Charlotte’s Web Turns 60: DNews Nugget

Posted: November 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

Dnews-nuggets-278x225‘Some Book’ Turns 60: Anyone who has read E.B White’s “Charlotte’s Web” aloud likely knows how difficult it is to get through Chapter 21 without losing it.

Apparently the author had the same problem.

Michael Sims writes in his book “The Story of Charlotte’s Web” that in 1970 when White sat down to make an audio recording of the book about a humble, clever spider who saves the life of a young pig, he too struggled with this passage:

“Next day, as the Ferris wheel was being taken apart and the race horses were being loaded into vans and the entertainers were packing up their belongings and driving away in their trailers, Charlotte died. The Fair Grounds were soon deserted. The sheds and buildings were empty and forlorn. The infield was littered with bottles and trash. Nobody, of the hundreds of people that had visited the Fair, knew that a grey spider had played the most important part of all. No one was with her when she died.”

Sims writes that White took 17 tries to get through the passage without crying or his voice cracking.

It was 60 years ago today, in 1952, when “Charlotte’s Web” was first printed — and it has been a best-selling book ever since. It has also undoubtedly broken up untold numbers of readers as they learn about the quiet passing of a big-hearted spider. 

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