The Extraordinary Life of E Nesbit by Elisabeth Galvin - review by Gillian Tindall

Gillian Tindall

Not for Children

The Extraordinary Life of E Nesbit


Pen & Sword 182pp £19.99 order from our bookshop

When Doris Langley Moore wrote the first biography of Edith Nesbit, some nine years after the beloved children’s author had died in 1924, much of the material she uncovered had to be supressed. It was too soon, it was felt, to reveal what an unconventional private life had been led not only by the creator of The Railway Children and Five Children and It but also by her husband, the equally successful but soon-forgotten Fabian and journalist Hubert Bland. Time brought social change, of course – something both Edith and Hubert were keen on – and by the 1980s Julia Briggs felt able to write a well-researched and thorough biography, exploring the many apparent contradictions in Nesbit’s redoubtable personality and variegated behaviour.

I can see why Elisabeth Galvin, new to biography I think, has felt it time for a fresh look at the subject, and it is bad luck both on her and on another author, Eleanor Fitzsimons, that they have had the same idea at the same time, though

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