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Charlotte's Web ()


NEA 100 Best Children's Books (1)

                       Natural History

                 The spider, dropping down from twig,
                   Unwinds a thread of her devising:
                       A thin, premeditated rig
                          To use in rising.

                And all the journey down through space,
                   In cool decent, and loyal-hearted,
                    She builds a ladder to the place
                       From which she started.

                   Thus I, gone forth, as spiders do,
                   In spider's web a truth discerning,
                    Attach one silken strand to you
                         For my returning.

             E. B. White, November 1929

As the poem Natural History, written some 23 years before Charlotte's Web indicates, EB White had a long fascination with spiders and their webs and the truth to be discerned in them.  In fact, he was enamored of the natural world in general and his desire to be closer to the land led him to move to a Maine farm in 1939.  It was in the farm life and specifically in the comfort of the barn that the inspiration for this children's classic came to him :

    As for Charlotte's Web, I like animals and my barn is a very pleasant place to be, at all hours. One
    day when I was on my way to feed the pig, I began feeling sorry for the pig because, like most
    pigs, he was doomed to die. This made me sad. So I started thinking of ways to save a pig's life. I
    had been watching a big grey spider at her work and was impressed by how clever she was at
    weaving. Gradually I worked the spider into the story that you know, a story of friendship and
    salvation on a farm.

From these humble beginnings he wove an enduring tale of love and loyalty, life and death, and, perhaps unnoticed by most of us until adulthood, of the comic ingenuousness of man, and of the value of knowledge and a big vocabulary.

White, renowned as an essayist, wrote so clearly and fluidly that the pages whiz by.  And if you get a chance to listen to the audio version that he reads himself, it is the performance of a master storyteller.  Though a native New Yorker (Mt. Vernon anyway), White had by then picked up the rhythm and accents of a New Englander.  In addition, he tells the story with apparent affection for his creations, love of the barnyard, and amusement at the goings on.

I was trying to figure out what made it all so magical and then I found this quote in which he described his own work (What Am I Saying To My Readers He ?, May 14, 1961, NY Times) :

    What am I saying to my readers? Well, I never know. Writing to me is not an exercise in addressing
    readers, it is more as though I were talking to myself while shaving. My foray into the field of
    children's literature was an accident, and although I do not mean to suggest that I spun my two
    yarns in perfect innocence and that I did not set about writing "Charlotte's Web" deliberately,
    nevertheless, the thing started innocently enough, and I kept on because I found it was fun. It also
    became rewarding in other ways--and that was a surprise, as I am not essentially a storyteller and
    was taking a holiday from my regular work.

    All that I ever hope to say in books is that I love the world. I guess you can find that in there, if
    you dig around. Animals are part of my world and I try to report them faithfully and with respect.

He succeeded quite brilliantly in the task he set himself.  I know of no work of literature by any author that better expresses respect for animals and love for the world.

(Reviewed:)

Grade: (A+)

  

Websites:

