E. Nesbit is one of the greatest children's writers of the century. Though known in her day for her poems, short stories and romantic novels, she is now remembered as the author of "The Railway Children", "The Treasure Seekers" (featuring the irrepressible Bastable family) and many other stories of magic and adventure. Her readers loved to think of her as a reassuringly aunt-like figure, but this biography reveals her as a wilful, demanding and adventurous woman, a true Bohemian who broke all society's rules in her search for love. Earlier accounts of E. Nesbit have presented her as the much-exploited and long-suffering victim of her husband, Hubert Bland, a compulsive womaniser. The truth is more complex: an intense, if unconsummated affair with Bernard Shaw was followed by a series of love affairs with younger men. At the same time, her closest friend, Alice Hoatson, moved into her home as housekeeper, where she bore Hubert two children whom Edith brought up as her own. Both the Blands were founder Fabians, and this book records their friendships with figures like the Webbs, Eleanor Marx, Olive Schreiner and H.G. Wells, who caused a monumental row when he attempted to seduce Bland's illegitimate daughter. E. Nesbit's own writing reflects her dynamic energy, her sense of fun and passionate joie-de-vivre. Julia Briggs' biography explores with subtlety the complex relationship between her life and her fiction.
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E. Nesbit is one of the great children's writers of the century. Though known in her day for her poems, short stories, and novels, she is now remembered as the author of The Railway Children, The Treasure Seekers, Five Children and It, and many other stories of magic and adventure that are still triumphantly in print. Her readers loved to think of her as reassuringly maternal, but this biography reveals her as a strong-minded, adventurous woman.From Publishers Weekly:
Readers will find British children's writer Edith Nesbit a woman of contradictions, at once impetuous and generous in her friendships, alternately complacent and irritable as a wife, and simultaneously caring and distant as a mother. Hubert Bland, Nesbit's first husband, married her in the eighth month of her pregnancy with his child but did not end what would become his 10-year-long affair with another woman; Alice Hoatson lived with the Blands most of her life and bore two children by Hubert, both quietly adopted by Edith. Briggs expands on what is known of Nesbit's affair with G. B. Shaw, and her friendship and friction with H. G. Wellshis attempt to seduce one of her daughters and his theft, in Edith's eyes, of her time-travel ideas. Supporting the family by churning out pulp-magazine stories, she didn't begin to write for children until she was 40. An "emancipated" woman, she was a founder of the Fabian Society, cropped her hair and wore unshapely gowns, allowed her children to run barefoot and wild, and surrounded herself with adoring young men. After Bland died, she married a ferry boat captain several stations beneath her in class and found happiness selling fruits and vegetables with him. Briggs, an Oxford tutor, darts back and forth among people, events and places that shaped Nesbit's life and writings, giving this biography its complicated, yet revealing, form. Not only is this a well-documented, scholarly venture but a completely absorbing tale, seamlessly told and almost too wickedly entertaining for belief. Photos.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Hutchinson, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M009168210X