Enid Bagnold

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Enid Bagnold

Enid Algerine, Lady Jones, CBE (née Bagnold; 27 October 1889 – 31 March 1981) was a British author and playwright, today best known for the 1935 story National Velvet.

Early life[edit]

She was born in Rochester, Kent, daughter of Colonel Arthur Henry Bagnold and his wife, Ethel (née Alger), and brought up mostly in Jamaica. She went to art school in London, and then worked for Frank Harris, who became her lover.[1]


Enid Bagnold Age c.25 by Maurice Asselin

During the First World War she became a nurse; she wrote critically of the hospital administration, and was 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,[2] and about her experiences as a driver in The Happy Foreigner.[3][4]

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, Rottingdean, near Brighton (previously the home of Sir Edward Burne-Jones), the garden of which inspired her play The Chalk Garden. The Joneses' London house from 1928 until 1969, seven years after Sir Roderick's death, was No. 29 Hyde Park Gate, which meant that they were the neighbours for many of those years of Winston Churchill and Jacob Epstein.

The couple had four children. Their great-granddaughter is Samantha Cameron, wife of the former Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron.[5]


Bagnold died in Rottingdean in 1981, aged 91, and is interred at St Margaret's churchyard there.[6]


During the Second World War, Bagnold's brother Ralph Bagnold founded the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), a precursor of the SAS.[7]


  • Arts Theater Prize for Poor Judas (1951) [8]
  • Award of Merit Medal for The Chalk Garden (1956)[8]
  • Prize from the Academy of Arts and Letters for The Chalk Garden (1956)[8]


Part of the former home of Enid Bagnold in Rottingdean
  • 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)
  • Alice & Thomas & Jane (1930)
  • National Velvet (1935)
  • The Door of Life (1938)
  • The Squire (1938), republished in 2013 by Persephone Books
  • Lottie Dundass (1943, play)
  • Two Plays (1944)
  • The Loved and Envied (1951)
  • Theatre (1951)
  • Poor Judas (1951, play)
  • Gertie (1952 play)
  • The Girl's Journey (1954)
  • The Chalk Garden (1955, play)
  • The Last Joke (1960, 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)


  1. ^ Weblog John Simkin
  2. ^ A Diary Without Dates
  3. ^ The Happy Foreigner
  4. ^ Profile: "A Celebration of Women Writers", upenn.edu; accessed 28 September 2014.
  5. ^ Clarke, Melonie; Gumley-Mason, Helena (26 November 2013). "Samantha Cameron's Sari Diplomacy". The Lady. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  6. ^ Works by Enid Bagnold at Project Gutenberg
  7. ^ Cairo in the War: 1939-1945 (1989); ISBN 0-241-12671-1, pg. 83
  8. ^ a b c [Commire, Anne (1971). Something About the Author. Gale Research Inc. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8103-0050-7.]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]