Edward Eager Quotes
“But in the garden the sun still shone. The innumerable bees hummed. The scent of thyme hung on the air. But only the Natterjack was there to breathe the fragrant essence of it.
He and the garden were waiting. They were waiting for more children. They didn't care how long they waited. They had all the time in the world.
-The Time Garden, Edward Eager”
“In the summer you could take out ten books at a time, instead of three, and keep them a month, instead of two weeks. Of course you could take only four of the fiction books, which were the best, but Jane liked plays and they were nonfiction, and Katharine liked poetry and that was nonfiction, and Martha was still the age for picture books, and they didn’t count as fiction but were often nearly as good. Mark hadn’t found out yet what kind of nonfiction he liked, but he was still trying. Each month he would carry home his ten books and read the four good fiction ones in the first four days, and then read one page each from the other six, and then give up. Next month he would take them back and try again. The nonfiction books he tried were mostly called things like “When I was a Boy in Greece,” or “Happy Days on the Prairie”—things that made them sound like stories, only they weren’t. They made Mark furious. “It’s being made to learn things not on purpose. It’s unfair,” he said. “It’s sly.” Unfairness and slyness the four children hated above all.”
“Old Mrs. Whiton stopped waving. She stood on the steps of the old house, looking up at the sky, where clouds were piling in the northeast. That meant a storm was coming, and old Mrs. Whiton's eyes flashed. She liked storms. They were a challenge to her. She went into the house, and soon her typewriter keys were clacking wildly, furiously, as though the storm were already there and she were racing the wind of it.”
“Really!” said the fat lady to Jane and Katharine and Martha, who were wedged tightly against her. “Stop shoving.” “I’m sorry, but we haven’t time for you now,” said Jane to the fat lady. And she wished her twice as far as where she belonged. The lady was quite annoyed to find herself suddenly at home in her own kitchen, and later sued the newspaper for witchcraft. But she was never able to prove her case, and anyway that does not come into this story. Back in her office, the children’s mother sat staring palely at the place where the lady had been.”
“That’s right, whine,” said Katharine. “Children,” said their mother. “I,” said Mr. Smith, “suggest we stop and have lunch.” So they did, and it was a town called Angola, which interested Mark because it was named after one of the countries in his stamp album, but it turned out not to be very romantic, just red brick buildings and a drugstore that specialized in hairnets and rubber bathing caps and Allen’s Wild Cherry Extract. Half an hour later, replete with sandwiches and tasting of wild cherry, the four children were on the open road again. Only now it was a different road, one that kept changing as it went along. First it was loose crushed stone that slithered and banged pleasingly underwheel. Then it gave up all pretense of paving and became just red clay that got narrower and narrower and went up and down hill. There was no room to pass, and they had to back down most of the fourth hill and nearly into a ditch to let a car go by that was heading the other way. This was interestingly perilous, and Katharine and Martha shrieked in delighted terror. The people in the other car had luggage with them, and the four children felt sorry for them, going back to cities and sameness when their own vacation was just beginning. But they forgot the people as they faced the fifth hill. The fifth hill was higher and steeper than any of the others; as they came toward it the road seemed to go straight up in the air. And halfway up it the car balked, even though Mr. Smith used his lowest gear, and hung straining and groaning and motionless like a live and complaining thing. “Children, get out,” said their mother. So they did. And relieved of their cloying weight, the car leaped forward and mounted to the brow of the hill, and the four children had to run up the hill after it. That is, Jane and Mark and Katharine did.”
- Date of birth: June 20, 1911
- Died: October 23, 1964
- Born: in Toledo, Ohio, The United States.
- Description: Eager was born in and grew up in Toledo, Ohio and attended Harvard University, class of 1935. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he lived for 14 years before moving to Connecticut. He married Jane Eberly in 1938 and they had a son, Fritz.
Eager was a childhood fan of L. Frank Baum's Oz series, and started writing children's books when he could not find stories he wanted to read to his own young son. In his books, Eager often acknowledges his debt to E. Nesbit, whom he thought of as the best children's author of all time.
A well-known lyricist and playwright, Eager died on October 23, 1964 in Stamford, Connecticut, at the age of fifty-three.