Enid Bagnold was born on October 27, 1889, in Rochester, England. Her father was a colonel with the Royal Engineers, and the family moved around frequently because of his varied assignments. When Bagnold was nine, her family moved to Jamaica, where as she says in her 1969 autobiography, she began an inner life: "Beauty never hit me until I was nine." At that time, she began to write, and she continued to write for more than seventy years. In the spring of 1902, her father's command expired, and she moved with her family back to England.
In 1903 she was fourteen, the age of her most famous heroine. Velvet Brown of National Velvet. The great success of that work came in part from Bagnold's memories of what adolescence was like. She attended Priors Field School in Godalming, England, which was run by the mother of the famous author Aldous Huxley. In 1906 Bagnold left the school and went abroad to Paris for a year.
During her stay in France, she became more sophisticated and more aware of the arts, particularly French literature. She returned to her family in 1907 and five years later moved to London and began to write professionally. For nine months, she wrote for the famous editor and writer Frank Harris, honing her journalistic and creative skills. During World War I, she served in an English hospital for two years and then as a driver for the French Army; she kept a diary of the "shocks" she experienced and in 1918 published A Diary...
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