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1001 Stories Collection

The Railway Children

1001 The Railway Children1
Added on 30th September 2020

Author Edith Nesbit
First published 1906

Family Historical
1001

The popular children's classic about three children who move to the countryside and discover a railway.

Story

Roberta (Bobbie), Phyllis and Peter have to move to a small cottage in the countryside with their mother when their father mysteriously leaves. Leaving London is a huge change for them, but they soon come to enjoy the countryside, canal, and the railway. But mystery remains, where is their father?

Why we chose it

A classic children’s story, much loved as both a book and a film.

Where it came from

The story was originally serialised in The London Magazine during 1905 before it was published in book form. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography credits Oswald Barron with having provided the plot to Edith Nesbit. The story is said to reflect her faith in the resourcefulness and heroism of the young.

Where it went next

The Railway Children is now referred to as a children’s classic, with many versions of the book being published over the years. The story has been adapted for different media several times, which further increased its popularity. The first adaptation was for a BBC Radio 4 drama in 1940. There have then been six different versions for screen: four TV series, a made-for-TV film, and a feature film. The most famous adaptation was the 1970 film which starred Jenny Agutter as Roberta. She then returned to play the mother in the 2000 ITV adaptation.

Associated stories

Edith Nesbit wrote and collaborated on many more children’s books during her lifetime, as well as books for adults and non-fiction. The most well-known include Five Children and It, which was also adapted into a film, and The Story of the Treasure Seekers.

Added on 30th September 2020

Author Edith Nesbit
First published 1906

Family Historical
1001