Neglected Women Writers’ Month: Enid Bagnold

We kick off the month with Enid Bagnold.  Whilst I’m sure a lot of you have heard of her, or have read her most famous book, National Velvet (1935), I feel that she deserves a lot more attention.  Many of the articles one can find online about her seem to show that she is most well-known as being the great-grandmother of Samantha Cameron, which is a real shame.

EnidBagnold1910sEnid Algerine Bagnold was born in 1889 in Rochester, Kent, and was largely raised in Jamaica.  She was a nurse during the First World War, and used her experiences to inspire both A Diary Without Dates and The Happy Foreigner.  In 1920, she married Sir Roderick Jones, and the couple had two children.  Interestingly, as a New Woman, Bagnold decided to keep her maiden name for her writing career.

“Who wants to become a writer? And why? … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower of life, even if it’s a cactus.”

Bibliography:

  • A Diary Without Dates (1917)
  • The Sailing Ships and other poems (1918)
  • The Happy Foreigner (1920)
  • Serena Blandish or the Difficulty of Getting Married (1924)
  • Alice & Thomas & Jane (1930)
  • National Velvet (1935)
  • The Door of Life (1938)
  • The Squire (1938)
  • Lottie Dundass (1943 play)
  • Two Plays (1944)
  • The Loved and Envied (1951)
  • Theatre (1951)
  • The Girl’s Journey (1954)
  • The Chalk Garden (1955 play)
  • The Chinese Prime Minister (1964 play)
  • A Matter of Gravity (1967 play)
  • Autobiography (1969)
  • Four Plays (1970)
  • Poems (1978)
  • Letters to Frank Harris & Other Friends (1980)
  • Early Poems (1987)

Snippets:
– Margaret Drabble on Enid Bagnold and her writing: The Guardian
– Michael Thornton on an exhibition of Enid Bagnold’s life, and his memories of her: The Telegraph

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