just right, they can find the lost treasure of their family and restore it and its holdings to their ancient glory. Which is a good excuse to take them gallivanting about through time, and there are various slight but pleasing vignettes in times past (which to the modern reader are as interesting for the early-20th-century-view of as for themselves). One of the things I love about E. Nesbit is her ability to portray children, and sibling relationships, believably. Edred and Elfrida bicker and squabble much as I remember doing with my brother. And when the magic won't work until they've been three days without quarrelling... And in the end, Edred and Elfrida have to make a choice, which an observant reader, or a reader familiar with late-Victorian tropes, probably saw coming several miles off, but it's no less difficult or frightening for that. I do think this book and its sequel should be better-known.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lloyd

    A kid's book from the turn of the last century. Nesbit deserves a wider audience a hundred years on, and hopefully this edition from the New York Review of Books will help. Nesbit's slightly ornate style, uncramped by the strictures of Strunk and White, flows beautifully. For best results, read out loud.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Alfonseca

    This is the fourth time I have read this book about two children time-traveling to different historic periods, by means of magic, to find a lost treasure. As always, I found the last two chapters un-readable. I also don't like that the children are always meeting other people (a witch and a cousin) who are time-traveling on their own. Furthermore the cousin is a Fabian who takes the advantage to preach the socialist gospel to the children. The best part -for me- was the second time-travel, where This is the fourth time I have read this book about two children time-traveling to different historic periods, by means of magic, to find a lost treasure. As always, I found the last two chapters un-readable. I also don't like that the children are always meeting other people (a witch and a cousin) who are time-traveling on their own. Furthermore the cousin is a Fabian who takes the advantage to preach the socialist gospel to the children. The best part -for me- was the second time-travel, where the girl ends up in Queen Anne's reign, in the time of the Old Pretender (a.k.a. James III), perhaps because this part has less historical elements than any other.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tabitha

