Richmond Literature Festival: 1-28 November

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At this year’s Richmond Literature Festival, East Sheen writer, Elisabeth Galvin, reveals the intriguing life of Edith Nesbit, the author of The Railway Children. She talks to editor, Pippa Duncan

A cigar-smoking socialist, an affair with George Bernard Shaw, a husband who had two children with her best friend, wild Bohemian parties with H G Wells and a bit of a flasher, E Nesbit, who penned such famous children’s books as The Railway Children and Five Children and It, was not your typical Victorian author. Local journalist, Elisabeth Galvin, loved researching this intriguing woman: ‘Edith Nesbit was a ground-breaker and well ahead of her time. She wrote about strong female characters and created real stories about real children – who argued and got messy and went on adventures – not just ‘morality tales’, which were the norm of the day.’ Nesbit wrote more than 100 books over her lifetime, her most successful in the years following the death of her eldest son, which had a profound effect on her.

‘I’m so excited to be part of the Festival,’ says Elisabeth, ‘it’s amazing to be talking alongside such an array of wonderful authors.’

You can hear Elisabeth talking about The Extraordinary Life of E Nesbit on 15 November at Hampton Library, 7.30pm. Tickets £8.

Don’t miss:

Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey Through the World’s Strangest Brains
11 November
How would your life change if you couldn’t feel emotion, or remember the past or empathise with someone else? Award-winning science writer, Helen Thomson, travelled the world to speak to those with rare brain disorders – from a man who thinks he’s a tiger to the doctor who feels other people’s pain.
Riverside Room, Old Town Hall, Richmond, 2pm. Tickets £10

Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and its Dealers
20 November
Philip Hook, director of Sotheby’s, explores the history of art dealers, from paintings sold by weight in Imperial Rome to the sales of millions of pounds worth of paintings in galleries across the world.
Orleans House Gallery, 1.15pm. Tickets £10

Axel Sheffler: Christmas Fun with the Gruffalo
25 November
Axel Sheffler reads from The Gruffalo and his latest Pip and Posy book, The Christmas Tree, whilst drawing. Axel will sign and draw in your child’s book, new or old (one book per child).
Diamond Jubilee Gardens, Twickenham Riverside
12.3pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm

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