That going to the seaside was the very beginning of everything, -- only it seemed as though it were going to be a beginning without an end, like the roads on the Sussex downs which look like roads and then look like paths, and then turn into sheep-tracks, and then are just grass and furze bushes and tottergrass and harebells and rabbits and chalk. In Nesbit's 1913 vel, Wet Magic, the children of the Desmond family -- Francis, Mavis, Bernard and Kathleen -- are looking forward to a holiday by the sea. They get more of an adventure than they had planned on, though, when they accidentally summon a mermaid. And when that mermaid is captured and put on display at a local circus, they decide they must rescue her. As their reward, they are permitted to visit the hidden kingdom of the mer-people, but find they must w stop a war to save their new friends.