    A bit slow to start, but became more interesting as it went along. Not Nesbit's strongest work, but had some charming moments and was a good beginning to my autumn tour of her major series. :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    The House of Arden is a delightful fantasy novel. The big surprise for Nesbit fans may be that it stars just two siblings: Edred and Elfrida. Nesbit provides readers with some family background, introduces the siblings and their aunt guardian, and then the magic begins. Edred has just learned that he is Lord Arden, he's inherited the run-down estate with crumbling-castle. (He's also recently learned that his father has died.) The good news? There are stories, legends, about the place, about trea The House of Arden is a delightful fantasy novel. The big surprise for Nesbit fans may be that it stars just two siblings: Edred and Elfrida. Nesbit provides readers with some family background, introduces the siblings and their aunt guardian, and then the magic begins. Edred has just learned that he is Lord Arden, he's inherited the run-down estate with crumbling-castle. (He's also recently learned that his father has died.) The good news? There are stories, legends, about the place, about treasure. The children are determined to explore the place thoroughly, learn what they can, and find that treasure! It seems providential. Edred and Elfrida discover they are not alone. There is a magical mole (Mouldiwarp). He can be summoned several ways, but, most commonly by poetry--original poetry. He will help the two children, but, he has his conditions. The magical adventures, in a way, depend on them not arguing with one another. The magical adventures start in an attic that they can only find when they haven't quarreled recently. The attic is full in trunks, they open one trunk at a time, for the most part. What they find are a lot of clothes, clothes that seem very very strange to these contemporary characters. When they put on these clothes from the past, they discover the time-traveling aspect of the magic. Traveling to the past may give them all they need to know to find the treasure in the present day. I liked the time traveling. I did. I liked the time periods explored. I liked the characterization. I liked meeting various people in the past. I liked how this fantasy all fit together. Most of all, I enjoyed the writing! Some of my favorite bits: "Edred and Elfrida went to school every day and learned reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, history, spelling, and useful knowledge, all of which they hated quite impartially, which means they hated the whole lot–one thing as much as another... The only part of lessons they liked was the home-work, when, if Aunt Edith had time to help them, geography became like adventures, history like story-books, and even arithmetic suddenly seemed to mean something." "“Spelling next,” said Aunt Edith. “How do you spell ‘disagreeable’?” “Which of us?” asked Edred acutely. “Both,” said Aunt Edith, trying to look very severe." "But it is much more difficult than you would think to be really nice to your brother or sister for a whole day. Three days passed before the two Ardens could succeed in this seemingly so simple thing. The days were not dull ones at all. There were beautiful things in them that I wish I had time to tell you about–such as climbings and discoveries and books with pictures, and a bureau with a secret drawer. It had nothing in it but a farthing and a bit of red tape–secret drawers never have–but it was a very nice secret drawer for all that... It is wonderful how much more polite you can be to outsiders than you can to your relations, who are, when all’s said and done, the people you really love... After tea they decided to read, so as to lessen the chances of failure. They both wanted the same book–”Treasure Island” it was–and for a moment the niceness of both hung in the balance. Then, with one accord, each said, “No–you have it!” and the matter ended in each taking a quite different book that it didn’t particularly want to read." "It is always difficult to remember exactly where one is when one happens to get into a century that is not one’s own." "THEY both meant what they said. And yet, of course, it is nonsense to promise that you will never do anything again, because, of course, you must do something, if it’s only simple subtraction or eating poached eggs and sausages. You will, of course, understand that what they meant was that they would never again do anything to cause Mrs. Honeysett a moment’s uneasiness, and in order to make this possible the first thing to do was, of course, to find out how to set the clock back." "What do you usually do when you are shut up in a secret room, with no chance of getting out for hours? As for me, I always say poetry to myself. It is one of the uses of poetry–one says it to oneself in distressing circumstances of that kind, or when one has to wait at railway stations, or when one cannot get to sleep at night. You will find poetry most useful for this purpose. So learn plenty of it, and be sure it is the best kind, because this is most useful as well as most agreeable."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    This book was great. It was pretty funny, playful and adventurous, with some morals thrown in (e.g. about quarreling and such). I liked the Mouldiwarp, although, somehow I think if they made this into a movie, they would ruin that character by making him all computerized and giving him a voice that few would take seriously. I thought the narrators in the audiobook did him justice, though (as well as the other characters). Yes, this is a time-travel story, but don't let that deter you if you don't This book was great. It was pretty funny, playful and adventurous, with some morals thrown in (e.g. about quarreling and such). I liked the Mouldiwarp, although, somehow I think if they made this into a movie, they would ruin that character by making him all computerized and giving him a voice that few would take seriously. I thought the narrators in the audiobook did him justice, though (as well as the other characters). Yes, this is a time-travel story, but don't let that deter you if you don't like such. The focus isn't really on the time-travel, even though it happens a lot (and it is children's fantasy—not adult sci-fi). Anyway, the story focuses on two children who find a magical white mole (if you read the story, you may agree that this is where all these newfangled polar bears in fantasy have their roots, although I think they should have remained white moles, personally—there's just something hilarious and cool about magical white moles). The mole is supposed to help the brother become brave, wise, etc.—and to recover the family treasure. It would spoil things to say much more. E. Nesbit involves poetry in the magic in this one, much as she does in Wet Magic (although there's not as much foreshadowing and an impending sense of magic in this one, although there is more humor, and probably more actual magic, unless you count the stuff that happens after they go under the sea in Wet Magic). I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Harding's Luck (I've heard good things about that one).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This is an old 'children's' book, published in 1908 and republished in 1986 with the tag line "this exciting story will be enjoyed as much today as when it was first published..." I have to disagree, unless it wasn't very well liked in 1908 The story ideas are interesting. There is time travel, which is handled well. But when authors try to explain, or explore, the issue of whether or not the time travelers can or do change history, it bogs the story down, interrupts the story, muddles things, an This is an old 'children's' book, published in 1908 and republished in 1986 with the tag line "this exciting story will be enjoyed as much today as when it was first published..." I have to disagree, unless it wasn't very well liked in 1908 The story ideas are interesting. There is time travel, which is handled well. But when authors try to explain, or explore, the issue of whether or not the time travelers can or do change history, it bogs the story down, interrupts the story, muddles things, and I wish they wouldn't do that. My problems here: the language was odd. Yes, I realize I am dealing with something written a long time ago, but I don't think that was the problem. When you read Dickens and Austen and all those others, you can get into the flow of the language. This book has sentences that just basically put the brakes on the flow of the text with awkward word order. I found it odd. I also wouldn't recommend it to preteens because of the archaic attitudes toward women/girls. While Nesbit shows that women/girls are just as smart and capable as men through the actions of the women/girls in the story, she repeatedly voices the belief that women are second class citizens and lesser beings than men. Maybe this was the thinking of that time. It would take a savvy and insightful preteen to see and understand the juxtaposition of the words and the actions. The overall book wasn't worth the risk of the possible negative message. I found myself wondering why I wasn't getting through the story faster - not a good sign.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    In The Magic City I talk about E. Nesbit and why I (and others) like her so much. This story doesn't equal The Magic City, but it has all Nesbit's trademark lack of sentimentality, humor, and practical commentary (which in itself is sometimes quite funny). A brother and sister time travel through their ancestors' past to get clues to a treasure which would restore their family fortunes. Very enjoyable and one I'm considering reading on Forgotten Classics.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Friend of Pixie (F.O.P.)

