Beryl Bainbridge was a fascinating gal, but didn’t like being called “eccentric“:
Beryl came to dislike the image she had acquired of eccentricity and wildness around alcohol and men. “Nobody can write books, bring up children and earn money if they are eccentric,” she said firmly.
She was a critic and journalist (among many other things) until 1974, when her novel Harriet Says was published. In later years she was known for turning out a steady book a year, many of them historical novels.
She may not have been an eccentric, but she did have her touches:
For the year following her 71st birthday in November 2005, her grandson Charlie Russell made a biographical documentary, Beryl’s Last Year (broadcast June 2007 on BBC4) because she was convinced that, like both her parents and nine other relatives, she would die aged 71. She was wrong, and lived to 75, surrounded by grandchildren, but succumbing to a recurrence of cancer.
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