E. Nesbit

E. Nesbit

E. Nesbit

Biography and 25 E. Nesbit books available to download for free for iPhone, iPad, Nook, Android, and Kindle in PDF and all popular eBook reader formats (AZW3, EPUB, MOBI).

E. (Edith) Nesbit was born in London on August 15th 1858. The youngest of five children, she was known to her family as ‘Daisy’ and due to her sister's poor health she spent her early years living in various locations in France and England. In 1871 the family moved back to England and rented Halstead Hall in Kent where Edith and her brothers used to play near the railway line – a location that later inspired The Railway Children.

When Nesbit was 17 the family moved to London and at the age of 21 and while seven months pregnant, Edith married bank clerk Hubert Bland. They shared a love of poetry and collaborated on many projects throughout a turbulent relationship where both partners openly conducted extra-marital affairs. Apart from her own two children, she brought up several that Bland fathered with his mistresses.

They were both socialists and involved in the Fabian Society (a precursor to the Britsh Labor Party) from its inception - even naming one of their children Fabian after their joint interest. Nesbit befriended several of its members, including George Bernard Shaw (with whom she had an affair) and H.G. Wells. Adopting a nonconformist style, she cut her hair short, smoked heavily and wore less restrictive clothing than Victorian fashion dictated. Inspired by the Fabians ideals, she wrote and lectured on socialism throughout the 1880s.

When Bland’s business ventures failed, Nesbit became the main breadwinner and undertook other work to finance their growing household. She became a successful children’s writer with novels including The Story of the Treasure-Seekers (1899), The Wouldbegoods (1901), Five Children and It (1902), The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904), The Railway Children (1906), and The Enchanted Castle (1907). Hubert Bland also collaborated with Nesbit on her writing, much of it being serialised in the London Weekly Dispatch under the alias ‘Fabian Bland’.

After the death of Hubert Bland in 1913, Edith married ship’s engineer, Thomas Tucker. She continued to write children’s books but years of heavy smoking took their toll and she died from lung cancer on 22 April 1924.