The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Jun 14, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 307 pages

In The Story of Charlotte's Web Michael Sims's shows how E. B. White solved what critic Clifton Fadiman once called "the standing problem of the juvenile-fantasy writer: how to find, not another Alice, but another rabbit hole." By mining 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. Building on a visit to White's farm in Maine, viewing his handwritten first draft of Charlotte's Web, Michael Sims chronicles White's animal-rich childhood, his writing about urban nature for the New Yorker, his scientific research into how spiders spin webs and lay eggs, his friendship with his legendary editor, Ursula Nordstrom, the composition and publication of his masterpiece, and his ongoing quest to recapture an enchanted childhood.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nancyadair - LibraryThing

I was a few months old when E. B. White's classic children's book Charlotte's Web was published. My First Grade teacher read the book aloud to my class. As a girl, I read it many times, and when our ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hardlyhardy - LibraryThing

If "The Story of Charlotte's Web" by Michael Sims reads as much like a biography of E.B. White as the story of how White's most famous book came to be, it may be because White's whole life was about ... Read full review

Contents

Translating Yourself
1
Enchanted
9
Fear
19
Trustworthy
33
A Writing Fool
42
Liebesträum
55
Olympus
69
Interview with a Sparrow
86
Foreknowledge
157
Zuckermans Barn
169
Spinningwork
175
Paean
189
Some Book
208
Completion
226
After Charlotte
236
Acknowledgments
245

Crazy
96
As Spiders Do
106
Charlotte
125
Dream Farm
127
The Mouse of Thought
143
Abbreviations for Frequent Sources
249
Notes
251
Selected Bibliography and Further Reading
289
Index
297
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Michael Sims is the author of the acclaimed Apollo's Fire: A Day on Earth in Nature and Imagination, Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form, and editor of the recent Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories and The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime He lives in western Pennsylvania.

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