The Book of Dragons
The Book of Dragons (1899) is a collection of children’s stories by English writer Edith Nesbit. Comprising eight stories originally published in 1899 in The Strand Magazine, The Book of Dragons is a work that explores the magic and wonder of mythical beasts for children and adults alike.
In “The Book of Beasts,” a young prince named Lionel is named the next king. After his coronation, he goes to the palace library for the first time, where he discovers the eccentric former king’s collection of rare and magical books. Although the Chancellor tries to discourage Lionel from opening them, he picks out a large book titled “The Book of Beasts,” which, when opened, releases a colorful butterfly into the air. Flipping through the book, Lionel turns to a page where a red dragon sits under a palm tree. Terrified, he slams the book shut, but his curiosity proves hard to resist. “Uncle James, or the Purple Stranger” is the story of the Princess of Rotundia, a strange island nation where animals grow to the opposite size as their counterparts around the world. In Rotundia, rabbits and mice grow to the size of elephants, while elephants stop growing when they reach the size of a small dog. One day, the Princess’s friends ask her to show them the royal dragon, but when the ugly creature eats the Princess’s rabbit, her scheming Uncle James hatches a plan to steal the kingdom for himself. These are only two of the eight stories that make up Edith Nesbit’s The Book of Dragons, a bizarre and wonderful collection of tales from one of England’s finest fabulists.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Edith Nesbit’s The Book of Dragons is a classic of English children’s literature reimagined for modern readers.