Edith Nesbit

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Person.png Edith Nesbit   Amazon SpartacusRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Kennington, Surrey, England
Died1924-05-04 (Age 65)
New Romney, Kent, England
Author and one of the founders of the Fabian Society.

Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet; she published her books for children under the name of E. Nesbit.

She wrote or collaborated on more than 60 books of children's literature. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later affiliated to the Labour Party.


At eighteen, Nesbit met the bank clerk Hubert Bland, who was her elder by three years, in 1877. Seven months pregnant, she married Bland on 22 April 1880, though she did not immediately live with him, as Bland initially continued to live with his mother. Their marriage was a tumultuous one. Early on Nesbit discovered that another woman believed she was Hubert's fiancée and had also borne him a child. A more serious blow came in 1886 when she discovered that her good friend, Alice Hoatson, was pregnant with Hubert's child. She had previously agreed to adopt Hoatson's child and allow Hoatson to live with her as their housekeeper. After she discovered the truth, they quarreled violently and she suggested that Hoatson and the baby, Rosamund, should leave; her husband threatened to leave Edith if she disowned the baby and its mother. Hoatson remained with them as a housekeeper and secretary and became pregnant by Bland again 13 years later. Edith again adopted Hoatson's child, John.[1]

Fabian Society

Edith and Hubert were both socialists and on 24th October 1883 they decided with their Quaker friend Edward Pease, to form debating group. They were also joined by Havelock Ellis and Frank Podmore and in January 1884 they decided to call themselves the Fabian Society. Bland chaired the first meeting and was elected treasurer. Nesbit and her husband became joint editors of the society's journal, Today. Soon afterwards other socialists in London began attending meetings. This included Eleanor Marx, Annie Besant, Olive Schreiner, Clementina Black, Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb.

In 1885 Edith Nesbit and Hubert Bland also joined the Social Democratic Federation. Other members included Tom Mann, John Burns, Eleanor Marx,William Morris, George Lansbury, Edward Aveling, H. H. Champion, John Scurr, Guy Aldred, Dora Montefiore, Frank Harris, Clara Codd, John Spargo and Ben Tillet. However, they did not stay long as they found the views of its leader, H. H. Hyndman, too revolutionary.


  1. Langley Moore, Doris (1966). E. Nesbit: a biography. Philadelphia and New York: Chilton Books. pp. 70–71, 102–03.