Saturday, October 26, 2019

Life and Loves of E. Nesbit

The Life and Loves of E. Nesbit is a detailed and fascinating biography of beloved children's author and poet E. Nesbit. Released 17th Oct 2019 by Duckworth Books, it's ~400 pages and available in ebook format (other editions may be available in other formats).

I remember growing up on a steady diet of weekend trips to the public library where, wonder of wonders, I could pick out ANY books I wanted. (I still get a thrill going into a library, more than half a century later). I discovered and devoured The Railway Children, The Psammead books, so many hours of delicious escapism and the ones she wrote, I revisited again and again.  I felt then, and still feel, that she really understood how kids think and feel on some fundamental level.  I think most readers of English have encountered her books at one point or another. I was previously unaware, however, except in the vaguest terms, anything whatever about her life.

This biography is meticulously researched, exhaustively annotated, and so well written. The author has a lyrical voice and at the same time a spare and respectful manner writing about her subject. Though precisely and minutely researched, it's anything but dull, and Ms. Fitzsimons doesn't shy away from covering the tragic parts of Nesbit's life.

I heartily recommend this one to anyone who enjoys biographies or has enjoyed Nesbit's oeuvre as a child (or grownup). This is a worthy biography of a worthy subject who isn't well represented in print currently.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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