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Harding's Luck (1909) by: E. Nesbit ( The second (and last) story in the Time-travel/Fantasy "House of Arden" series for children.): (Illustrated) (Children's Classics

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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 more than 60 books of fiction for children. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later affiliated to the Labour Party.


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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 more than 60 books of fiction for children. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later affiliated to the Labour Party.

30 review for Harding's Luck (1909) by: E. Nesbit ( The second (and last) story in the Time-travel/Fantasy "House of Arden" series for children.): (Illustrated) (Children's Classics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    Well-written but somewhat off-balance children's fantasy novel. Although it is a sequel to The House of Arden the connection isn't made explicit until over halfway through. The first half is free of magical elements and reads as a fairly realistic story of a poor London boy living first in a squalid house with his unloving aunt, and then on the road with a tramp who takes him on thinking his lameness will get them more charity. Well-written but somewhat off-balance children's fantasy novel. Although it is a sequel to The House of Arden the connection isn't made explicit until over halfway through. The first half is free of magical elements and reads as a fairly realistic story of a poor London boy living first in a squalid house with his unloving aunt, and then on the road with a tramp who takes him on thinking his lameness will get them more charity.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Orion

    Are Edith Nesbit's novels where J. K. Rowling got the idea for her Harry Potter series in which magical witches and wizards live secretly among normal humdrum people (muggles)? It was Nesbit, who wrote 60 children's novels, that first started writing about everyday English children discovering magical people, charms, and spells in their midst. One of the founding members of the Fabian Society, Nesbit was famous in her time for her Socialist beliefs and friends. However, presently it is her child Are Edith Nesbit's novels where J. K. Rowling got the idea for her Harry Potter series in which magical witches and wizards live secretly among normal humdrum people (muggles)? It was Nesbit, who wrote 60 children's novels, that first started writing about everyday English children discovering magical people, charms, and spells in their midst. One of the founding members of the Fabian Society, Nesbit was famous in her time for her Socialist beliefs and friends. However, presently it is her children's books that are her enduring legacy. Harding's Luck is the second of a pair of novels about Dickie Harding a young orphan in 1906 London who uses a crutch because his left leg doesn't work. When his father died he left Dickie an old toy that was to bring him luck, but as the story opens there is little luck or joy in the child's life. Nesbit's Socialist beliefs are strongly represented in her portrayal of Dickie's poverty. She describes life for the poor of the time as follows. "...All the green trees are gone, and good work is gone, and people do bad work for just so much as will keep together their worn bodies and desolate souls. And sometimes they starve to death." She also portrays a society strictly divided by class in which Dickie is poor but has noble blood which elevates him above those around him. The magic of the story is a spell involving the toy his father gave him that puts him in contact with a trio of magical moles called Mouldiwarps and a nursemaid witch. This group transport him back 300 years to the time of King James I where he is Richard Arden, a young boy of noble family who has two healthy legs. He travels back and forth between his London and that of James I with the help of the Mouldiwarps. In the process he saves the Arden family's fortune and has to decide between his present-day London and that of 300 years ago. Nesbit is a wonderful storyteller and the plot is full of detail and adventure that make it a delight to read. Her use of the street language of the time makes this a difficult book for young readers of today, but adults who like children's literature will find it a delightful glimpse of English life. H. R. Millar's 16 original drawings help bring the tale to life. This Books of Wonder edition suffers from bad proofreading. I found over a dozen misspellings that should have been caught in the editing process. Although this is one of a two volume series, it can be read alone with no problem.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Skye

    Oh, so good to read an undiscovered Nesbit! Makes me feel seven years old again. Something about her ability to put you in places, complete with scents and cool breezes and warm sunlight through your shirt - without mentioning any of these things, is a sort of magic I will always be in awe of.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    I definitely recommend reading the first book in the series before this one. It was very enjoyable, but I dropped a star because I didn't like the ending. I definitely recommend reading the first book in the series before this one. It was very enjoyable, but I dropped a star because I didn't like the ending.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    The story of a courageous and noble young boy. (The ending made me feel sad:(((