    WHY: I and Logan have loved the E. Nesbit books, but this title, reissued by the New York Review, is unfamiliar to me. The famous Arden family treasure has been missing for generations, and the last members of the Arden line, Edred, Elfrida, and their Aunt Edith, have nothing to their names but the crumbling castle they live in. With time travel, the help of a magical talking creature (the temperamental Mouldiwarp), and adventures involving witches, highwaymen, and renegades, they attempt to sav WHY: I and Logan have loved the E. Nesbit books, but this title, reissued by the New York Review, is unfamiliar to me. The famous Arden family treasure has been missing for generations, and the last members of the Arden line, Edred, Elfrida, and their Aunt Edith, have nothing to their names but the crumbling castle they live in. With time travel, the help of a magical talking creature (the temperamental Mouldiwarp), and adventures involving witches, highwaymen, and renegades, they attempt to save their family home. Sounds fun.

  12. 5 out of 5

    CLM

    Edred and Elfrida are the last of their line, the proud House of Arden, and are too young to have previously understood the family has fallen on hard times financially. Once they realize it is up to them to find the legendary treasure that will restore the family fortunes, they embark on a series of magical adventures with the help of the dour Mouldiwarp. Along with Harding's Luck, a related novel, these are my favorite Nesbits.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    If I had to list my favorite books as a child, or even my favorite Childrens Books today, this novel wouldn't make the cut. That said, of all the books I read as a child, this one most influenced my literary preferences. It was the first time travel story I ever read. I was completely fascinated by the Guy Fawkes rhyme being important political intelligence. Ever after I have been, and will always be, a fan of the genre.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sylvester

    Slow at the beginning, speeding up toward the middle. I liked it, but it was all over the place for me. When she brought in the bit about finding their Dad, I felt like it was an awkward add-on. But still, not a bad story. I listened to the Librivox recording of this, and the man who read the majority of the book had an interesting accent - not the greatest reader, but not the worst either.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Quirky, fun, and so very magical. I loved the Mouldiwarp and the time travel most of all. I mean, how could I not love a sassy, magical mole that can time travel and whom you summon with poetry? And I do seem to have a thing for children's books with time travel. Although several comments are made over the course of the story that date it quite a bit, in this case I do think actions speak louder than words. Although Elfrida is repeatedly told she's "only a girl" or "just a girl," she's portrayed Quirky, fun, and so very magical. I loved the Mouldiwarp and the time travel most of all. I mean, how could I not love a sassy, magical mole that can time travel and whom you summon with poetry? And I do seem to have a thing for children's books with time travel. Although several comments are made over the course of the story that date it quite a bit, in this case I do think actions speak louder than words. Although Elfrida is repeatedly told she's "only a girl" or "just a girl," she's portrayed to be just as clever, bold, and resourceful as her brother Edred. I thought she should have been the main character myself. But you know. This was so close to being a 5 star read for me. So close, y'all. If only the ending hadn't felt a bit preachy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    There's nothing quite like an E. Nesbit novel. This one features an impoverished brother and sister who inherit a dilapidated castle and must endeavor to find a hidden treasure via time-travel magic that only works when they can remain civil to one another for an entire day. It's funny and charming and full of the perilous hijinks you would expect from a children's book, and the writing just sings. I can't overemphasize what a joy it is to read well-written dialogue in a children's book, and for There's nothing quite like an E. Nesbit novel. This one features an impoverished brother and sister who inherit a dilapidated castle and must endeavor to find a hidden treasure via time-travel magic that only works when they can remain civil to one another for an entire day. It's funny and charming and full of the perilous hijinks you would expect from a children's book, and the writing just sings. I can't overemphasize what a joy it is to read well-written dialogue in a children's book, and for the children to have real personalities.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Great story, but the English pride is sometimes hard to follow and so I don't think it's for middle grade. High school and up

