Gillian Baverstock

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Gillian Mary Darrell Waters Baverstock
Born Gillian Mary Pollock
(1931-07-15)15 July 1931
Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, England
Died 24 June 2007(2007-06-24) (aged 75)
Ilkley, West Yorkshire, England
Pen name Gillian Baverstock
Occupation Writer
Nationality British
Education Benenden School, Kent
Alma mater University of St Andrews, Fife
Spouse Donald Baverstock
Children 4
Relatives Enid Blyton (mother),
Hugh Alexander Pollock (father),
Imogen Mary Smallwood (sister),
Rosemary Pollock (half-sister)

Gillian Baverstock, née Gillian Mary Pollock (15 July 1931, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, England – 24 June 2007, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, England) was a British author and elder daughter of English novelist Enid Blyton and her first husband, Hugh Pollock. She wrote and spoke to audiences and the media extensively about her mother as well as her own childhood and life.

Biography[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Gillian Mary Pollock was born on 15 July 1931, the elder daughter of the children's author Enid Blyton (1897–1968) and her first husband, Major Hugh Pollock (1888–1971), a World War I veteran. On 27 October 1935, her younger sister, Imogen Mary Smallwood, was born. When she was 12 and her sister was 8, their parents divorced. Her mother later married the surgeon Kenneth Fraser Darrell Waters (1892–1967); and her father married the writer Ida Crowe, with whom he had a daughter, Rosemary Pollock. After divorce and remarriage, her mother decided that the best thing for Gillian and her sister was not to have contact with their father, of whom they had not seen much during World War II. Enid even changed her daughters' surname to 'Darrell Waters'. Years later, Gillian tried to contact her father Hugh; but she was never to see him again, although she did establish a relationship with her half-sister, the writer Rosemary Pollock.

Education[edit]

Pollock was educated at Benenden School, a boarding independent school for girls in Kent in South East England, followed by the University of St Andrews in Fife in Scotland.

Life and career[edit]

In 1957, Pollock married Donald Baverstock, a BBC producer and executive, at St James's Church, Piccadilly; they had four children: Glyn (b. 1961, d. 1983, car accident), Sian (b. 1962, d. 2006, heart attack), Sara, and Owain. After her husband's death, she lived in Ilkley, England; she was survived by two of her four children and five grandchildren; Glyndwr, Dominic, Zoe, Alec and Georgina.

First jobs[edit]

Baverstock worked as a primary school teacher at Moorfield School, Ilkley, and wrote and spoke to audiences and the media extensively about her mother as well as her own childhood and life. She was estranged from her younger sister, Imogen Smallwood, who – in contrast to Gillian – did not remember her childhood or Blyton's qualities as a mother fondly.[1]

Quill Publications, Ltd.[edit]

In 1999, Baverstock founded Quill Publications Ltd., with comic writer Tim Quinn, to produce twelve editions of the children's comic book Blue Moon. She wrote a series of stories which were based on popular fairy tales like "Sleeping Beauty" and "Little Red Riding Hood". The comic is no longer in production.

In 2005, Baverstock defended her mother's book The Mystery That Never Was after claims that it contained racist overtones.[2]

Appearances[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Unhappy families by Gyles Brandreth in The Daily Telegraph, 30 March 2002 (accessed 19 November 2009)
  2. ^ Publisher rejected Blyton tale for being 'xenophobic' by Chris Hastings (Arts Correspondent) in The Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2005 (accessed 25 August 2007)
  3. ^ "Growing Up with Enid Blyton", Audio recording and transcript (Accessed 20 May 2009)
  4. ^ Oxford Literary Festival 2007 (Accessed 10 May 2007) A critical response to her appearance is at http://www.dailyinfo.co.uk/reviews/feature/1765/Sunday-Times-Oxford-Literary-Fest