2014 A to Z Challenge: B

AuthorsPair 1

Bill Bryson

Wikipedia says,

William McGuireBillBryson, OBE, FRS (born December 8, 1951) is a best-selling American author of humorous books on travel, as well as books on the English language and science. Born in America, he was a resident of Britain for most of his adult life before returning to the U.S. in 1995. In 2003 Bryson moved back to Britain, living in the old rectory of Wramplingham, Norfolk, and served as chancellor of Durham University from 2005 through 2011.

Bryson shot to prominence in the United Kingdom with the publication of Notes from a Small Island (1995), an exploration of Britain, and its accompanying television series. He received widespread recognition again with the publication of A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003), a book widely acclaimed for its accessible communication of science.

Sue Barnard

Crooked Cat says,

Sue Barnard lives by the principle that an immaculate house is a sign of a wasted life. Hence, her house is chaotic but her life is very fulfilled.

Sue BarnardAfter graduating from Durham University with a degree in French, Sue had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.

Since then she has had a series of part-time jobs, including some work as a freelance copywriter. In parallel with this she took several courses in Creative Writing. Her writing achievements include winning the Writing Magazine New Subscribers Poetry Competition for 2013.  She is also very interested in Family History. Her own background is stranger than fiction; she’d write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

The Ghostly Father was published by Crooked Cat Publishing on 14th February, 2014.

The Link

BillBrysonBookYou may have noticed from the above that the link is Durham University. Sue studied there from 1974 to 1977. Bill Bryson was its Chancellor from 2005 to 2011. In addition, Sue has a signed copy of one of his books and she sent me a photo of it.

Thank you, Sue. Some time in the future you should write a memoir and people will have to believe you.

Pair 2

Enid Bagnold

Wikipedia says,

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.

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.

She was a nurse during World War I, writing critically of the hospital administration and being dismissed as a result. She was a driver in France for the remainder of the war years. She wrote of her hospital experiences in A Diary Without Dates and her driving experiences in The Happy Foreigner.

Her brother Ralph Bagnold founded the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) during World War II, a precursor of the SAS.

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.

Jane Bwye

Crooked Cat says,

Jane Bwye has been a businesswoman and intermittent freelance journalist for fifty years, mostly in Kenya. She cut short an Oxford career to get married, was widowed in her early twenties, and left with three small children – but was lucky enough to remarry. Now her six children and seven grandkids are scattered over three continents, so she’s developed a taste for travel. She has “walked” round the world, buying a bird book in every country she visited.

She has edited a cookbook, “Museum Mixtures”, in aid of the Kenya Museum Society, and is working on a short History of her local church. Her first novel, Breath of Africa, which is dedicated to the youth of Kenya, had a gestation period of thirty years. The plot and characters are fictitious, but the story draws on Jane’s experiences in a country going through the throes of re-birth.

The Link

Jane says of Enid Bagnold, “She lived just up the beach, in my county, East Sussex, and we share a love of horses: her novel ‘National Velvet’ was a favourite of mine as a child.”

Thank you, Jane.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

15 replies on “2014 A to Z Challenge: B”

I love National Velvet when I was young too. It was one of the first books I owned. I love these connections posts.

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