Eleanor Farjeon

Eleanor Farjeon books and biography


Eleanor Farjeon

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Eleanor Farjeon (February 13, 1881 – June 5, 1965) was an English author of stories and poems.

Her father, Benjamin Farjeon, a writer of popular novels, encouraged her writing from the age of five; at eighteen she wrote the libretto for an operetta, Floretta, to music by her older brother Harry, who later became a respected composer and teacher of music.

Often written under a pseudonym, her poems appeared in The Herald (Tomfool), Punch, Time and Tide (Chimera), The New Leader (Merry Andrew) and a number of other periodicals. It could be argued that her topical work for The Herald and New Leader was the most accomplished of any socialist poet of the 1920s and 30s.

She had a wide range of friends with great literary talent including D. H. Lawrence, Walter de la Mare and Robert Frost. For several years she had a close friendship with the poet Edward Thomas and his wife. After his death in April 1917 during the Battle of Arras, she remained close to his wife, Helen. She later published much of their correspondence, and gave a definitive account of their relationship in Edward Thomas: The Last Four Years (1958).

One of her most notable works, Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard, was written as a gift for Victor Haslam, a soldier she was close to after Edward's death.

For the next two decades she earned a living as a poet, journalist and broadcaster. She also collaborated with her youngest brother, Herbert, Shakespearian scholar and dramatic critic.

Their productions include; Kings and Queens (1932), The Two Bouquets (1938), An Elephant in Arcady (1939); The Glass Slipper (1944).

During the 1950s she was awarded three major literary prizes: The Carnegie Medal of the Library Association, The Hans Anderson Award and the Regina Medal of the American Catholic Library Association.

Eleanor never married, but had a thirty-year friendship with George Earle, an English teacher. After his death in 1949, she had a long friendship with the actor Denys Blakelock, who wrote of it in the book Portrait of a Farjeon (1966).

The Children's Book Circle, a society of publishers, present the Eleanor Farjeon Award annually in her memory.

Her work is cited as an influence by famous Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. Sadly, these days, her widest known work is probably the hymn Morning Has Broken, written in 1931 for an old Gaelic tune, and popularized by the 1971 Cat Stevens recording.

Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard is available through the Project Gutenberg link below.


Partial bibliography

  • Pan-Worship and Other Poems (1908)
  • The Soul of Kol Nikon (1914)
  • Arthur Rackham: The Wizard at Home (1914) (non-fiction)
  • Gypsy and Ginger (1920)
  • Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard (1921)
  • Faithful Jenny Dove and Other Tales (1925)
  • Mighty Men: Achilles to Julius Caesar, Beowulf to Harold (1925)
  • Nuts and May (1925)
  • Faithful Jenny Dove and Other Tales (1925)
  • Italian Peepshow (1926)
  • Kaleidoscope (1928)
  • The Tale of Tom Tiddler (1929)
  • Tales from Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales Done in Prose (1930)
  • The Old Nurse's Stocking Basket (1931)
  • The Fair of St. James: A Fantasia (1932)
  • Perkin the Pedlar (1932)
  • Jim at the Corner and Other Stories (1934)
  • A Nursery in the Nineties (1935) (autobiography)
  • Humming Bird: A Novel (1936)
  • Ten Saints (1936)
  • Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field (1937)
  • The Wonders of Herodotus (1937)
  • One Foot in Fairyland: Sixteen Tales (1938)
  • Kings and Queens (1940) (poetry, written with her brother Herbert Farjeon)
  • The New Book of Days (1941)
  • The Glass Slipper (1944) (play)
  • Ariadne and the Bull (1945)
  • The Silver Curlew (1949) (play)
  • The Little Bookroom (1955)
  • The Glass Slipper (1955) (novelization)
  • Edward Thomas: The Last Four Years (1958) (non-fiction)

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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Martin Pippin In The Apple Orchard

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