  18. 5 out of 5

    Thea

    Four and a half stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matilda Rose

    The Arden family treasure of the has been lost for generations, and now only a few Ardens remain - Edred and his sister Elfrida being two of them. It's nearly Edred's birthday, when he will be ten. But he can only have the treasure if he finds it before then. With the help of his sister Elfrida and the white, mole-like Mouldiwarp, he travels back in time searching for the Arden riches. I enjoyed reading this fantasy and it didn't take long to finish. It's an intriguing storyline and has amazing c The Arden family treasure of the has been lost for generations, and now only a few Ardens remain - Edred and his sister Elfrida being two of them. It's nearly Edred's birthday, when he will be ten. But he can only have the treasure if he finds it before then. With the help of his sister Elfrida and the white, mole-like Mouldiwarp, he travels back in time searching for the Arden riches. I enjoyed reading this fantasy and it didn't take long to finish. It's an intriguing storyline and has amazing characters that keep the reader interested. I love the way E. Nesbit writes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Egbert

    While not quite as well constructed as her other books, I did enjoy this story from E. Nesbit. My favourite part remains the voice of the author that offers us such important reminders throughout our journey with her. Here are some quotes that I really appreciated: "The rooms that the lodgers had were furnished with a new sort of furniture that had no stories belonging to it such as belonged to the old polished oak tables and bureaux that were in the basement parlour." "'What is the letter about, While not quite as well constructed as her other books, I did enjoy this story from E. Nesbit. My favourite part remains the voice of the author that offers us such important reminders throughout our journey with her. Here are some quotes that I really appreciated: "The rooms that the lodgers had were furnished with a new sort of furniture that had no stories belonging to it such as belonged to the old polished oak tables and bureaux that were in the basement parlour." "'What is the letter about, Auntie?" Elfrida asked anxiously; "is it the taxes?" It had been the taxes once, and Elfrida had never forgotten. (If you don't understand what this means, ask your poorest relations, who are also likely to be your nicest, and if they don't know, ask the washerwoman.)" "Well, then," said the old man. "you see the Ardens was always great gentry. I've heard say there's always been Ardens here since before William the Conker, whoever he was." "It's almost impossible for even the most grown up and clever of us to know how women used to be treated - and not so very long ago either - if they were once suspected of being witches. It generally began by the old woman's being cleverer than her neighbours, having more wit to find out what was the matter with sick people, and most still to cure them. Then her extra cleverness would help her to foretell storms and gales and frosts, and to find water by the divining rod - a very mysterious business. And when once you can find out where water is by just carrying a forked hazel twig between your hands and walking across a meadow, you can most likely find out a good many things that your stupid neighbours would never dream of. And in those long ago days - which really aren't so very long ago - your being so much cleverer that your neighbours would be quite enough. You would soon be known as the 'wise woman' - and from 'wise woman' to witch was a very short step indeed." "We live so safely now; we have nothing to be afraid of. When we have wars they are not in our won country. The police look after burglars, and even thunder is attended to by lightning rods. It is not easy for us to understand the frantic terror of those times, when, from day to day, every man, woman, and child trembled in its shoes for fear lest 'the French should come' - the French, led by Boney. Boney, to us, is Napoleon Buonaparte, a little person in a cocked hat out of the history books. To those who lived in England when he was a man alive, he was ' the Terror that walked by night,' making children afraid to go to bed, and causing strong men to sleep in their boots, with sword and pistol by the bedhead, within easy reach of a newly wakened hand." (Interesting to note that this book was written in 1907….) "What do you usually do when you are shut up in a secret room, with no chance of getting out for hours? As for me, I always say poetry to myself. It is one of the uses of poetry - one says it to oneself in distressing circumstances of that kind or when one has to wait at railway stations, or when one cannot get to sleep at night. You will find poetry most useful for this purpose. So learn plenty of it, and be sure it is the best kind, because this is most useful as well as agreeable." "When you say a lady is a 'true daughter of Eve' you mean that she is inquisitive." "Now if you sit perfectly silent for a long time and look at the sea, or the running water or a river, something happens to you - a sort of magic. Not the violent magic that makes the kind of adventure that I have been telling you about, but a kind of gentle but very strong inside magic, that makes things clear, and shows you what things are important, and what are not. You try it next time you are in a very bad temper, or when you think someone has been very unjust to you, or when you are very disappointed and hurt about anything." "That's right," said the magic mole. "You shouldn't change your wishes; but there's no rule against enlarging them!" "It is all very wonderful and mysterious, as all life is apt to be if you go a little below the crust, and are not content just to read newspapers and go by the Tube Railway, and buy all your clothes ready-made, and think nothing can be true unless it is uninteresting."

