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The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit
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The Book of Dragons (1900)

by E. Nesbit

Other authors: Erik Blegvad (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 12 mentions

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  antiquary | Mar 5, 2014 |
A set of short stories having nothing in common except that they are about dragons. Some are rather minor Nesbit, but Nesbit is always worth reading. A line that stuck in my mind as a child was "Fair play is a jewel" --the idea that being fair even to enemies is just. ( )
  antiquary | Sep 30, 2013 |
Nesbit's tone is often preachy, and the narrative voice is a little patronising and didactic, but if you can ignore that, I think these stories are delightful. I liked Prince Tiresome's pack of hippos, and also, perhaps especially, all the reversals in the land of Rotundia: the buns growing on trees, the tiny elephants... Fido the tiny elephant is completely adorable.

Lovely, and bitesize. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
N'awwww! This is totally adorable, with enough variety that the preciousness never got too cloying. I love the way the narrator speaks directly to the reader, which is a nineteenth-century touch that I miss in more contemporary stuff (and no, I do not love it because of "Reader, I married him."). It comes close to the edge of twee a few times, and probably crosses over at least once -- it took me months to read this, not because of any intrinsic quality of the book but because it was never urgent for me to read the next story. ( )
  cricketbats | Apr 1, 2013 |
In the midst of this. I read 5 Children and It as a child, but had no idea of the range of E. Nesbit's writing, and had never heard of this one till I picked it up at the library. So sorry I missed it until now! It's so delightful: beautiful imagery, concisely written, and very true to the fairy-tale ethos; but funny, too. And a strange combination of modern (including asides to the reader) and ancient in feel.

I looked E. Nesbit up on Wikipedia and was fascinated to find that, at the turn of the century, she married at 7 months pregnant, had an open marriage, raised the children her husband had with his lover as her own, and co-founded a precursor to the modern Labour Party. She was clearly fairly radical, socially and politically speaking, and this makes reading her work all the more interesting. She mentions class-based signifiers (public and private schools, in the English sense; servants and royalty, of course, in the fairy-tale mode; Eton jackets, accepted and poor behavior) quite frequently, and I often can't tell whether she intends irony or subtle instruction to come of this.

But aside from her personal life, I would totally recommend this book simply because they're wonderful tales, wonderfully told. ( )
  sweetsapling | Sep 1, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. Nesbitprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blegvad, ErikIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Millar, H. R.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He happened to be building a palace when the news came, and he left all the bricks kicking about the floor for Nurse to clear up - but then the news was rather remarkable news.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This contains eight dragon tales (originally published in 1899-1900). They include: "The Book of Beasts","Uncle James, or the Purple Stranger", "The Deliverers of Their Country","The Ice Dragon, or Do as You are Told", "The Island Of the Nine Whirlpools", "The Dragon Tamers","The Fiery Dragon, or the Heart of Stone and the Heart of Gold", "Kind Little Edmund, or the Caves and the Cockatrice". A later collection called The Complete Book of Dragons (1972) contains an extra story.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816708525, Paperback)

A classic collection of dragon tales by author Edith Nesbit.

Excerpt:
"Sire, your great-great-great-great-great-grandfather's death happened when my grandfather was a little boy," said the Prime Minister, "and since then your loyal people have been saving up to buy you a crown--so much a week, you know, according to people's means--sixpence a week from those who have first-rate pocket money, down to a halfpenny a week from those who haven't so much. You know it's the rule that the crown must be paid for by the people."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Presents eight tales about dragons, both dangerous and friendly, in a variety of times, places, and situations, including magical kingdoms and the exploits of daring heroes.

» see all 4 descriptions

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