I only knew Nesbit from her Phoenix/Psammead stories, so I didn’t know she had done meatier stuff. She has. These are all very much of their time: she was never going to be Dennis Wheatley, but she can conjure up grown-up spine tinglyness very nicely. What I did miss was the very subtle and very funny social commentary that goes with her kids books. Her hero children are all well brought up, upper class, Norfolk suit-wearing boys and pretty dress-wearing gels living in houses with servants, and so probably were most of her readership, but Nesbit knew this was very definitely not the normal experience for the majority of the population. Maybe she thought the grown-ups didn’t need to read it, but I think they probably did.