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Enid Bagnold

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Enid Bagnold. B. October 27, 1889. D. March 31, 1981

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Titles to Look Out For:
1924. Serena Blandish, Or, The Difficulty of Getting Married

About the Author:
Enid Bagnold, Lady Jones, October 27, 1889-Mar 31, 1981 was a British author and playwright, best known for the 1935 story National Velvet, which was filmed in 1944 starring Elizabeth Taylor

Born in Rochester, Kent, she was brought up mostly on the West Indian island of Jamaica. She went to art school in London, and then worked for Frank Harris.

She was a nurse during WW1, and was dismissed for writing critically of the hospital administration. She was a driver in France for the remainder of the war years.

Enid Bagnold's books are described as being few, but of high distinction. After writing Serena Blandish, her second novel, she married Sir Roderick Jones in 1920, Chairman of Reuters (till he retired in 1941), but continued to use her maiden name for her writing. She wrote for one of her daughters Alice and Thomas and Jane, which has become a children's classic. They lived at North End House in Rottingdean near Brighton, Sussex, UK, (previously the home of Sir Edward Burne Jones. The garden inspired her play The Chalk Garden.

She died at Rottingdean in 1981 and is buried at St Margaret's Church. Their granddaughter is Annabel Astor, Viscountess Astor. She was never knighted (granted a Damehood).

Enid's brother Ralph Bagnold is mentioned in the book 'Providence:Their Guide. The Long Range Desert Group 1940-1945', published by Harrap in 1980. The book, which is a very personal account begins with an appreciation of Ralph Bagnold and the uses to which he put his pre-war desert travels in creating the Long Range Desert Group.

Bibliography:

  • A Diary Without Dates (1917)
  • The Sailing Ships and other poems (1918)
  • The Happy Foreigner (1920)
  • Serena Blandish or the Difficulty of Getting Married (1924) as A Lady of Quality
  • Alice & Thomas & Jane (1930)
  • National Velvet (1935)
  • The Door of Life (1938)
  • The Squire (1938)
  • Lottie Dundass (1943) play
  • Two Plays (1944)
  • The Loved and Envied (1951)
  • Theatre (1951)
  • The Girl's Journey (1954)
  • The Chalk Garden (1956) play
  • The Chinese Prime Minister (1964) play
  • Autobiography (1969)
  • Four Plays (1970)
  • Matter of Gravity (1975) play
  • Poems (1978)
  • Letters to Frank Harris & Other Friends (1980)
  • Early Poems (1987)

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Bagnold, Enid. 'Serena Blandish'Sorry, not in stock, but Amazon banner on right will show avaiable copies

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About the Book: Serena Blandish-dazzling, daring, witty and a trifle naughty-set all tongues wagging in the literary world when it was first published, as the author was described simply as "A lady of quality". It was not till some years later that her name was disclosed as Enid Bagnold, now famous for her novels National Velvet and The Loved and the Envied. The piquant story, revealing the fickle heart of the male and the frailties of the female, is now reissued [as in the Pan version of 1951] with delightful illustrations specially drawn by Biro.

Story:
Serena was a girl endowed with perfect beauty-and disconcerting candour. She was not inexperienced either; she knew it was easier to ask a man for £50 than for a couple of shillings. One day the Countess Flor di Folio, who in tired disillusionment enjoyed only the extravagant and the bizarre, added Serena to her entourage, together with a parrot, a peacock and a monkey. "I will take you for two months," said the Countess, "and you shall make the most brilliant marriage in my world." But the weeks passed by and Serena was still not engaged. The Countess wondered why. Serena knew-so did Martin, the aloof butler, who coldly commented, "A lady who stays to tea where she has been asked to luncheon is never engaged to be married." When Lord Ivor asked her what she wanted most, she replied "To marry you." How could any girl so guileless ever find a husband? So Serena, attracting men by her ravishing charm, unable to resist a suggestion that should have been honourable but somehow always became a dishonourable one, approached her destiny

1951, Pan Paperbacks

 
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