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leore Joanne Green

    That was a fun read. This is one of the Edith Nesbit books which I have NOT read as a child (actually, I think it is the only one). I bought it in England on my fifteenth summer and read it on the flight back home. The truth is, that when I took it off the shelf yesterday, in search of something which will be a bit more interesting (and magical) then the Hemingway I was reading, which was starting to bore me - I didn't really remember the plot. What dissapointed me in the book was its' similiarity That was a fun read. This is one of the Edith Nesbit books which I have NOT read as a child (actually, I think it is the only one). I bought it in England on my fifteenth summer and read it on the flight back home. The truth is, that when I took it off the shelf yesterday, in search of something which will be a bit more interesting (and magical) then the Hemingway I was reading, which was starting to bore me - I didn't really remember the plot. What dissapointed me in the book was its' similiarity to other books which she has written. The clever, magical being, who fulfills the childrens' wishes and then later rescues them out of the trouble which they manage to get themselves into, and is always grumpy and cross even though he secretly harbours those kids a lot of affection. And also the obssesive quest for treasure. But apart from that, it was a lovely book. I especially liked the fact that the girl was braver than her brother most of the time. A cute book, and charming and magical and just plain good. זהו אחד מספרי אדית' נסביט שלא קראתי כילדה. קניתי אותו באנגליה בקיץ החמש-עשרה שלי וקראתי אותו בטיסה חזרה לארץ. האמת היא שכשהורדתי אותו מן המדף אתמול בחיפוש אחר משהו שיהיה קצת יותר מעניין מההמינגווי שהתחיל לשעמם אותי - לא ממש זכרתי את העלילה. מה שאכזב אותי בספר היה הדימיון שלו לספרים אחרים פרי עטה. היצור הקסום והחכם, שמגשים לילדים את משאלותיהם ואח"כ מחלץ אותם מן הצרות שהם נכנסים אליהן, ותמיד רוטן ומעוצבן למרות שהוא בעצם רוחש אליהם חיבה. וכמו כן החיפוש האובססיבי אחרי האוצר. אבל חוץ מזה, היה זה ספר מקסים. אהבתי במיוחד את העובדה שהילדה הייתה יותר אמיצה מאחיה רוב הזמן. ספר חמוד וקסום וטוב. אהבתי.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kayli

