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Beauty and the Beast by E. Nesbit

Beauty and the Beast

by E. Nesbit

Other authors: Julia Christie (Illustrator), Barbara Perks (Illustrator)

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The classic French fairytale, Beauty and the Beast, is here retold by E. Nesbit, the famous English children's author, whose work includes such beloved classics as The Railway Children, The Enchanted Castle, and Five Children and It. A miniature book published by Frederick Warne - best known for the Beatrix Potter stories - this edition includes ten color plates by Julia Christie, and numerous black & white drawings by Barbara Perks.

I love the story of Beauty and the Beast, and usually enjoy Nesbit's writing, so I was somewhat surprised to discover that this tiny volume had little appeal for me. I was indifferent to the illustrations, and found the narrative a bit too "British." The text felt very stiff, as if the narrator were uncomfortable with her characters' behavior. At one point, Nesbit even finds it necessary to explain why Beauty's father might be displaying conspicuous emotion.

Perhaps if I had grown up with this version of the tale - originally contained in Nesbit's 1908 The Old Nursery Stories - I might have felt differently, but being used to a more emotionally "comfortable" telling, I found this edition rather odd. Reading it felt like watching someone laboriously attempt to translate another culture's idiomatic expressions... ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 11, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. Nesbitprimary authorall editionscalculated
Christie, JuliaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perks, BarbaraIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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First published in "The Old Nursery Stories"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0723235406, Hardcover)

E. Nesbit's retelling of this romantic tale is full of humor and tender characterization. Full-color illustrations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:23 -0400)

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