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Edith Bagnold

Edith Bagnold, later Lady Jones was born in 1889 in Rochester, Kent and died in 1981 in London . She was most famous for her novel *National Velvet* published in 1935, which was made into a famous film that starred Elizabeth Taylor.

Her father was a Colonel in the  British Army, and she was mainly brought up in Jamaica.  She loved riding horses when she was in Jamaica and that inspired National Velvet.  She went to art school in London and worked for Frank Harris, an Irish-American novelist and had an affair with him. She was very Bohemian and mixed with artists and free-thinkers.

During the First World War she became a nurse but was critical of the way the hospitals were won and got sacked. She became a driver for the army in France and wrote a memoir of her time dung that. In 1920 she became the wife of Sir Roderick Jones and therefore became Lady Jones.  they lived on the south coast of England near Brighton. They had a house in London and were neighbours of Winston Churchill and Jacob Epstein.

Her great-grand-daughter was Samantha, wife of the recent British Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Virginia Woolf called her ‘a scallywag who married a very rich man.’ Woolf thought that Bagnold had begun as a rebel and Bohemian but ended up being conventionally rich with a butler.

Read this article about Bagnold.

Upstairs, downstairs | Margaret Drabble | The Guardian

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