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- Publisher: Faber Finds
- Format: Paperback | 350 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 234mm x 28mm | 440g
- Publication date: 12 July 2011
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0571276474
- ISBN 13: 9780571276479
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
"This lively biography reveals a passionate woman who was painfully aware of the difficulties of living as a writer and as a wife and mother." ("Times"). This remarkable biography brings to life one of the most active and gifted women of her generation. Best known as the author of "National Velvet" and "The Chalk Garden", Enid Bagnold was born in 1889 and was determined from an early age to have it all: literary acclaim, social success, motherhood, marriage and lovers. In Chelsea she painted with Sickert and was sculpted by Gaudier Brzeska. As a journalist, she worked with and was seduced by Frank Harris. Having worked as a VAD during the First World War, she wrote an expose of hospital cruelty which won her instant fame. Her marriage to Roderick Jones, head of Reuters, enabled her to combine motherhood and a glittering social life with the thrill and turmoil of a long and varied career on both sides of the Atlantic. Although the post-war film of National Velvet brought her international acclaim, her passion remained the theatre, involving such luminaries as Cecil Beaton, Edith Evans, Gladys Cooper, Irene Selznick, Charles Laughton and John Gielgud. "An extremely readable and often revelatory book that portrays not only the authoress of "The Chalk Garden" but also the complex social period through which she lived." ("Financial Times").
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Anna Sebba is a biographer, lecturer, journalist and former Reuters foreign correspondent. She has written a number of books including Jennie Churchill: Winstons' American Mother, The Exiled Collector: William Bankes and the Making of an English Country House, Laura Ashley: A Life by Design, Enid Bagnold and Battling for News: Women Reporters from the Risorgimento to Tiananmen Square. The last three are being reissued in Faber Finds. Anne is currently writing a biography of Wallis Simpson.