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E. Nesbit entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
Timeline
Excerpts
Works By
E. Nesbit, writing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, was an immensely prolific poet, journalist, novelist, and occasionally a playwright, who is remembered today almost entirely for her enduringly popular story-books for children (which number about forty). Her children's books are highly imaginative and full of fun. They involve their child protagonists in encounters, often magical, with worlds beyond their own: not only in literary, historical, and fantasy encounters, but also in those which raise social and political issues in terms that children can understand. Her writing for adults includes novels, poetry, short stories, plays, magazine contributions and editing, political commentary, and everything that might possibly be undertaken by a hard-up woman of letters.
Milestones
15 August 1858 EN was born at 38 Lower Kennington Lane, Kennington, in South London, the youngest of her family, with three elder siblings and a half-sister living. Bibliographic Citation link.
December 1876 A poem by EN entitled "A Year Ago" appeared in Good Words; it is her earliest work in print that biographer Julia Briggs has been able to track down. Bibliographic Citation link.
Late 1902 With Five Children and It, one of EN's best-known children's books, she embarked on another trilogy about a new family of children. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 18 May 1922 EN's final novel, The Lark, is set in and around a house called Cedar Court, which is modelled on Well Hall at Eltham and her own efforts to make a big, dilapidated house pay its way. Bibliographic Citation link.
4 May 1924 EN died. Though her disease mystified her doctors, it now seems clear from her symptoms that she died of lung cancer, after years of heavy smoking. Bibliographic Citation link.
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