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Enid Bagnold A Life


This biography brings to life one of the most gifted and active women of her generation. Best known as the author of National Velvet and The Chalk Garden, Enid Bagnold was born in 1889 and was determined from an early age to have it all: literary acclaim, social success, motherhood, marriage and lovers.

Escaping her stuffy military family to seek excitement in Chelsea, she painted with Sickert and was sculpted by Gaudier Brzeska. As a journalist, she worked with and was seduced by Frank Harris before falling in love with socialite Prince Antoine Bibesco. During World War 1 she worked as a VAD and, encouraged by Desmond MacCarthy, wrote an expose of hospital cruelty which won her instant fame. Her marriage to Sir Roderick Jones, head of Reuters, enabled her to combine motherhood and a glittering social life with the thrill and turmoil of a long and varied career on both sides of the Atlantic. In the 1930’s she openly supported Hitler despite her love for an anti-Nazi German diplomat. Although the post-war film of National Velvet brought her international acclaim, her passion remained the theatre involving such legendary stars as Cecil Beaton, Edith Evans, Gladys Cooper, Irene Selznick, Charles Laughton and John Gielgud.

The Chalk Garden by Enid Bagnold opens at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre on June 5th- August 2nd 2008
tel 0870 060 6624 Anne has written the Programme Notes
To buy a copy of the specially reprinted biography of Enid Bagnold email Only a few remaining

June 24th, 2008 6pm
Conversation with Director Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse to discuss The Chalk Garden prior to the evening performance.

You can buy this book on the Faber Find’s website

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