    This was only okay, not very fast-moving although it did have its moments. I probably only finished it because I was on vacation and didn't have any other books on hand. BUT I do want to point out something that really stood out to me. So, the book was first published in 1908-- so while reading this story about time traveling it's actually kind of weird because you are sort of time traveling just reading it, it being written for kids more than a hundred years ago. But that's not the part that st This was only okay, not very fast-moving although it did have its moments. I probably only finished it because I was on vacation and didn't have any other books on hand. BUT I do want to point out something that really stood out to me. So, the book was first published in 1908-- so while reading this story about time traveling it's actually kind of weird because you are sort of time traveling just reading it, it being written for kids more than a hundred years ago. But that's not the part that stuck out. The part that stuck out was when the girl goes back in time to a time (forgot when exactly) when the people were really worried about being attacked by pirates or vikings or whoever it was they were afraid of (forgot who exactly) and the author really makes a point of saying how very very afraid these people were and how it's almost unimaginable for us -the readers, as well as the girl who had time traveled there- to understand just how huge their fear was, because people in our day and age never have to worry about fighting. Sure there are wars, but they're always fought in some far-away place, never in your own home-country or home town, so that you'd have to be afraid while you're in your own bed. But of course think of all the little kids in Great Britain during WWII that had bombs going off above their heads!!! And they had to run to bomb shelters or get carted off to the country. Trippy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    In this 1907 children's book, Edred and Elfrida find that a distant relation has died and that Edred has inherited the title of "Lord Arden", as well as a crumbling family castle. There's an old family legend that if there is a Lord Arden who is under 10 years old, he can recite some magical words and find family treasure that was hidden long, long ago. They find the spell, of course, and use it to find a magical helper, and then they spend most of the rest of the book travelling through time an In this 1907 children's book, Edred and Elfrida find that a distant relation has died and that Edred has inherited the title of "Lord Arden", as well as a crumbling family castle. There's an old family legend that if there is a Lord Arden who is under 10 years old, he can recite some magical words and find family treasure that was hidden long, long ago. They find the spell, of course, and use it to find a magical helper, and then they spend most of the rest of the book travelling through time and their family's history, looking for the treasure. They travel to the Napoleonic Wars, to the time of Bonny Prince Charlie, and to the time when Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were still happy together and dancing around a maypole. They have some lovely adventures-- but will they find the treasure? This book is full of many little pleasures, but it doesn't hold together very well, and the pacing is off. E. Nesbit has written many books that are better. I did truly enjoy that the children had to practice not squabbling, because only if they went three days without a "row" could they have a magical adventure.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sally Ewan

    I bought this book at a library sale, and it has been around here for a few years. The title put me off; it sounded like a dreary Gothic tale of a dynasty's downfall, a version of the Fall of the House of Usher! But Dempsey just read it recently, and seeing as how it went well with our history studies, I decided to read it myself. The plot centers on two young children from the Arden line who live with their aunt in the ruined family estate. Their father is missing, and their only hope to improv I bought this book at a library sale, and it has been around here for a few years. The title put me off; it sounded like a dreary Gothic tale of a dynasty's downfall, a version of the Fall of the House of Usher! But Dempsey just read it recently, and seeing as how it went well with our history studies, I decided to read it myself. The plot centers on two young children from the Arden line who live with their aunt in the ruined family estate. Their father is missing, and their only hope to improve their lot is to locate the missing family treasure. They are able to travel back to the past with the help of the Mouldiwarp, a white mole. Hoping to find the location of the treasure, they meet up with Sir Walter Raleigh and Henry VIII and other characters from England's history. This was a sweet story about True Treasure and hope and courage!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    It's always fascinating to me how some books manage to transcend time. E. Nesbit's books do perhaps move a bit slower than today's titles, but not remarkably so. Her tone reminds me--surprisingly--of Lemony Snicket. The humor, although not quite so pointed, is much the same style (although the book ends on a more cheerful note!). Although certainly not the first time-travel novel, this story is one of the earliest time-travel novels written for children, and I was surprised to find that Nesbit d It's always fascinating to me how some books manage to transcend time. E. Nesbit's books do perhaps move a bit slower than today's titles, but not remarkably so. Her tone reminds me--surprisingly--of Lemony Snicket. The humor, although not quite so pointed, is much the same style (although the book ends on a more cheerful note!). Although certainly not the first time-travel novel, this story is one of the earliest time-travel novels written for children, and I was surprised to find that Nesbit did more than simply pop her main characters in and out of historical settings. She actually dealt with some of the scientific/ethical consequences of time-travel, such as whether it is too risky to attempt to change things that happen in the past, even if it means saving a life. Quite impressed!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe

