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The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White and the Birth of a Children's Classic (Hardback)
  • The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White and the Birth of a Children's Classic (Hardback)
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The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White and the Birth of a Children's Classic (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 04/07/2011
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While composing what would become his most enduring and popular book, Charlotte's Web, E. B. White was obeying that oft-repeated maxim: 'Write what you know.' Helpless pigs, silly geese,clever spiders, greedy rats - White knew all of these characters in the barns and stables where he spent his favourite hours as child and adult. Painfully shy, White once wrote of himself 'this boy felt for animals a kinship he never felt for people'. Nonetheless, that tens of millions have been so moved by Charlotte's Web, and by White's other classics, testifies to his deep understanding of the human condition. Bringing readers into intimate contact with E. B. White's world, Michael Sims chronicles his animal-rich youth and dreams of being a writer; the vibrant early years of the New Yorker,where urban nature was White's ever-present theme; the discovery of the farm in Maine where he and his wife would live; his fascinating scientific research into how spiders spin webs, lay eggs, and live in the world; his friendship with his legendary editor, Ursula Nordstrom; and the luminous creative process that led to publication of his masterpiece. By refining the raw ore of his childhood in Mount Vernon, New York, in the first decade of the twentieth century, White translated his own passions and contradictions, delights and fears, into a book that would be read the world over. The Story of Charlotte's Web illuminates the life of a literary icon, and will add richness and appreciation for anyone who has loved, or has yet to read, a cherished classic.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408823057
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 472 g
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Joy, mingled with wistfulness, is the charm of Michael Sims's splendid The Story of Charlotte's Web ... A fine stylist, Mr. Sims portrays these scenes with a beauty and an economy of language that would make the co-author of The Elements of Style proud ... Not only an engaging account of White's rise to literary prominence, through the New Yorker, but also his shyness, his awkwardness in love, his devotion to his wife, Katharine, and something else, something hard to identify but ever-present in the book, like the chirping of birds high in the trees at evening * Wall Street Journal *
The gentle, loving book White deserves ... There is so much to celebrate in Sims's book. His own descriptions of nature are evocative and subtle, and he probes at White's psyche without raking him over the coals. Fans of the New Yorker's heyday will find much to enjoy ... White fans will savour this, as will anyone wondering how an author is made, and how a book comes to life * Scotsman *
Sims gives White and his story a bright new light ... Beautifully written and researched, the book is well worth anyone's time, not just those already acquainted with Charlotte's Web and its author ... [I] recommend this book without reservations * Huffington Post *
Compelling ... A wealth of colourful information ... With this well-focused overview, Sims illuminates White's complicated creative life and the events that led to a timeless tale with stand for generations to come as testimony to his passion for nature * Sunday Herald *
Sim's valuable study is insightful and delightful * The Times *
For anyone who wants to know the full story behind one of the most loved children's books of all time, it is a riveting read * Mail on Sunday *
Sims's research is thorough, his own prose clear, direct and concise: the ultimate homage. His book is a lovely and empathetic testament to E.B. White's vision of "nature publishing herself" * Washington Post *
Intriguing ... Sims illuminates an era of journalism and essay-writing through the war. His style also sings in tune with White's lyricism, especially in descriptions of nature and the farm * Sunday Times *
A full, engaging account ... Unfolds in a way that White might have appreciated: It ambles, pauses to observe the smallest details, and takes its time. Best of all, this book is likely to encourage readers to experience the pleasures of White's novel all over again * Los Angeles Times *
Immensely charming * Boston Globe *
A fascinating insight into the writing process and crushing refutation of any claim that writing for children is easy. Packed with the same kind of sensory detail its subject reveled in, this account is an honorable addition to the literature of letters * Kirkus Reviews *

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