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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. dw, 1987, 473ppReview:
Like all the best biographies, this is not the story of one person, but of an era, clamorous with lost voices. Sunday Times Miss Briggs has given us just the biography of Edith Nesbit which this generation needs. Sunday Telegraph
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Book Description Hutchinson, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 009168210X