BIOGRAPHY OF E.NESBIT 1858 - 1924
Edith Nesbit was born in London in 1858. When she was four her father died but her mother bravely continued to run the agricultural college her husband, and before that, his father, had founded in Kennington, London.
Her childhood was shared with her sister, half sister and 3 brothers. She was educated on the continent when she accompanied her mother and sister Mary travelling throughout France, Germany and Spain. This was not an educational grand tour but an endeavour to get her sister well as she was suffering from tuberculosis.
Upon their return to England Edith's mother moved the family from London to Halstead, Kent. This was the start of Edith's love of the countryside and especially of Kent.
At 18 years of age she met Hubert Bland whom she was eventually to marry. They married in a Registry Office in the City of London and Hubert found Edith a home overlooking Blackheath, south east London. A move to a small terraced house in Elswick Road, Lewisham (still standing) with their first child, Paul, was to be one of the many homes in the south east of London they were to occupy.
Edith had begun writing in her teens and her artistic talents were needed to bring in money when she and Hubert were first married. Her flourish for writing poems, articles and children's stories eventually led the family which now numbered three children, to move to larger homes in Lee and Grove Park.
In 1899 the family moved to Well Hall, Eltham (pictured). The three-storey house surrounded by orchards and farmland adjacent to a Tudor barn was to be their home for 22 years.
Edith was a very generous, gregarious person and would host parties at Well Hall, which attracted the many literary friends she and Hubert had come to know. Friends such as HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw and friends from the Fabian Society, Sydney and Beatrice Webb.
The First World War and Hubert's death in 1914 brought a change to their fortunes. Managing a large house was becoming difficult and at the suggestion of a family friend she left Well Hall for her beloved Kentish countryside.
Prior to the move she found solace and happiness with Tommy Tucker whom she married in 1917 and together they built a home at St Mary's Bay, Dymchurch, Kent where in May 1924 Edith Nesbit died.
Her last resting place is at St Mary in the Marsh. Tommy Tucker went on to make a name in the community of Jesson St Mary where he died eleven years later with Edith's adopted daughter at his side.
To read in more detail of Edith Nesbit's life look for a copy of two biographies the first E Nesbit by Doris Langley Moor, published in 1933 and Julia Briggs' A Woman of Passion published in 1987. They may take some finding as both are out of print.
|A recently published paperback edition of
A Woman of Passion
is available from
'Tempus' at £12.99