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The Extraordinary Life of E Nesbit (Hardback)

Author of Five Children and It and The Railway Children

Military > Biographies P&S History > Literary Figures P&S History > Social History

By Elisabeth Galvin
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 182
Illustrations: 32
ISBN: 9781526714770
Published: 26th September 2018



National Publicity!

  • As featured in the Mail On Sunday's You magazine, 14 October 2018: Sex, lies and a very un-Victorian scandal: The racy private life of author E Nesbit


  • As featured by The Guardian: Children's author Dame Jacqueline Wilson has written the foreword for Elisabeth Galvin’s biography on Nesbit. Writing in The Extraordinary Life of E Nesbit, Wilson notes that Noël Coward was among Nesbit’s most passionate admirers. “The books certainly rivet me too – and I hope … Galvin’s biography will introduce many more readers to her children’s books,” she said


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Imagine being one of the most well-loved children’s authors of all time, yet your readers don’t know if you’re a man or a woman. Or even your real name. E. Nesbit is really Edith Nesbit, who wrote more than 100 novels, plays and poetry collections for children and adults between 1885 and 1923.

This year marks the 160th anniversary of her birth and this new biography reveals how Nesbit's colourful private life influenced her writing, from a love affair with George Bernard Shaw to the bohemian parties with H.G. Wells to the death of her son aged just fifteen.

With a foreword by best-selling author Dame Jacqueline Wilson, the book shows how J.K Rowling was influenced by Nesbit and includes interviews with Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbins,, who appeared in the beloved 1970 film of The Railway Children.

Review article 'Glowing in flowery crimson' by Elaine Showalter as featured by

Times Literary Supplement, 3rd January 2020 - review article by Elaine Showalter

Elisabeth Galvin's book is well researched, very readable, and to be commended.

Children's Books History Society

Article (covering 4 pages) 'Fortunate Magic' as featured by

Sussex Life, May 2019 – words by Amanda Hodges

Author article "A Life Less Ordinary" for

This England, Summer 2019

A detailed account of an author whose life was full of drama, trauma, true friends, love and betrayal; but who used all of these personal elements to her to create wonderful stories.

A good insight into a complicated woman's character who was a true Bohemian to her last days.

For the Love of Books

Article 'E Nesbit's amazing life story' as featured by

Woman's Weekly, 12th March 2019 – words by Clare Walters

Article 'A family affair as featured by

Yours RETRO magazine, issue 16

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ So much lies beyond The Railway Children.

This is a fascinating insight into the life of the amazing woman we all know as the writer of The Railway Children. I wonder how many even know that E. Nesbit was Edith Nesbit, well, I knew that much but the whole story amazed me, even shocked me in places. To think that The Railway Children was published over 100 years ago and the film versions and stage adaptations have been so successful that hardly anyone of any age does not know the story or the name of the writer, yet E. Nesbit died close to poverty following a life of so many ups and downs and her grave is marked by a simple wooden structure. She was one of the founders of the Fabian Society her son Fabian was actually named after the society. The Railway Children has overshadowed the life of this complex woman but Elisabeth Galvin has meticulously researched her life to provide one of the best literary biographies for some time.

Amazon Customer

Elisabeth Galvin gives a lively account of a wild bohemian who smoked cigars, had plenty of affiars, cycled around London and founded the Fabian Society.

Evergreen, December 2018

As featured by

Literary Review, December 2018

As feature in

The Irish Daily Mail

Article: 'Colourful life of rail tale author' as featured by

Keighly News, 25th October 2019 – words by Alistair Shand

Article: 'New book on colourful life of novelist' as featured by

Telegraph & Argus, 22nd October 2018

As featured in

The Mail on Sunday 14/10/18

As featured in

The Guardian 19/7/18

As featured on the 'Book Shelf'

Candis, August 2018

About Elisabeth Galvin

At every opportunity when she was a child, ELISABETH GALVIN would jump on her mother’s lap to ask for a story. One of these books was The Railway Children, which began her lifelong love of literature. After studying English and Classics at Durham University, she became a magazine journalist in London, Australia and Hong Kong.

A keen open-water swimmer, Elisabeth recited passages by Jane Austen and the Brontës to herself as she swam across the English Channel to France in 2002 (it took her 10 hours 51 minutes so that’s quite a lot of romantic literature).

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