The Railway Children - Edith Nesbit, C. E. Brock (illustrator) 1906 - Wells Gardner, London - First Edition The first edition, scarce in such fabulous condition, of Nesbit’s most loved children’s story, the basis for the wonderful 1970 Lionel Jeffries film, and Simon Nye’s 2000 television adaptation (both featuring Jenny Agutter, firstly as Bobby and then as the children’s mother). Illustrated by Charles Brock with twenty black and white plates and illustrated title page.

‘When Father is taken away unexpectedly, Roberta, Peter, Phyllis and their mother have to leave their comfortable life in London to go and live in a small cottage in the country. The children seek solace in the nearby railway station, and make friends with Perks the Porter and the Station Master himself. Each day, Roberta, Peter and Phyllis run down the field to the railway track and wave at the passing London train, sending their love to Father. Little do they know that the kindly old gentleman passenger who waves back holds the key to their father's disappearance.’

'Her writing is so light and unforced, her humour so sure and her narrative quality so strong . . . she has given me the most complete satisfaction' – Noël Coward.
  First published in monthly instalments in the London Magazine in 1905.

“Edith Nesbit [1858-1924], was a mischievous, tomboyish child who grew up to be an unconventional adult. She and her husband were founder members of the socialist Fabian Society and their home became a centre for socialist and literary discussion. Their friends included some of the time’s greatest writers and thinkers, including George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells.

Everything about Edith showed her as a woman trying to break out of the mould demanded by English society at the time – she expressed her individuality through her clothes, hairstyle, lifestyle and her habit of speaking forcefully on almost any subject. She lived her socialism and late in life her charitable deeds brought her close to bankruptcy.

E. Nesbit – she always used the plain initial for her writing and was sometimes thought to be a man – started to write for children after years of successful writing for adult magazines. She was asked to write about her childhood but instead of facts chose to describe her happy girlhood in fiction. The result was books still read today, firm best sellers for decades. She was brilliant at combining real-life situations with elements of fantasy and humour.” – Heidi Green,
William Morrow.

pp. viii 309 [1] 10 publisher’s ads. In publisher’s burgundy cloth, illustrated and lettered in gilt to spine and front panel, publisher’s logo in blind to rear panel, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. First edition, with no further editions stated on the copyright page.
  Condition: Near fine, light wear to corners and spine ends, slight bubbling to are of panels closest to spine, faint foxing to endpapers and foredge.   Ref: 107631   Price: HK$ 11,000