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33 Works of Edith Nesbit

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Two Gentlemen Of Verona

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) Only one of them was really a gentleman, as you will discover later. Their names were Valentine and Proteus. They were friends, and lived at Verona, a town in northern Italy. Valentine was happy in his name because it was that of the patron saint of lovers; it is hard for a […]

(Story from Shakespeare) In the year thirteen hundred and something, the Countess of Rousillon was unhappy in her palace near the Pyrenees. She had lost her husband, and the King of France had summoned her son Bertram to Paris, hundreds of miles away. Bertram was a pretty youth with curling hair, finely arched eyebrows, and […]

Measure For Measure

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) More centuries ago than I care to say, the people of Vienna were governed too mildly. The reason was that the reigning Duke Vicentio was excessively good-natured, and disliked to see offenders made unhappy. The consequence was that the number of ill-behaved persons in Vienna was enough to make the Duke shake […]

Taming Of The Shrew

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) There lived in Padua a gentleman named Baptista, who had two fair daughters. The eldest, Katharine, was so very cross and ill-tempered, and unmannerly, that no one ever dreamed of marrying her, while her sister, Bianca, was so sweet and pretty, and pleasant-spoken, that more than one suitor asked her father for […]

Othello

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) Four hundred years ago there lived in Venice an ensign named Iago, who hated his general, Othello, for not making him a lieutenant. Instead of Iago, who was strongly recommended, Othello had chosen Michael Cassio, whose smooth tongue had helped him to win the heart of Desdemona. Iago had a friend called […]

Timon Of Athens

Story type: Literature

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Four hundred years before the birth of Christ, a man lived in Athens whose generosity was not only great, but absurd. He was very rich, but no worldly wealth was enough for a man who spent and gave like Timon. If anybody gave Timon a horse, he received from Timon twenty better horses. If anybody […]

Merchant Of Venice

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) Antonio was a rich and prosperous merchant of Venice. His ships were on nearly every sea, and he traded with Portugal, with Mexico, with England, and with India. Although proud of his riches, he was very generous with them, and delighted to use them in relieving the wants of his friends, among […]

Comedy Of Errors

Story type: Literature

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AEGEON was a merchant of Syracuse, which is a seaport in Sicily. His wife was AEmilia, and they were very happy until AEgeon’s manager died, and he was obliged to go by himself to a place called Epidamnum on the Adriatic. As soon as she could AEmilia followed him, and after they had been together […]

Macbeth

Story type: Literature

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(story from Shakespeare) When a person is asked to tell the story of Macbeth, he can tell two stories. One is of a man called Macbeth who came to the throne of Scotland by a crime in the year of our Lord 1039, and reigned justly and well, on the whole, for fifteen years or […]

Cymbeline

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) Cymbeline was the King of Britain. He had three children. The two sons were stolen away from him when they were quite little children, and he was left with only one daughter, Imogen. The King married a second time, and brought up Leonatus, the son of a dear friend, as Imogen’s playfellow; […]

Hamlet

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) Hamlet was the only son of the King of Denmark. He loved his father and mother dearly–and was happy in the love of a sweet lady named Ophelia. Her father, Polonius, was the King’s Chamberlain. While Hamlet was away studying at Wittenberg, his father died. Young Hamlet hastened home in great grief […]

Romeo And Juliet

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) Once upon a time there lived in Verona two great families named Montagu and Capulet. They were both rich, and I suppose they were as sensible, in most things, as other rich people. But in one thing they were extremely silly. There was an old, old quarrel between the two families, and […]

Much Ado About Nothing

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) In Sicily is a town called Messina, which is the scene of a curious storm in a teacup that raged several hundred years ago. It began with sunshine. Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon, in Spain, had gained so complete a victory over his foes that the very land whence they came is […]

Twelfth Night

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) Orsino, the Duke of Illyria, was deeply in love with a beautiful Countess named Olivia. Yet was all his love in vain, for she disdained his suit; and when her brother died, she sent back a messenger from the Duke, bidding him tell his master that for seven years she would not […]

Winter’s Tale

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) Leontes was the King of Sicily, and his dearest friend was Polixenes, King of Bohemia. They had been brought up together, and only separated when they reached man’s estate and each had to go and rule over his kingdom. After many years, when each was married and had a son, Polixenes came […]

King Lear

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) King Lear was old and tired. He was aweary of the business of his kingdom, and wished only to end his days quietly near his three daughters. Two of his daughters were married to the Dukes of Albany and Cornwall; and the Duke of Burgundy and the King of France were both […]