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Arrrgggg, I did not realize this was a sequel to another book of hers until I was halfway done. So maddening. To be honest, I didn't really need to read the first one to understand this one but still....I like things in order. Just like all her other kids books I've read, this one was great. I love her style, her writer's voice, really everything she does. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I didn't love it quite as much as some of her other books. Dickie can be a bit too goody goody, like a Arrrgggg, I did not realize this was a sequel to another book of hers until I was halfway done. So maddening. To be honest, I didn't really need to read the first one to understand this one but still....I like things in order. Just like all her other kids books I've read, this one was great. I love her style, her writer's voice, really everything she does. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I didn't love it quite as much as some of her other books. Dickie can be a bit too goody goody, like a Dickens character. I prefer the more naughty children in her books, like Oswald Bastable. Now I've got to go hunt down the first book in this series. But first, a few bits I enjoyed reading: Mr Beale was confused by the two desires which make it difficult to confess anything truthfully - the desire to tell the worst of oneself and the desire to do full justice to oneself at the same time. It is so very hard not to blacken the blackness, or whiten the whiteness, when one comes to trying to tell the truth about oneself. Let him feel a little bit of a hero, since that was what indeed he was, even though, of course, all right-minded children are modest and humble, and fully sensible of their own intense unimportance, no matter how heroically they may happen to be behaving. The difference between being rich and poor is as great as the difference between being warm and cold. "We call him Rosinante because he is so fat" and he laughed, but Dickie did not understand the joke. He had not read Don Quixote as you, no doubt, have. If you think there are not so many shades of white, try to paper a room with white paper and get it from five different shops. I am told the correct plural is chrysalides, but life would be dull indeed if one always used the correct plural.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Fellows

    Read it. (view spoiler)[Well, I'll be blowed. It's jerky and uneven, and I really ought to read 'The House of Arden' before reviewing it, but it was free on the Kindle and 'The House of Arden' wasn't; and I ought to go a-googling and see if anyone else has had the idea, but gosh, this looks an awful lot like Narnia. And in Dicky Harding, notorious socialist E. Nesbit has written a character who is far more Christ-like than anyone in C. S. Lewis' ouevre. There are children who go away into a differ Read it. (view spoiler)[Well, I'll be blowed. It's jerky and uneven, and I really ought to read 'The House of Arden' before reviewing it, but it was free on the Kindle and 'The House of Arden' wasn't; and I ought to go a-googling and see if anyone else has had the idea, but gosh, this looks an awful lot like Narnia. And in Dicky Harding, notorious socialist E. Nesbit has written a character who is far more Christ-like than anyone in C. S. Lewis' ouevre. There are children who go away into a different world, see, and no matter how long they spend there, no time passes in the world they left behind: though in this case the different world is our world, at the time of King James. (Isn't Narnia - the way the life of the Narnian humans in it are presented - a lot like England at the time of King James? It's not proper mediaeval/high fantasy at all. Much more Shakespearean.) There are magic talking animals that make this happen. Not trivial magic talking animals, but great one who are tied in somehow with the fabric of the universe. Read the mission that the Mouldiestwarp charges Edred with, and tell me you can't hear the voice of Aslan - and also that the quest, in terms of self-sacrifice required, doesn't beat the stuffing out of anything asked of Edmund or Eustace or Jill Poole. And whereas a lion is, naturally, the perfect animal symbol for Christ Triumphant, for God Transcendent, the white mole of this book is way better than a lamb for Christ With Us, for God Immanent. Which sums up the difference between this book and the Narnia series. And this is the end of the book. It's the same as the end of 'The Last Battle': "And let thy dreams be of the life to come, compared to which all lives on earth are only dreams. And in that life all those who have loved shall meet and be together forevermore, in that life when all the dear and noble dreams of the earthly life shall at last and forever be something more than dreams." Isn't it? C. S. Lewis was of course familiar with Nesbit's work. Remember how the Bastables are mentioned at the beginning of 'The Magician's Nephew'? Dicky Harding is lame. An orphan. Poor and neglected. The book begins with a fiery denunciation of the squalor and ugliness of his surroundings. He is not like the triumphant Christ figure of Narnia, but the suffering servant who is humbled to share in our humanity. For a time, like the Son of Man, he has nowhere to lay his head. He is offered a new life of comfort - not once, but multiple times - and each time turns back to his difficult life in order to work for the redemption of a man who seems to be unworthy of his love. (Parenthetically, during this time Dicky earns his living by carpentry.) Eventually he succeeds in redeeming this man. Having done so, he consciously steps back and lets him lead his own life. Dicky Harding is finally recognised to be, not an orphan of no account, but Richard Arden, the true heir to a great estate: the most exalted human character in the story. Finally his life in modern times is better than his life in the time of King James. At this point he renounces this too, so as not to displace his benefactors, and apparently dying in his own time, returns to the past for good. Maybe he is too good to be true: but he never preaches to anyone. He just lives this life of heroic self-sacrifice. Good on him. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I really enjoyed reading E. Nesbit's House of Arden. In House of Arden, Edred and Elfrida meet a young boy, Richard Arden, on one of their trips to the past. They get along with their cousin very well. He seems to understand them and accept them. They even learn that he has "seen" the world they come from, that he knows things he couldn't possibly know unless he had also visited the future. In Harding's Luck, a companion novel, readers learn more about "Richard Arden." The story follows the adve I really enjoyed reading E. Nesbit's House of Arden. In House of Arden, Edred and Elfrida meet a young boy, Richard Arden, on one of their trips to the past. They get along with their cousin very well. He seems to understand them and accept them. They even learn that he has "seen" the world they come from, that he knows things he couldn't possibly know unless he had also visited the future. In Harding's Luck, a companion novel, readers learn more about "Richard Arden." The story follows the adventures of Dickie Harding, a poor, "crippled", orphan boy who is unhappy living with his "aunt." He is "adopted" by a stranger, Mr. Beale. Together they tramp along in city and country alike. But Dickie isn't exactly happy with the begging life. And some of Mr. Beale's friends, well, Dickie doesn't trust them at all. He's afraid that begging will become outright burglary. But Dickie is about to discover he is no ordinary boy. He finds his own magic, perhaps. The details are a bit messy perhaps, but he discovers a way to travel back in time to the days of King James. In the past, he is Richard Arden. He has a family; he has a home; he's loved; and, he's not lame. He loves, loves, loves living in the past. But he can't help remaining loyal to his "father," Mr. Beale. If only there were a way for him to take care of Mr. Beale, to get him in a better position for living life, and to stay happily in the past too... I absolutely loved the hero! I did. This one was very enjoyable! I would not say it is a perfect read, but, it is oh-so-good.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha

    3.5 stars-- I enjoyed this more than "House of Arden," but I doubt I will ever want to revisit it. Dickie was a dear, though. Not crazy about the ending, but at the same time I'm glad he got to be happy... yet I don't entirely understand what happened to the first Dickie who was there. 3.5 stars-- I enjoyed this more than "House of Arden," but I doubt I will ever want to revisit it. Dickie was a dear, though. Not crazy about the ending, but at the same time I'm glad he got to be happy... yet I don't entirely understand what happened to the first Dickie who was there.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Harding’s Luck is the second book in Edith Nesbit’s House of Arden series. It has been so long since I read the first book that I had forgotten most of it, but it didn’t really matter. There are a couple of characters from the first book, but Nesbit does a great job of filling in the reader on their past. Dickie Harding is being raised by his auntie (not really his aunt) and she is a cruel, hard woman who doesn’t hesitate to punish poor Dickie for the least infraction. Dickie is 5-years old, lam Harding’s Luck is the second book in Edith Nesbit’s House of Arden series. It has been so long since I read the first book that I had forgotten most of it, but it didn’t really matter. There are a couple of characters from the first book, but Nesbit does a great job of filling in the reader on their past. Dickie Harding is being raised by his auntie (not really his aunt) and she is a cruel, hard woman who doesn’t hesitate to punish poor Dickie for the least infraction. Dickie is 5-years old, lame and living in poverty in London during the early 1900’s. Dickie ends up taking off with a tramp, time traveling back 300 years and being adopted into a wealthy family. One of the reasons I like Edith Nesbit’s fantasies so much is that they are grounded in reality. The books usually feature children who are orphans or semi-orphans that have unlimited freedom to explore and have adventures. I always learn a little about British history from her books. I also like her little side comments to readers. Harding’s Luck was a little slow to start and I had some trouble understanding Dickie’s London dialect. Not one of my favorite Nesbit books, but still a charming story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alenna