E. White Links:

    -Life & Times : of E. B. White (NY Times)
    -E(lwyn) B(rooks) White (1899-1985) (kirjasto)
    -ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA : "E. B. White"
    -ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA : White, E. B.
    -White, E. B. (Encarta Encyclopaedia)
    -E. B. White Collection (Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University)
    -EXCERPT : Chapter One of Charlotte's Web :   Before Breakfast
    -LETTER : A Letter from E.B. White : Where did the ideas for Charlotte and Stuart Little come from? Why did E.B. White choose to write about a pig? Did his stories really happen? Read the answers in this letter, which he wrote to all kids everywhere shortly before his death. (Family Education)
    -ESSAY :  What Am I Saying To My Readers? (E. B. White, May 14, 1961, NY Times)
    -LETTER : E.B. White's letter to Carnegie I (September 26, 1966)
    -ESSAY : Freedom (E. B. White, Harper's)
    -ESSAY : At Walden Pond (E. B. White, Harper's)
    -ESSAY : Once More to the Lake (E. B. White)
    -ESSAY : The Door (E. B. White)
    -ESSAY : E. B. White's Christmas (E.B. White, 12/20/52)
    -ESSAY EXCERPT : Excerpted from "Call Me Ishmael, Or How I Feel About Being Married to a Bryn Mawr Graduate,"   (Alumnae Bulletin, Summer 1956)
    -INTERVIEW : The Author of "One Man's Meat" Talks About Writing and Country Living (ROBERT VAN GELDER, August 2, 1942, NY times)
    -INTERVIEW : E. B. White: Notes and Comment by Author (Israel Shenker, July 11, 1969, New York Times)
    -PROFILE : Where Charlotte Wove (Andrew Ferguson, Weekly Standard)
    -E.B. White Corner :Courtesy of Aardvark Member Lindsay Sinclair : E.B. White's niece Lindsay Sinclair shares personal memorabillia  from her famous Uncle Andy
    -WHITE, E.B.  (Educational Paperback Association)
    -E. B. White (Harper Childrens)
    -Elwyn Brooks [E. B.] White - (1899-1985) (Elana Schipano, student of Marylin Dykens, a teacher at Rome Free Academy in Rome, New York)
    -White, E. B. (Fact Monster)
    -Some Facts About E.B. White (Maine Authors)
    -EB White : Teacher Resource File (Internet School Library Media Center)
    -Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (ABC Teach)
    -Charlotte's Web Unit (TeacherFeatures.com)
    -Weaving Charlotte's Web
    -Charlotte's Web (Mrs. Taverna's Second Grade, 1998 - 1999)
    -Charlotte's Web Activities (TeachNet.com)
    -CIMC Integrated Units : Title: Charlotte's Web Author: E.B White
    -LESSON PLAN : E.B. White (Teacher Vision)
    -Classic Authors: EB White (Suite101.com)
    -TRIBUTE : Charlotte's Web and Others (John Bangsund, The Society of Editors Newsletter, October 1985)
    -ESSAY :  Stuart, Wilbur, Charlotte: A Tale of Tales (URSULA NORDSTROM, May 12, 1974, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : E. B. White Takes On Xerox and Wins (LUCINDA FRANKS, June 15, 1976, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : Behind the Best Sellers (HERBERT MITGANG, November 20, 1977, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : Life Without Katharine: E. B. White and His Sense of Loss (Nan Robertson, Special to the New York Times , April 8, 1980)
    -ESSAY : Wild Creatures : Charlotte, Arachnida: The Scientific Sources (Peter F. Neumeyer, The Lion and the Unicorn, 19.2 (1995)
    -ESSAY : The Designs of E. B. White: An Analysis of "Stuart Little" and "Charlotte's Web" (GERALD WEALES, NY times, 1970)
    -ESSAY : THE FEAST OF ST. ELWYN (Tom Bethell, February 17, 1999, St. Columba's Episcopal Church)
    -ESSAY : The love that dare not squeak its name : Even as a child I suspected I had something special in common with Stuart  Little. (David Rakoff, Dec. 21, 1999, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Polite literature : Strunk and White's much-revered "The Elements of Style" has sapped the life from American writing. (George Rafael, Salon)
    -Roundtable:  The History of the Essay (Hosted by Milton J. Rosenberg on the WGN radio program Extension 720 on June 30, 1999)
    -LINKS : Charlotte's Web  by   E. B. White  : Related Web Links
    -ARCHIVES : E.B. White (Salon)
    -ARCHIVES : "e. b. white" (Find Articles)
    -REVIEW : of Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (Eudora Welty , October 19, 1952, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Charlotte's Web : Entangled Reading "Charlotte's Web" with the clarity of an adult inspires tears, smiles and tenderness. (Peter Trachtenberg, Salon)
    -REVIEW : of Charlotte's Web (Holly Hartman, Fact Monster)
    -REVIEW : of Quo Vadimus? Or the Case for the Bicycle By E.B. White (CHARLES POORE, March 11, 1939, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of One Man's Meat (Roger Angell, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Stuart Little By E.B. White (MALCOLM COWLEY, October 28, 1945, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Here Is New York by E.B. White (MEYER BERGER, December 18, 1949, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Here is New York (Charles Taylor, Salon)
    -REVIEW : of The Second Tree From the Corner By E.B. White (IRWIN EDMAN, January 17, 1954, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of The Elements of Style By William Strunk Jr. With Revisions, an introduction and a new chapter on writing by E.B. White (CHARLES POORE, June 9, 1959, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of The Points of My Compass By E.B. White (M. J. ARLEN, October 28, 1962, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of The Trumpet of the Swan (JOHN UPDIKE, June 28, 1970, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Letters of E.B. White Collected and Edited by Dorothy Lobrano Guth (ANATOLE BROYARD, December 7, 1976, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Essays of E.B. White (CHRISTOPHER LEHMAN-HAUPT, September 19, 1977, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of E.B. White: The Emergence of an Essayist by Robert L. Root, Jr. (Kathleen Wildman, Antioch Review)
    -ESSAY: Back to Basics, Please: "The Elements of Style," illustrated? E.B. White wouldn't approve. (DAVID GELERNTER, October 14, 2005, Opinion Journal)
    Farewell, My Lovely! (Lee Strout White, 1936-05-16, The New Yorker)
    Where Charlotte Wove: On a visit to E.B. White's Farm, we find the animals gone but the place still enchanted (Andrew Ferguson, July 12, 1999, Time)

