E. Nesbit

Edith Nesbit (1858–1924) wrote more than sixty books for children under the name E. Nesbit, including Five Children and It and The Story of the Amulet. After a nomadic childhood—living for periods in London, Europe, and a country manor in Kent—Nesbit married a young Socialist businessman named Hubert Bland. Not long after the marriage, Bland became ill and his business floundered. Having written poetry in her teens, Nesbit found she could support her family by selling stories and poems to magazines and greeting-card companies. She did not experience true success, however, until the age of forty, when she began publishing novels for children. Throughout much of her life, Nesbit was at the center of a community of artists and political activists; both she and her husband were founding members, along with George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells, of the Fabian Society, a Socialist group with close ties to Britain’s Labour Party. Even in old age, Nesbit considered herself a child in an adult’s body, writing in her autobiography that if others like her were “ever recognized for what they are, it is when they happen to have the use of their pens—when they write for and about children.”