Life and Loves of Edith Nesbit Victorian Iconoclast, Children's Author, and Creator of The Railway Children
The Life and Loves of Edith Nesbit
Victorian Iconoclast, Children's Author, and Creator of The Railway Children
  • Imprint: Abrams Press
  • Publication Date: February 5, 2019
  • Price: $37.50
  • Trim Size: 6 x 9
  • ISBN: 978-1-4683-1675-9
  • EAN: 9781468316759
  • Page Count: 400
  • Format: Hardcover

Edith Nesbit (1858 – 1924) is considered the first modern writer for children and the inventor of the children's adventure story. Author of over forty books, including her seminal classic The Railway Children, and other novels, story collections, and picture books combining real-world adventure with elements of fantasy, she has influenced such writers as C. S. Lewis, P. L. Travers, J. K. Rowling, and Jacqueline Wilson.In the illuminating The Life and Loves of Edith Nesbit, biographer Eleanor Fitzsimons moves beyond Nesbit's publishing legacy to uncover the little-known details of the life of one of the world's most beloved children's authors. Playful, contradictory, and creative, Nesbit was described by George Bernard Shaw—one of her several lovers—as "audaciously unconventional"; Fitzsimons presents in The Life and Loves of Edith Nesbit this side of the literary figure, introducing readers to the Fabian Society co-founder and fabulous socialite and who hosted legendary parties and had admirers by the dozen. She also examines the elements of Nesbit's life that influenced her fiction. For example, Nesbit's nomadic childhood and vivid imagination conjured up phobias that lasted into adulthood, so she wrote stories to overcome her nightmares with characters inspired by family, friends, and events from her life, even writing herself as twins; a fascinating device further explored in this enlightening new book on her life.Through Nesbit's letters and deep archival research, Fitzsimons reveals "E." to have been a prolific lecturer and writer on socialism. Nesbit railed against inequity, social injustice, and state-sponsored oppression, and she incorporated these avant-garde ideas into her writing, influencing a generation of children—an aspect of her literary legacy examined here for the first time. Fitzsimons's riveting biography brings new light to the life and works of this famed literary icon, in whom pragmatism and idealism, tradition and modernity worked side-by-side to create a remarkable writer and woman.