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The magic of Edward Eager

knights-castleThanks to all the folks who made suggestions for our next bedtime read in my household. Of all the suggestions, I like the idea of Artemis Fowl, Harriet the Spy and Brian Jacques’ Redwall series.

In the end, our neighbours came to our assistance. They have just retired and brought over a bag of books as part of a clear-out. There was an number of children’s books by an author called Edward Eager, whom I had never heard of.

It turns out Edward Eager (1911-1964) wrote a series of magic-themed stories for his son, Fritz, that became books. Eager was heavily influenced by E. Nesbit and the theme of ordinary children becoming entangled in magical adventures. We’re reading Knight’s Castle from 1956 and that’s exactly what the book is about.

To be honest, after reading seven Harry Potter books, more books involving magic is the easy option although Eager’s stories are gentler than JK Rowling’s – no-one has been killed or tortured to death yet in Knight’s Castle. I enjoyed E. Nesbit as a child and Knight’s Castle has been enjoyable so far – the oddest thing is the frequent use of the word ‘yeomanly.’

There is a boxed set of Eager’s stories, published in 1999, but it’s quite hard to find.

Eager’s ‘Magic’ series is Half Magic (1954), Knight’s Castle (1956), Magic By the Lake (1957), The Time Garden (1958), Magic Or Not? (1959), The Well-Wishers (1960) and Seven-Day Magic (1962)

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