I read and re-read E. Nesbit’s work as a child, with the exception of The Railway Children, which I only read once. It is probably the book she is most well known for, thanks to the film, but also the one least like her other work. The Story of The Treasure Seekers is the first in a series about the fortunes and misfortunes of a family of six children, called the Bastables. It is narrated by Oswald Bastable, the second oldest child, and oldest son of the family. It tells of the children’s attempts to restore the fortunes of the House of Bastable, after the death of their mother, and their father’s loss of wealth in a way we are never specifically told.
It may sound grim, and old fashioned (it was published in the Eighteen Nineties), but it is nothing of the sort. In fact, this book is so fresh and funny, that in some places, even after a gap of thirty years, and it really not being written for a middle-aged lady, I was crying with laughter as I read. I thought it might be because classic books tend to be easier to read and better appreciated by adults, but when my children asked what I was laughing about and I read it out to them, they loved it, and I read half the book out loud in one day of our holidays.
Nesbit is brilliant at writing for children, about children and in a way that is totally relatable by children, no matter when they’re reading. The children’s adventures are timeless, and their views on the world are easily understood by modern children, despite some of the language being a little outdated.
The book is available in various formats, but the version I read is published by Dover as part of their Children’s Evergreen Classics series, and was sent to me by Netgalley. It will be available from January 2018.