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.