The Story of the Treasure Seekers Background

The Story of the Treasure Seekers Background

"The Story of the Treasure Seekers" is a children's novel written by British novelist Edith (E.) Nesbit, and like her other much-loved novels including "The Phoenix and the Carpet" and "Five Children and It", "The Story of the Treasure Seekers" is widely accepted as a classic of children's literature. Writing during the late Victorian and early Edwardian times, Nesbit's books were The Simpsons of their day. as they could be both interpreted and enjoyed in totally different ways by children and adults alike. Ostensibly a tale of spunky and adventurous children who are trying to devise a plan to rebuild their family fortune, it is also a story that is scathing about the British class system, the establishment and the propensity for newspapers to advertise clearly bogus "get rich quick" opportunities.

Nesbit was an unconventional woman who did not necessarily fit with the widely accepted social sensibilities of the day and was also politically left-leaning, co-founding The Fabian Group, which became Britain's Labor Party. Needing to make money from her writing, Nesbit was careful to hint at her political beliefs rather than allowing either her characters or the narrator to espouse them as she did not want to offend potential readers; however, what is most interesting about "The Story of the Treasure Seekers", her first novel, was that the Bastable children's financial situation mirrored her own, as her family needed of money just as much as theirs did.

Another innovative thing about this novel,as well as her subsequent books, is that unlike most child narrators in novels, her narrator - Oswald Bastable - was not always a nice child and has the brutal honesty of children without the adult ability to see what is really going on, or to see others through anything but rose colored spectacles. In this way we learn both what happened from the children's perspective but also what really happened as well, providing a constant reminder that children and adults have a constantly differing view of the world.

After the success of this, her first novel, in 1899, E. Nesbit went on to write many other children's novels with equally feisty and realistic children as their main characters, including the most popular of all of her books, "The Railway Children." It is a testament to her ability to create authentically believable characters that her books are still popular with young readers almost one hundred and twenty years after the publication of "The Story of the Treasure Seekers."

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