Enid Bagnold entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Enid Bagnold experienced both dazzling successes and spectacular flops in the course of her writing career, which spanned much of the twentieth century. Her best-known works are National Velvet (1935), popularized as a novel for children though it was meant for adults, and The Chalk Garden, a long-running play first performed in 1955. In addition to novels and plays, Enid Bagnold wrote a World War One memoir, two volumes of poetry, a children's book, an autobiography, and several articles (one of them notorious). Her works are often set in an upper-class milieu and make use of deliberately stilted language, eccentric characters, and absurd situations. While feminists must enjoy her unconventional female characters, especially older women and teenagers, her treatment of racial issues and homosexuality has caused offence.
27 October 1889 EB was born at Rochester in Kent, the first of two children in her family. Bibliographic Citation link.
April 1935 EB published National Velvet, a novel whose teenage heroine disguises herself as a boy to ride in, and win, the Grand National, a steeplechase which then and for long afterwards was barred to women. Bibliographic Citation link.
15 December 1944 The film adaptation of EB's National Velvet, starring the young and then unknown Elizabeth Taylor, premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York. It opened in Britain the same month. Bibliographic Citation link.
26 October 1955 EB's best-known play, The Chalk Garden, opened in New York at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, starring Gladys Cooper. Bibliographic Citation link.
December 1978 A volume of EB's Poems was published by Whittington, John Randle's private press in Gloucestershire. Bibliographic Citation link.
31 March 1981 At the age of ninety-one, EB died of bronchopneumonia in London. Bibliographic Citation link.
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