Edith Nesbit, The Railway Children

Matthew Creasy (University of Glasgow)
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The Railway Children


is an acclaimed novel for younger readers by Edith Nesbit. It relates the experiences of three children, Roberta (“Bobbie”), Peter and Phyllis, who are forced to move away from middle-class life in London when their father is arrested upon charges of espionage (incriminating documents have been planted in his desk by a colleague). The family relocate to a rural village alongside a railway track, where they live in reduced circumstances and are largely left to their own devices, whilst their mother attempts to earn a living as a writer.

This premise is a familiar one in the many respects within the worlds of Nesbit’s fiction: the collective endeavours of the children recall other novels that she was working on during this period, such as The Story of the

2091 words

Citation: Creasy, Matthew. "The Railway Children". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 February 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=39014, accessed 19 April 2024.]

39014 The Railway Children 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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