As You Like It

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) There was once a wicked Duke named Frederick, who took the dukedom that should have belonged to his brother, sending him into exile. His brother went into the Forest of Arden, where he lived the life of a bold forester, as Robin Hood did in Sherwood Forest in merry England. The banished […]

Tempest

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) Prospero, the Duke of Milan, was a learned and studious man, who lived among his books, leaving the management of his dukedom to his brother Antonio, in whom indeed he had complete trust. But that trust was ill-rewarded, for Antonio wanted to wear the duke’s crown himself, and, to gain his ends, […]

(Story from Shakespeare) Hermia and Lysander were lovers; but Hermia’s father wished her to marry another man, named Demetrius. Now, in Athens, where they lived, there was a wicked law, by which any girl who refused to marry according to her father’s wishes, might be put to death. Hermia’s father was so angry with her […]

Pericles

Story type: Literature

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(Story from Shakespeare) Pericles, the Prince of Tyre, was unfortunate enough to make an enemy of Antiochus, the powerful and wicked King of Antioch; and so great was the danger in which he stood that, on the advice of his trusty counselor, Lord Helicanus, he determined to travel about the world for a time. He […]

Hunting The Fox

Story type: Literature

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It is idle to expect every one to know everything in the world without being told. If we had been brought up in the country we should have known that it is not done–to hunt the fox in August. But in the Lewisham Road the most observing boy does not notice the dates when it […]

The Sale Of Antiquities

Story type: Literature

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It began one morning at breakfast. It was the fifteenth of August–the birthday of Napoleon the Great, Oswald Bastable, and another very nice writer. Oswald was to keep his birthday on the Saturday, so that his father could be there. A birthday when there are only many happy returns is a little like Sunday or […]

The Benevolent Bar

Story type: Literature

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The tramp was very dusty about the feet and legs, and his clothes were very ragged and dirty, but he had cheerful twinkly gray eyes, and he touched his cap to the girls when he spoke to us, though a little as though he would rather not. We were on the top of the big […]

Albert’s uncle was out on his bicycle as usual. After the day when we became Canterbury Pilgrims and were brought home in the dog-cart with red wheels by the lady he told us was his long-lost grandmother he had known years ago in India, he spent not nearly so much of his time in writing, […]

The shadow of the termination now descended in sable thunder-clouds upon our devoted nobs. As Albert’s uncle said, “School now gaped for its prey.” In a very short space of time we should be wending our way back to Blackheath, and all the variegated delightfulness of the country would soon be only preserved in memory’s […]

The Tower Of Mystery

Story type: Literature

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It was very rough on Dora having her foot bad, but we took it in turns to stay in with her, and she was very decent about it. Daisy was most with her. I do not dislike Daisy, but I wish she had been taught how to play. Because Dora is rather like that naturally, […]

The Water-Works

Story type: Literature

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This is the story of one of the most far-reaching and influentially naughty things we ever did in our lives. We did not mean to do such a deed. And yet we did do it. These things will happen with the best-regulated consciences. The story of this rash and fatal act is intimately involved–which means […]

The Circus

Story type: Literature

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The ones of us who had started the Society of the Wouldbegoods began, at about this time, to bother. They said we had not done anything really noble–not worth speaking of, that is–for over a week, and that it was high time to begin again–“with earnest endeavor,” Daisy said. So then Oswald said: “All right; […]

You read in books about the pleasures of London, and about how people who live in the country long for the gay whirl of fashion in town because the country is so dull. I do not agree with this at all. In London, or at any rate Lewisham, nothing happens unless you make it happen; […]

The High-Born Babe

Story type: Literature

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It really was not such a bad baby–for a baby. Its face was round and quite clean, which babies’ faces are not always, as I dare say you know by your own youthful relatives; and Dora said its cape was trimmed with real lace, whatever that may be–I don’t see myself how one kind of […]

The Jungle

Story type: Literature

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“Children are like jam: all very well in the proper place, but you can’t stand them all over the shop–eh, what?” These were the dreadful words of our Indian uncle. They made us feel very young and angry; and yet we could not be comforted by calling him names to ourselves, as you do when […]

The Wouldbegoods

Story type: Literature

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When we were sent down into the country to learn to be good we felt it was rather good business, because we knew our being sent there was really only to get us out of the way for a little while, and we knew right enough that it wasn’t a punishment, though Mrs. Blake said […]

Bill’s Tombstone

Story type: Literature

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There were soldiers riding down the road, on horses, two and two. That is the horses were two and two, and the men not. Because each man was riding one horse and leading another. To exercise them. They came from Chatham Barracks. We all drew up in a line outside the church-yard wall, and saluted […]