Enid Bagnold

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Enid Algerine Bagnold, Lady Jones, CBE (27 October 1889 – 31 March 1981), known by her maiden name as Enid Bagnold, was a British author and playwright, best known for the 1935 story National Velvet which was filmed in 1944 with Elizabeth Taylor.

Part of the former home of Enid Bagnold in Rottingdean

She was born in Rochester, Kent, daughter of Colonel Arthur Henry Bagnold and his wife Ethel Alger, and brought up mostly in Jamaica. She went to art school at the school of Walter Sickert in London, and then worked for Frank Harris, who was also her first lover.

During the First World War she became a nurse, writing critically of the hospital administration and being dismissed as a result. After that she was a driver in France for the remainder of the war years. She wrote about her hospital experiences in A Diary Without Dates[1] and about her experiences as a driver in The Happy Foreigner.[2][3]

In 1920, she married Sir Roderick Jones, Chairman of Reuters, but continued to use her maiden name for her writing. They lived at North End House in Rottingdean, near Brighton, Sussex, (previously the home of Sir Edward Burne-Jones), the garden of which inspired her play The Chalk Garden. They had four children. Their great-granddaughter is Samantha Cameron, wife of the United Kingdom's current Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron.[4]

Bagnold died at Rottingdean in 1981 and is buried there in St Margaret's churchyard.

During the Second World War, Bagnold's brother Ralph Bagnold founded the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), a precursor of the SAS.[5]


  • A Diary Without Dates (1917)
  • The Sailing Ships and other poems (1918)
  • The Happy Foreigner (1920)
  • Serena Blandish or the Difficulty of Getting Married (1924), writing as A Lady of Quality
  • Alice & Thomas & Jane (1930)
  • National Velvet (1935)
  • The Door of Life (1938)
  • The Squire (1938)
  • Lottie Dundass (1943) play
  • Two Plays (1944)
  • The Loved and Envied (1951)
  • Theatre (1951)
  • The Girl's Journey (1954)
  • The Chalk Garden (1955) play
  • The Chinese Prime Minister (1964) play
  • A Matter of Gravity (original title Call Me Jacky) (1967) play
  • Autobiography (1969)
  • Four Plays (1970)
  • Poems (1978)
  • Letters to Frank Harris & Other Friends (1980)
  • Early Poems (1987)


  • Anne Sebba (1986) Enid Bagnold, The Authorised Biography
  • Lenemaja Friedman (1986) Enid Bagnold
  • Enid Bagnold (1969) Enid Bagnold's Autobiography
  1. ^ A Diary Without Dates
  2. ^ The Happy Foreigner
  3. ^ A Celebration of Women Writers
  4. ^ Clarke, Melonie; Gumley-Mason, Helena (26 November 2013). "Samantha Cameron's Sari Diplomacy". The Lady. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Cairo in the War: 1939-1945 (1989, ISBN 0-241-12671-1), p. 83

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