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The Magic City by E. Nesbit

The Magic City (1910)

by E. Nesbit

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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303736,938 (3.86)8
  1. 20
    Knight's Castle by Edward Eager (Torikton, Hollerama)
    Torikton: Two excellent stories about children magically transported to a land of toys.
    Hollerama: Both works are stories that feature children visiting the lands of toys.
  2. 00
    Wings and the Child: Or the Building of Magic Cities or the Building of Magic Cities by E. Nesbit (muumi)
    muumi: The Magic City is a fantasy for children (and former children) about a boy and girl who build a city and enter it. Wings and the Child presents Nesbit's philosophy of childhood and ideas about why that kind of fantasy play is so important -- with photographs of component buildings, and an entire city, built by the author from the remarkable bric-a-brac of a Victorian home. The two books are complementary.… (more)

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
One of my absolutely favorite books as a child, partly because like the hero Philip I loved to build cities not only out of toy bricks but out of anything else available. In this story Philip by magic gets into a city he has build, along with a girl, Lucy (namesake and perhaps inspiration of Queen Lucy of Narnia, since C.S. Lewis said the Narnian children were influenced by Nesbit), and --accidentally-- their odious nursemaid. (Philip comes out of the city and has to choose to go back in by tears "Tears are very strong magic." --a line I have always remembered. It is said by Mr. Noah (originally the Noah in a Noah's Ark set, but animated as a wise guide to the children). The city has prophecies of the coming of two mythic figures, the Deliverer and the Destroyer. The Deliverer has a series of deeds to perform to earn the title, which Philip sets out to do, with Lucy's aid (originally they were not friends, but they become so.) The nursemaid also claims the Deliverership, and is known throughout the book as the Pretenderette (to the Claimancy of the Deliverership) , though as is remarked, the Claimancy of the Destroyership is also open.. Spoiler Warning. . Ultimately she calls in the barbarians from Caesar's Gallic Wars (one of the books of which the city is built) to seize power, but is defeated when Philip calls up Caesar himself and his legions. Yet Caesar greets the defeated Pretenderette with respect "I hail, madame, your courage." --part of that ethic of understanding for enemies that runs through Nesbit's work, and impressed me as a child. .
There are a lot of other psychologically sophisticated aspects of the story -- Philip's beloved elder sister Helen had marred Lucy's father, a situation he found hard to accept, but he is able to work through it with an encounter with Helen n an island they had invented together which he is finally able to give away. ( )
  antiquary | Oct 1, 2013 |
One of my favorite books of all time. Read it when I was around 12 and ten years later I still love it. There's so much imagination and adventure. I would recommend this book to people of any age. Yes, it's a children's book, but it's just too good to miss. ( )
  Abigayl | Jan 3, 2013 |
The Magic City is all about imagination and creativity. It's a wonderful story. ( )
  miskend | Oct 10, 2010 |
This is a very wonderful story full of magic and mystery. I would suggest ages 9-12 ( )
  BookBrook | Feb 15, 2010 |
This was a cool book. I liked the ideas in it, and the story was cool.With the exception of /The Book of Dragons/, and her other short fiction, I think I prefer E. Nesbit's fantasy that has a grounding in the real world most. There's a reason for this, though. When she writes in pure fantasy mode, she tends to go faster and introduce more characters more quickly. The adult characters in her pure fantasy stories totally cater to the fantasy settings, as well, and often seem like a part of the child's imagination. The fantasy worlds seem this way, as well—and I guess from what happened, this makes complete sense. This isn't a bad thing necessarily, but it makes it harder for me to follow, and for some reason it doesn't hold my interest quite as much in some parts. I don't think it would be quite the same for a kid, though. Anyway, that aside, I can say I really liked the book. Don't let this dissuade you, though—I did really like the book (I just thought it was a little arduous of a listen).Don't confuse this with /The Magic World/, by E. Nesbit—that book is a collection of short stories; this one is not. Speaking of short stories, E. Nesbit wrote a short story that is very similar to this novel. I forgot which one it was, but it doesn't quite surprise me. She does seem to revisit her ideas once in a while (i.e. compare /The Railroad Children/ with /The Treasure Seekers/). At first, I wasn't so sure that I liked this tendency, but I think I appreciate it a lot more, now. ( )
1 vote nules | Feb 13, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. Nesbitprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Millar, H.R.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Philip Haldane and his sister lived in a little red-roofed house in a little red-roofed town.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0929605535, Paperback)

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:58 -0400)

An extremely unhappy ten-year-old magically escapes into a city he has built out of books, chessmen, candlesticks, and other household items.

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