Book-related and General Links:
    -The Second Tree From The Corner (1954)
    -The Elements of Style (1959)(& William Strunk Jr.  1869-1946) (Read Orrin's review, Grade: A+)
    -The Trumpet Of The Swan (1970)
    -Essays Of E.B. White (1977)
    -Writings From The New Yorker 1925-76 (1990)
 

WEBSITES :
    -Life & Times : of E. B. White (NY Times)
    -E(lwyn) B(rooks) White (1899-1985) (kirjasto)
    -ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA : "E. B. White"
    -ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA : White, E. B.
    -White, E. B. (Encarta Encyclopaedia)
    -E. B. White Collection (Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University)
    -EXCERPT : Chapter One of Charlotte's Web :   Before Breakfast
    -LETTER : A Letter from E.B. White : Where did the ideas for Charlotte and Stuart Little come from? Why did E.B. White choose to write about a pig? Did his stories really happen? Read the answers in this letter, which he wrote to all kids everywhere shortly before his death. (Family Education)
    -ESSAY :  What Am I Saying To My Readers? (E. B. White, May 14, 1961, NY Times)
    -LETTER : E.B. White's letter to Carnegie I (September 26, 1966)
    -ESSAY : Freedom (E. B. White, Harper's)
    -ESSAY : At Walden Pond (E. B. White, Harper's)
    -ESSAY : Once More to the Lake (E. B. White)
    -ESSAY : The Door (E. B. White)
    -ESSAY : E. B. White's Christmas (E.B. White, 12/20/52)
    -ESSAY EXCERPT : Excerpted from "Call Me Ishmael, Or How I Feel About Being Married to a Bryn Mawr Graduate,"   (Alumnae Bulletin, Summer 1956)
    -INTERVIEW : The Author of "One Man's Meat" Talks About Writing and Country Living (ROBERT VAN GELDER, August 2, 1942, NY times)
    -INTERVIEW : E. B. White: Notes and Comment by Author (Israel Shenker, July 11, 1969, New York Times)
    -PROFILE : Where Charlotte Wove (Andrew Ferguson, Weekly Standard)
    -E.B. White Corner :Courtesy of Aardvark Member Lindsay Sinclair : E.B. White's niece Lindsay Sinclair shares personal memorabillia  from her famous Uncle Andy
    -WHITE, E.B.  (Educational Paperback Association)
    -E. B. White (Harper Childrens)
    -Elwyn Brooks [E. B.] White - (1899-1985) (Elana Schipano, student of Marylin Dykens, a teacher at Rome Free Academy in Rome, New York)
    -White, E. B. (Fact Monster)
    -Some Facts About E.B. White (Maine Authors)
    -EB White : Teacher Resource File (Internet School Library Media Center)
    -Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (ABC Teach)
    -Charlotte's Web Unit (TeacherFeatures.com)
    -Weaving Charlotte's Web
    -Charlotte's Web (Mrs. Taverna's Second Grade, 1998 - 1999)
    -Charlotte's Web Activities (TeachNet.com)
    -CIMC Integrated Units : Title: Charlotte's Web Author: E.B White
    -LESSON PLAN : E.B. White (Teacher Vision)
    -Classic Authors: EB White (Suite101.com)
    -TRIBUTE : Charlotte's Web and Others (John Bangsund, The Society of Editors Newsletter, October 1985)
    -ESSAY :  Stuart, Wilbur, Charlotte: A Tale of Tales (URSULA NORDSTROM, May 12, 1974, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : E. B. White Takes On Xerox and Wins (LUCINDA FRANKS, June 15, 1976, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : Behind the Best Sellers (HERBERT MITGANG, November 20, 1977, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : Life Without Katharine: E. B. White and His Sense of Loss (Nan Robertson, Special to the New York Times , April 8, 1980)
    -ESSAY : Wild Creatures : Charlotte, Arachnida: The Scientific Sources (Peter F. Neumeyer, The Lion and the Unicorn, 19.2 (1995)
    -ESSAY : The Designs of E. B. White: An Analysis of "Stuart Little" and "Charlotte's Web" (GERALD WEALES, NY times, 1970)
    -ESSAY : THE FEAST OF ST. ELWYN (Tom Bethell, February 17, 1999, St. Columba's Episcopal Church)
    -ESSAY : The love that dare not squeak its name : Even as a child I suspected I had something special in common with Stuart  Little. (David Rakoff, Dec. 21, 1999, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Polite literature : Strunk and White's much-revered "The Elements of Style" has sapped the life from American writing. (George Rafael, Salon)
    -Roundtable:  The History of the Essay (Hosted by Milton J. Rosenberg on the WGN radio program Extension 720 on June 30, 1999)
    -LINKS : Charlotte's Web  by   E. B. White  : Related Web Links
    -ARCHIVES : E.B. White (Salon)
    -ARCHIVES : "e. b. white" (Find Articles)
    -REVIEW : of Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (Eudora Welty , October 19, 1952, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Charlotte's Web : Entangled Reading "Charlotte's Web" with the clarity of an adult inspires tears, smiles and tenderness. (Peter Trachtenberg, Salon)
    -REVIEW : of Charlotte's Web (Holly Hartman, Fact Monster)
    -REVIEW : of Quo Vadimus? Or the Case for the Bicycle By E.B. White (CHARLES POORE, March 11, 1939, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of One Man's Meat (Roger Angell, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Stuart Little By E.B. White (MALCOLM COWLEY, October 28, 1945, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Here Is New York by E.B. White (MEYER BERGER, December 18, 1949, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Here is New York (Charles Taylor, Salon)
    -REVIEW : of The Second Tree From the Corner By E.B. White (IRWIN EDMAN, January 17, 1954, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of The Elements of Style By William Strunk Jr. With Revisions, an introduction and a new chapter on writing by E.B. White (CHARLES POORE, June 9, 1959, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of The Points of My Compass By E.B. White (M. J. ARLEN, October 28, 1962, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of The Trumpet of the Swan (JOHN UPDIKE, June 28, 1970, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Letters of E.B. White Collected and Edited by Dorothy Lobrano Guth (ANATOLE BROYARD, December 7, 1976, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of Essays of E.B. White (CHRISTOPHER LEHMAN-HAUPT, September 19, 1977, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of E.B. White: The Emergence of an Essayist by Robert L. Root, Jr. (Kathleen Wildman, Antioch Review)

