Exhibition of the works of author and playwright
(author of National Velvet)
drawn from the private collection of writer Hugo Vickers
Saturday 5th May – Saturday 4th August 2012
Rottingdean Museum, The Green, Rottingdean, East Sussex
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 Diary Without Dates and her driving experiences in The Happy Foreigner.
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, East Sussex, (previously the home of Sir Edward Burne-Jones), the garden of which inspired her celebrated play The Chalk Garden. They had four children. Their great-granddaughter is Samantha Cameron, wife of the current Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron. Lady Jones died in 1981 and is buried at St Margaret’s Church.
Rottingdean Museum is mounting an exhibition of her life and work which will open on Saturday 5th May 2012. The Museum Curator, Marcus Bagshaw comments “This first major exhibition of Enid Bagnold’s work will focus on the extraordinary success of National Velvet, the Rottingdean set novel that has never been out of print since its publication in 1935. In 1944 it was made into a hugely successful film starring a 12-year old Elizabeth Taylor and tells the story of a young girl, Velvet Brown, who rides an unprepossessing piebald horse she’d won in a raffle, The Pie, to victory in the Grand National. The exhibition will also feature material on other Rottingdean based works including the 1955 Broadway and West End play The Chalk Garden, filmed in East Sussex in 1964 by Universal Internationl as a starring vehicle for a 14-year old Hayley Mills. A collection of Enid Bagnold first editions, original film exploitation material, sketches, letters and candid photographs drawn from the private collection of writer and friend of Enid Bagnold Hugo Vickers , as well as a collection of never before seen photographs of Bagnold and her family “at home in Rottingdean” taken by legendary photographer Cecil Beaton during the 1940’s and 1950’s, will all serve to reaffirm Bagnold’s reputation as one of Rottingdean’s most celebrated and successful writers”.
Rottingdean Museum, The Grange, The Green, Rottingdean, East Sussex, BN2 7HA Opening Times: Weekdays 10.00am – 4.00pm (except Wednesdays), Sundays 2.00pm – 4.00pm. Tel. 01273 301004
Admission is free.