Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Life and Loves of E. Nesbit by Eleanor Fitzsimons- October, 2019

Website of Eleanor Fitzsimons

The Life and Loves of E. Nesbit by Eleanor Fitzsimons-2019

"When the Prince was born the Queen said to the King, “My dear, do be very, very careful about the invitations. You know what fairies are. They always come to the christening whether you invite them or not, and if you forget to invite one of them she always makes herself so terribly unpleasant.”. From The Prince, Two Mice, and Some Kitchen Maids

August 15, 1858,  Kennington, England

May 4, 1924, New Romney, England

Edith Nesbit (writing as E. Nesbit) is one of England's most loved authors of fiction aimed at children, while delighting older readers.  She was incredibly productive.  The E book collection of her work I recently acquired has 20 novels and more than 200 short stories.  The estimated reading time is 113 hours and two minutes.  

The Life and Loves of E. Nesbit by Eleanor Fitzsimons is a brilliant literary biography.  I was brought to greater understanding of the culture and social background in which she lived, from which her works arose.  

Fitzsimons shows us how Nesbit's unstable childhood was made use of in her many works which show children impacted by problems of their parents.  We see how this theme is developed in one of her most popular works, Railroad Children.  In this work the older daughter must help her mother and siblings when the father is wrongly sent to prison.  

In 1884, Nesbit was one of the nine founders of the Fabian Society.
The purpose of the organization, which still exists, was to advance the principles of democratic socialism, through peaceful evolutionary changes rather than violent revolution.  H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw were among the members.  We learn a good bit about her relationship with Shaw.  There is a good possibility they were lovers.

At age four her father died and the family began moving frequently.  Fitzsimons helps us see how these moves shaped her outlook.

At age 18, she married a 21 year old Bank clerk.  The marriage was unconventional.  Nesbit adopted the children of her husband, from a long running affair.  He also had a child with a very close friend of Nesbit.  There were serious fights but they stayed together.  After his death Nesbit will remsrry.
Nesbit has to write an awfully lot to support the family, she quickly brcomes the main earner in the family.  

Nesbit meets lots of well known English writers.  Nesbit was a strikingly attractive woman and there is at least strong circumstantial evidence of affairs.

The Life and Loves of E. Nesbit by Eleanor Fitzsimons a portrait of an era as well as a literary biography.  Aside from her marital issues and probable affairs, Nesbit's life revolved around her children.  Her stories show families that stay close through hard times.  And yes I loved her cat stories.  

I enjoyed all of the stories and novels I read.  Nesbit is of significant culture import for her impact on English writers who grew up reading her work.  Her work does not hide from hard times but there is an optimistic spirit in her work, a curiosity and a joy about growing up.

The Life and Loves of E. Nesbit should be read by all who enjoy a first rate literary biography.  From the book I learned what among her huge body of work I should read first.  There are lots of fun stories about fairies.  

From website of The author

“Welcome. My name is Eleanor Fitzsimons. I’m a researcher, writer, journalist and occasional broadcaster. I’m represented by I’ve just published my first book Wilde’s Women: how Oscar Wilde was shaped by the women he knew. My writing has been published in a variety of newspapers and journals includingthe Sunday Times, the Guardianthe Irish TimesIrish Tatlerthe Dubliner MagazineThe GlossUCD ConnectionsMaternity & InfantHistory Todayand Woman Mean Business. I have also contributed regularly to Irish radio and television programmes. I was the sole researcher on several primetime television programmes for the Irish national broadcaster, RTE including ‘What Have The Brits Ever Done For Us’, an examination of the historic relationship between Britain and Ireland commissioned to coincide with the landmark visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland, and ‘Bullyproof’, an IFTA winning documentary series on bullying.
I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Master of Business Studies degree from UCD and spent many years working at senior management level in the market information sector in both Ireland and the UK. In 2011, I returned to University College Dublin after a twenty-three years absence and graduated twelve months later with an MA (first class honours) in Women Gender and Society. I tweet at @EleanorFitz”

I am grateful to Eleanor Fitzsimons for this wonderful book.Understanding English children’s literature important in understanding the full literature of era.  

YouTube has Links to Movies Based on her work.

Mel u


Terra said...

I like to read biographies of writers and this sounds like a good one that includes the times in addition to the life of Nesbit.

Buried In Print said...

I'm curious whether you learned which of her books to read first because the biographer has an opinion and directs readers that way...or whether you simply found out enough to make a decision that suits your personal taste.

Either way, I'm looking forward to hearing more about your project as you read along, through those 113+ hours! :)