FILMS :
    -FILMOGRAPHY : E.B. White (Imdb.com)
    -INFO : Charlotte's Web (1973) (Imdb.com)
    -INFO : Stuart Little (1999)  (Imdb.com)
    -REVIEW : of Stuart Little (Stephanie Zacharek, Salon)

THE NEW YORKER :
    -Urban and Urbane: The New Yorker Magazine in the 1930s (American Studies Program  at the University of Virginia)
    -BRILLIANT CAREERS : Roger Angell (Steve Kettmann, Salon)
    -REVIEW : of  ABOUT TOWN The New Yorker and the World It Made. By Ben Yagoda (John Leonard, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of  LETTERS FROM THE EDITOR The New Yorker's Harold Ross Edited by Thomas Kunkel (CHRISTOPHER LEHMANN-HAUPT, NY Times)

GENERAL :
    -REVIEW : of WRITING NEW YORK A Literary Anthology. Edited by Phillip Lopate (Garrison Keillor, NY Times Book Review)

Recommended books by E. B. White :
    -One Man's Meat (1942)
    -Stuart Little (1945)
    -Charlotte's Web (1952)
    CD Version : Read by E. B. White

Comments:

ok i have a fuew hours to do a project and i cont find this information so maby tou could give it to me -publisher and publication date-setting place time of story-main charicters-plot summery-conflict-solution or resilution-authers purpos-and the tone or mood pease please i need your help love always sarah

-

- Dec-12-2005, 19:59

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Hello, I'm also a big fan of E. White. Im doing a school project on chapter reviews and i was wondering if you could make a chapter review of Charlotte's web. Thank-you Kate

- Kate

- Oct-29-2005, 21:30

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Hi, I'm a big fan of E.B. White and I was wondering if it would be possible for you to also do a review of 1 of her most famous children's novels. Thank- you Shannon

- Shannon

- Oct-29-2005, 21:26

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