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About the Author: E. Nesbit

Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet; she published her books for children under the name of E. Nesbit.
She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later connected to the Labour Party.

Edith Nesbit was born in Kennington, Surrey, the daughter of agricultural chemist and schoolmaster John Collis Nesbit. The death of her father when she was four and the continuing ill health of her sister meant that Nesbit had a transitory childhood, her family moving across Europe in search of healthy climates only to return to England for financial reasons. Nesbit therefore spent her childhood attaining an education from whatever sources were available—local grammars, the occasional boarding school but mainly through reading.

At 17 her family finally settled in London and aged 19, Nesbit met Hubert Bland, a political activist and writer. They became lovers and when Nesbit found she was pregnant they became engaged, marrying in April 1880. After this scandalous (for Victorian society) beginning, the marriage would be an unconventional one. Initially, the couple lived separately—Nesbit with her family and Bland with his mother and her live-in companion Maggie Doran.

Initially, Edith Nesbit books were novels meant for adults, including The Prophet's Mantle (1885) and The Marden Mystery (1896) about the early days of the socialist movement. Written under the pen name of her third child 'Fabian Bland', these books were not successful. Nesbit generated an income for the family by lecturing around the country on socialism and through her journalism (she was editor of the Fabian Society's journal, Today).

In 1899 she had published The Adventures of the Treasure Seekers to great acclaim.


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, Published in Jan 1970 by BiblioLife, LLC

ISBN10: 1147884560 | ISBN13: 9781147884562

The Literary Sense
by E. Nesbit

THE UNFAITHFUL LOVER

SHE was going to meet her lover. And the fact that she was to meet him at Cannon Street Station would almost, she feared, make the meeting itself banal, sordid. She would have liked to meet him in some green, cool orchard, where daffodils swung in the long grass, and primroses stood on frail stiff little pink stalks in the wet, scented moss of the hedgerow. The time should have been May. She herself should have been a poem—a lyric in a white gown and green scarf, coming to him through the long grass under the blossomed boughs. Her hands should have been full of bluebells, and she should have held them up to his face in maidenly defence as he sprang forward to take her in his arms. You see that she knew exactly how a tryst is conducted in the pages of the standard poets and of the cheaper weekly journals. She had, to the full limit allowed of her reading and her environment, the literary sense. When she was a child she never could cry long, because she always wanted to see herself cry, in the glass, and then of course the tears always stopped. Now that she was a young woman she could never be happy long, because she wanted to watch her heart's happiness, and it used to stop then, just as the tears had.

He had asked her to meet him at Cannon Street; he had something to say to her, and at home it was difficult to get a quiet half-hour because of her little sisters. And, curiously enough, she was hardly curious at all about what he might have to say. She only wished for May and the orchard, instead of January and the dingy, dusty waiting-room, the plain-faced, preoccupied travellers, the dim, desolate weather. The setting of the scene seemed to her all-important. Her dress was brown, her jacket black, and her hat was home-trimmed. Yet she looked entrancingly pretty to him as he came through the heavy swing-doors. He would hardly have known her in green and white muslin and an orchard, for their love had been born and bred in town—Highbury New Park, to be exact. He came towards her; he was five minutes late. She had grown anxious, as the one who waits always does, and she was extremely glad to see him, but she knew that a late lover should be treated with a provoking coldness (one can relent prettily later on), so she gave him a limp hand and no greeting.

"Let's go out," he said. "Shall we walk along the Embankment, or go somewhere on the Underground?"

It was bitterly cold, but the Embankment was more romantic than a railway carriage. He ought to insist on the railway carriage: he probably would. So she said—

"Oh, the Embankment, please!" and felt a sting of annoyance and disappointment when he acquiesced.

They did not speak again till they had gone through the little back streets, past the police station and the mustard factory, and were on the broad pavement of Queen Victoria Street.

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