Booking Information

25th October 2015

2.30 & 4.30 pm

Suitable for children age 3 upwards

Tickets: £5 per person


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Venue Details

Corn Exchange

High Street


ML12 6BJ

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About The Author E Nesbit


Edith Nesbit was born in 1858 in Surrey the daughter of an agricultural chemist, John Collis Nesbit, who died in March 1862, before her fourth birthday. Her sister Mary’s ill health meant that the family travelled around for some years, living variously in Brighton, Buckinghamshire, France, Spain and Germany, before settling in Kent, a location which later inspired The Railway Children.

When Nesbit was seventeen, the family moved back to London.

At eighteen, Nesbit met the bank clerk Hubert Bland in 1877. Seven months pregnant, she married Bland on 22 April 1880, though she did not immediately live with him, as Bland initially continued to live with his mother. Their marriage was a stormy one. He was unfaithful on a number of occasions including with one of Edith’s close friends who bore him a child.Edith had 5 children to whom she dedicated many of her books

Nesbit was a follower of the Marxist[4][5] socialist William Morris and she and her husband Hubert Bland were among the founders of the Fabian Society in 1884. Nesbit was an active lecturer and prolific writer on socialism during the 1880s. Nesbit also wrote with her husband under the name “Fabian Bland”,[6] though this activity dwindled as her success as a children’s author grew.

She was a guest speaker at the London School of Economics, which had been founded by other Fabian Society members.

Nesbit published approximately 40 books for children, including novels, collections of stories and picture books.[8] Collaborating with others, she published almost as many more.

According to her biographer Julia Briggs, Nesbit was “the first modern writer for children”: “(Nesbit) helped to reverse the great tradition of children’s literature inaugurated by Lewis Carroll, George MacDonald and Kenneth Grahame, in turning away from their secondary worlds to the tough truths to be won from encounters with things-as-they-are, previously the province of adult novels.” Briggs also credits Nesbit with having invented the children’s adventure story. Noël Coward was a great admirer of hers and, in a letter to an early biographer Noel Streatfeild, wrote “she had an economy of phrase, and an unparalleled talent for evoking hot summer days in the English countryside.”

Among Nesbit’s best-known books are The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1898) and The Wouldbegoods (1899), which both recount stories about the Bastables, a middle-class family that has fallen on (relatively) hard times. The Railway Children is also known from its adaptation into a 1970 film version. Her children’s writing also included numerous plays and collections of verse.

She created an innovative body of work that combined realistic, contemporary children in real-world settings with magical objects – what would now be classed as contemporary fantasy – and adventures and sometimes travel to fantastic worlds. In doing so, she was a direct or indirect influence on many subsequent writers, from P. L. Travers (author of Mary Poppins) and J. K. Rowling. C. S. Lewis wrote of her influence on his Narnia series.

Nesbit also wrote for adults, including eleven novels, short stories and four collections of horror stories.

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The Story Of Andromeda

– The Source Of Our Tale...

6_20030317100950The story of Andromeda, the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, king and queen of Ethiopia has been told for more than two thousand years.

Andromeda was a very beautiful girl. Cassiopeia was very proud of her daughter and boasted about her beauty constantly. She even said that Andromeda was more beautiful than all the daughters of Poseidon the God of the Sea.

Poseidon got very angry and decided to punish Cassiopeia by sending a huge sea monster to ravage the kingdom.

In order to calm Poseidon down, Andromeda had to be sacrificed to the monster and she was chained to a large rock by the seashore to await her fate.

Luckily for Andromeda, Perseus, the hero, happened to come along. He was carrying with him the head of an ugly monster. The monster’s head was so ugly that anyone who looked at it instantly turned to stone.

Perseus saw that Andromeda was tied to the rock and that the sea monster was coming to get her. He quickly lifted the ugly head up in front of the sea monster and the sea monster turned to stone. Andromeda was saved.

Age To Youth – By Edith Nesbit

Sunrise is in your eyes, and in your heart
The hope and bright desire of morn and May.
My eyes are full of shadow, and my part
Of life is yesterday.

Yet lend my hand your hand, and let us sit
And see your life unfolding like a scroll,
Rich with illuminated blazon, fit
For your arm-bearing soul.

My soul bears arms too, but the scroll’s rolled tight,
Yet the one strip of faded brightness shown
Proclaims that when ’twas splendid in the light
Its blazon matched your own.