The Red House

A Novel

Cover image for


Author: E. Nesbit
Published: 1902
Language: English
Wordcount: 56,925 / 159 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 86.6
LoC Categories: PS, BS
Downloads: 1,766
Added to site: 2008.04.20 20622

The story of a very young husband and wife and their first year of married life in an old English house left them by legacy.

Show Excerpt

astle Hotel," for was it not Saturday, and the village but a bare ten miles from Charing Cross? Then came the sharp turn to the left, the delicious downward rush through hawthorn-scented air, the black bar of shadow from the railway bridge, a red cottage, a red wall, tall chestnut-trees, pyramids of green fan-leaves and miraculous-scented flowers--a green gate.

"This is it," I said, and Chloe brought down the brake in that reckless way of hers, and sprang to the ground. The sun-blistered, old, green gate swung long and wide on loud, red, rusty hinges as we led our beasts in. We left them under the biggest of the chestnut-trees, and walked up the wide, moss-grown drive to where the front door, fortified by heavy stone pillars, seemed to defy us, the besiegers.

"Is this really it?" asked Chloe, in a whisper. And well might she ask. The yellow brick on which in my talk I had laid so much stress was hidden almost--at any rate transformed, transfigured--by a net-work of great leaves and red


Average Rating of 4 from 3 reviews: ****
Leah A. Zeldes

A young couple -- a writer and an artist -- inherit a moldering mansion and try to set up housekeeping on the do-it-yourself principle. They're aided, and discouraged, by a friend who believes strongly that they'd be better off concentrating on their paying careers and hiring out the housework.

The characters and setting have great charm, but despite a few minor setbacks, their life meanders on idyllically and nothing much ever happens.

Nesbit shines as a children's writer (incidentally, the Bastable kids from "The Story of the Treasure Seekers" make a cameo appearance in this novel), but her grown-up books don't seem to have the same magic.

Linda Otto

This was fun. Light romance with very likable characters moving from a very small house into a 29 room mansion that has been allowed to deteriorate. Very enjoyable.


Light, romantic story of a newly married couple who inherit a dilapidated English country estate. They decide to move in and renovate it themselves, but the process isn't as easy as they thought. A charming story with sparkling dialogue. Perfect reading for a lazy summer afternoon.

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