    2.5 stars. A little confusing for younger kids because the “magic” isn’t understood to be magic by the main character until about halfway through the book. While this book eventually ties in to the first novel, it took a long time. Also, the ending wasn’t what I thought it should have been.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Moore

    Read this on my Kindle. Delightful. E. Nesbit never disappoints.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vivian

    Picture yourself a resident of the 1908 "Downton Abbey" world, and receiving this volume as a birthday gift. You would first become acquainted with an "Oliver Twist"-like character, Dickie, an orphan who has never known a mother and whose father left him only a plaything as a legacy with the parting words, "Keep this, it will bring you luck." Nesbit weaves a tale that is part Dickens, part Burnett (as in Little Lord Fauntleroy), and part Ruskin (as in "magical"). The magical turn comes as a comp Picture yourself a resident of the 1908 "Downton Abbey" world, and receiving this volume as a birthday gift. You would first become acquainted with an "Oliver Twist"-like character, Dickie, an orphan who has never known a mother and whose father left him only a plaything as a legacy with the parting words, "Keep this, it will bring you luck." Nesbit weaves a tale that is part Dickens, part Burnett (as in Little Lord Fauntleroy), and part Ruskin (as in "magical"). The magical turn comes as a completely unexpected jolt a third of the way into the story. As a reader I was, "okay, I'll go along with this, as it's where the author is taking the story". As luck would have it, I had previously read aloud to my children the companion volume "The House of Arden" which is referenced repeatedly about 2/3rd's of the way through the tale and which combines characters and elements from both tales and neatly weaves them together to a somewhat satisfying conclusion. I have heard it said that the first part of our learning must be composed of what Oliver DeMille in his "Thomas Jefferson Education" calls the "core phase" or learning right from wrong, etc. This little volume does a nice job of it without being heavy hitting. Bear in mind that there was a prejudice at the time this book was written that blue blood was best and that it would out. Another thing I couldn't help considering as the book concluded was that the author couldn't have known that WWI was just around the corner and whatever bucolic world she placed her little ten year old hero in was soon to be gone forever, and just in time for him to come of age and perhaps perish as a result.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sally Ewan

    This book, a sequel to "The House of Arden", tells of Dickie, a little boy who leaves his harsh caretaker only to take up with a traveling beggar. Somehow, the boy manages to travel back in time and meet up with the Arden family. Nesbit does a lovely job of connecting the children from the first book (Edred and Elfrida) and their adventures with the Dickie's adventures. Together, the children manage to find the Arden's lost treasure, enabling them to do good to the family estate and the country This book, a sequel to "The House of Arden", tells of Dickie, a little boy who leaves his harsh caretaker only to take up with a traveling beggar. Somehow, the boy manages to travel back in time and meet up with the Arden family. Nesbit does a lovely job of connecting the children from the first book (Edred and Elfrida) and their adventures with the Dickie's adventures. Together, the children manage to find the Arden's lost treasure, enabling them to do good to the family estate and the country people living around it. Dickie later tries to talk of his time-traveling adventures with his old nurse, but when he mentions his dreams, she cuts him off. "Forget them," she says; "dreams go to the making of all proper men. But now thou art a man; forget the dreams of thy childhood, and play the man to the glory of God and of the house of Arden. And let thy dreams be of the life to come, compared to which all lives on earth are only dreams. And in that life all those who have loved shall met and be together forevermore, in that life when all the dear and noble dreams of the earthly life shall at last and forever be something more than dreams." (Isn't that lovely?!!? Doesn't it remind you of Narnia?!!!)