    A great E. Nesbit title, though not as wonderful as her other better-known books. Two children, Edred and Elfrida, find themselves in a magical time travel adventure when Edred learns he is the new Lord Arden. His tumbledown castle could use an infusion of cash and so the children are in pursuit of a great treasure, hidden somewhere in the castle, that they must travel through time to find, with help from the small white mole called the Mouldiwarp. Some plot threads are left untied, but overall A great E. Nesbit title, though not as wonderful as her other better-known books. Two children, Edred and Elfrida, find themselves in a magical time travel adventure when Edred learns he is the new Lord Arden. His tumbledown castle could use an infusion of cash and so the children are in pursuit of a great treasure, hidden somewhere in the castle, that they must travel through time to find, with help from the small white mole called the Mouldiwarp. Some plot threads are left untied, but overall this is a fine, classic fantasy with marvelous forays into British history and delicious descriptions of an English summer by the sea.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Prescott

    I absolutely loved this book when I was a child, and that's why I've given it five stars. Elfrida in particular was a favourite character. Reading it again as an adult I can tell that it started out as a serial in a magazine - it's a bit episodic, and doesn't have the depth that some of E. Nesbit's full length works do. And some aspects of the time travelling aren't explained - such as what happened to the children whose places Edred and Elfrida took. But it's fantasy and shouldn't be examined t I absolutely loved this book when I was a child, and that's why I've given it five stars. Elfrida in particular was a favourite character. Reading it again as an adult I can tell that it started out as a serial in a magazine - it's a bit episodic, and doesn't have the depth that some of E. Nesbit's full length works do. And some aspects of the time travelling aren't explained - such as what happened to the children whose places Edred and Elfrida took. But it's fantasy and shouldn't be examined too closely. I might not give five stars if I was reading it for the first time today, but I'd still highly recommend it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    This serves up well as a read-aloud to ages 7-17 of any persuasion. First published in 1908, the New York Review selected this title to add to its "Children's Collection" in 2006. Ten-year-old Edred finds himself suddenly owner of the title "Lord Arden", along with the dilapidated family castle. With the help of his 12-yr-old sister Elfrida, he resolves to discover the fabled lost treasure of the Ardens and restore the castle and grounds to their original splendor which must be accomplished as l This serves up well as a read-aloud to ages 7-17 of any persuasion. First published in 1908, the New York Review selected this title to add to its "Children's Collection" in 2006. Ten-year-old Edred finds himself suddenly owner of the title "Lord Arden", along with the dilapidated family castle. With the help of his 12-yr-old sister Elfrida, he resolves to discover the fabled lost treasure of the Ardens and restore the castle and grounds to their original splendor which must be accomplished as legend has it during his tenth year or never. A combination of magic, time travel, mystery, and adventure ensue.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lynda

    I checked this out the library because the reviews were by some well-known writers who loved her writing, and this was an old book. (JK Rowling, for one) I'm not sure I liked it though. There was a lot of description and I wasn't overly fond of the two main characters. Eldrid, the boy and Elfrida, the girl were very annoying at times. Throughout most of the book, I found myself not caring so much what happens to them as just getting through the book. The two children go through magical time to sea I checked this out the library because the reviews were by some well-known writers who loved her writing, and this was an old book. (JK Rowling, for one) I'm not sure I liked it though. There was a lot of description and I wasn't overly fond of the two main characters. Eldrid, the boy and Elfrida, the girl were very annoying at times. Throughout most of the book, I found myself not caring so much what happens to them as just getting through the book. The two children go through magical time to search for a treasure believed to be hidden on the castle grounds. What they find is much more than the financial gain they were hoping for.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    This was a pleasant early-20th Century jaunt through a magical corner of England with a little time-travel twist at the end. It was nice that the siblings discovered a greater treasure than what they were originally searching for. The occasional injection of author narrative was an interesting method of writing, and it was amusing to have multiple references to Lewis Carrol's works from a near-contemporary. Although pleasant, with some elements similar to John Masefield's books, it didn't fully This was a pleasant early-20th Century jaunt through a magical corner of England with a little time-travel twist at the end. It was nice that the siblings discovered a greater treasure than what they were originally searching for. The occasional injection of author narrative was an interesting method of writing, and it was amusing to have multiple references to Lewis Carrol's works from a near-contemporary. Although pleasant, with some elements similar to John Masefield's books, it didn't fully engross me in the setting.

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