The famous Arden family treasure has been missing for generations, and the last members of the Arden line, Edred, Elfrida, and their Aunt Edith, have nothing to their names but the crumbling castle they live in. Just before his tenth birthday, Edred inherits the title of Lord Arden; he also learns that the missing fortune will be his if—and only if—he can find it before he turns ten. With no time to lose, Edred and Elfrida secure the help of a magical talking creature, the temperamental Mouldiwarp, who leads them on a treasure hunt through the ages. Together, brother and sister visit some of the most thrilling periods of history and test their wits against real witches, highwaymen, and renegades. They find plenty of adventure, but will they find the treasure before Edred’s birthday?
I love E. Nesbit—I think she is great and I identify with the way that she writes. Her children are very real children and she was quite a groundbreaker in her day.
— J.K. Rowling
New York Review Books deserves a medal for its burgeoning collection of reissues of out-of-print children’s books, books that need to see the light of day in the hands of a new generations of readers, books such as T. H. White’s Mistress Masham’s Repose, Wee Gillis, by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, a slew of books by Esther Averill and, of course, the incomparable Ms. Nesbit’s The House of Arden…Magic, mayhem and time travel ensue… The book is a treasure itself, a slice of Edwardian life…
— The Globe and Mail
[Nesbit] could present everyday people caught up in supernatural situations just as naturally as she permits the realistic details of everyday life to obtrude into her world of fantasy.
— The Horn Book
A good case could be made for E. Nesbit as the best writer for children ever.
— Washington Post Book World