  15. 4 out of 5

    A.C. Fellows

    It's thought-provoking to read and, in some cases, re-read E. Nesbit's stories, seeing all the aspects of them that might well have directly inspired later, more widely known series, like the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. Adventures in other worlds. Fairy-tales twining with real life. Talking animals and children taking charge and getting things done while the adults muddle about in the middle-distance. Harding's Luck is definitely not the smoothest of E. Nesbit's stories. The section that refers t It's thought-provoking to read and, in some cases, re-read E. Nesbit's stories, seeing all the aspects of them that might well have directly inspired later, more widely known series, like the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. Adventures in other worlds. Fairy-tales twining with real life. Talking animals and children taking charge and getting things done while the adults muddle about in the middle-distance. Harding's Luck is definitely not the smoothest of E. Nesbit's stories. The section that refers to adventures detailed in the first book "The House of Arden" is jarring if you have not read that already. Dickie, after his initial fling as a ne'er-do-well, is too much sweetness-and-light for my tastes. As usual E.Nesbit is progressive for her time, with some of her ideas about gender roles coming through clearly. Elfrida is braver than her brother! Go, Elfrida! None of this stuff about only boys having interesting adventures, and girls staying behind because it's too dangerous.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dorian

    This was one of my favourites of E. Nesbit's books when I was a child - though I had to keep getting it out of the library because it wasn't one of the ones that gets infinitely reprinted. Having just re-read it...yep, still a favourite. I love how Dickie's time-travelling happens via his "moonseeds" and family talismans. I love how he loves Beale, who is almost the first person in his life to be kind to him, and how he recognises that Beale needs someone to "keep him straight", and how he takes o This was one of my favourites of E. Nesbit's books when I was a child - though I had to keep getting it out of the library because it wasn't one of the ones that gets infinitely reprinted. Having just re-read it...yep, still a favourite. I love how Dickie's time-travelling happens via his "moonseeds" and family talismans. I love how he loves Beale, who is almost the first person in his life to be kind to him, and how he recognises that Beale needs someone to "keep him straight", and how he takes on that task. I love how he gets together with Edred and Elfrida and offers to use his magic to finish what they were hoping to do. And I love his final decision, because it's hard, and some might say unnecessary, but it makes absolute sense and also allows everyone to have a happy ending. Somewhere in me there is a yearning for silver sunflower seeds. This book is why.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kit Campbell

    Sweet book, probably my favorite of E. Nesbit's that I've read. Very clear descriptions and great characters. There is a bit in the middle that's a bit lacking. This book is a "sequel" to another book, The House of Arden, which I have not read, and for a bit the events of the two books overlap, and this book goes into a brief summary of the events of the other book for the duration. I found this a little confusing, but ultimately it seems like this part isn't important to this story and I don't s Sweet book, probably my favorite of E. Nesbit's that I've read. Very clear descriptions and great characters. There is a bit in the middle that's a bit lacking. This book is a "sequel" to another book, The House of Arden, which I have not read, and for a bit the events of the two books overlap, and this book goes into a brief summary of the events of the other book for the duration. I found this a little confusing, but ultimately it seems like this part isn't important to this story and I don't seem to have lost anything.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Before there was JK Rowling, there was E. Nesbit, who turned out a remarkable number of good books involving children and magic. I enjoyed this, but only realized a third of the way through that it's the second in a trilogy. Back to square one. Before there was JK Rowling, there was E. Nesbit, who turned out a remarkable number of good books involving children and magic. I enjoyed this, but only realized a third of the way through that it's the second in a trilogy. Back to square one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sue Lyle

    My absolute favourite book from my childhood.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kailey (Luminous Libro)

    You really have to read this one together with "house of Arden" in order to understand it. Not the greatest of Nesbit's books, but a grand tale with plenty of magic and noble deeds. You really have to read this one together with "house of Arden" in order to understand it. Not the greatest of Nesbit's books, but a grand tale with plenty of magic and noble deeds.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Another great Nesbit, sequel to House of Arden. The tone occasionally gets too earnest for me (Dickie's goodness is slightly over the top) but still a wonderful story. Another great Nesbit, sequel to House of Arden. The tone occasionally gets too earnest for me (Dickie's goodness is slightly over the top) but still a wonderful story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    CLM

    One of my favorite Nesbits... (sequel to The House of Arden).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha Ormiston-Smith

    This book is totally awesome. I love everything about it. I waited nearly 50 years to finish reading it and it was worth it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Justiss

    7/10

  25. 5 out of 5

    Licette

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ada

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lindalouise6517

  28. 5 out of 5

    John Ervin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alisa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Joshua

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