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The Phoenix and the Carpet is a fantasy novel for children, written by E. Nesbit and first published in 1904. It is the second in a trilogy of novels that begins with Five Children and It (1902), and follows the adventures of the same five children: Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and the Lamb. Their mother buys the children a new carpet to replace one from the nursery that they have destroyed in an accidental fire. The children find an egg in the carpet, which hatches into a talking Phoenix. The Phoenix explains that the carpet is a magic one that will grant them three wishes a day. The five children go on many adventures, which eventually wears out their magic carpet. The adventures are continued and concluded in the third book of the trilogy, ... 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.Biography Nesbit was born in 1858 at 38 Lower Kennington Lane in Kennington, Surrey (now part of Greater London), the daughter of an agricultural chemist, John Collis Nesbit, who died in March 1862, before her fourth birthday.Her sister Mary's ill health meant that the family travelled around for some years, living variously in Brighton, Buckinghamshire, France (Dieppe, Rouen, Paris, Tours, Poitiers, Angouleme, Bordeaux, Arcachon, Pau, Bagneres-de-Bigorre, and Dinan in Brittany), Spain and Germany, before settling for three years at Halstead Hall in Halstead in north-west Kent, a location which later inspired The Railway Children (this distinction has also been claimed by the Derbyshire town of New Mills). When Nesbit was seventeen, the family moved back to London, living in South East London at Eltham, Elswick Road in Lewisham, Grove Park and Lee. At eighteen, Nesbit met the bank clerk Hubert Bland in 1877. Seven months pregnant, she married Bland on 22 April 1880, though she did not immediately live with him, as Bland initially continued to live with his mother. Their marriage was a stormy one. Early on Nesbit discovered that another woman believed she was Hubert's fiancee and had also borne him a child. A more serious blow came later when she discovered that her good friend, Alice Hoatson, was pregnant with Hubert's child. She had previously agreed to adopt Hoatson's child and allow Hoatson to live with her as their housekeeper. After she discovered the truth, they quarrelled violently and she suggested that Hoatson and the baby should leave; her husband threatened to leave Edith if she disowned the baby and its mother. Hoatson remained with them as a housekeeper and secretary and became pregnant by Bland again 13 years later. Edith again adopted Hoatson's child. Nesbit's children were Paul Bland (1880-1940), to whom The Railway Children was dedicated; Iris Bland (1881-1950s); Fabian Bland (1885-1900); Rosamund Bland (1886-1950), to whom The Book of Dragons was dedicated; and John Bland (1898-1971) to whom The House of Arden was dedicated. Her son Fabian died aged 15 after a tonsil operation; Nesbit dedicated a number of books to him: Five Children and It and its sequels, as well as The Story of the Treasure Seekers and its sequels. Nesbit's adopted daughter Rosamund collaborated with her on the book Cat Tales."
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