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Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna in 1925 and moved to England with her father when the Nazis came into power. Ibbotson wrote more than twenty award-winning books for children and young adults, notably Journey to the River Sea, The Dragonfly Pool and The Star of Kazan, depicting exquisitely drawn and incredibly funny characters. To celebrate the reissuing of three of her adult novels – among them The Morning Gift and The Secret Countess – featuring Jewish heroines, and ahead of a forthcoming biography, her friends and colleagues Nicola Beauman, Amanda Craig and Marian Lloyd discuss her writing and her legacy.
Nicola Beauman is a journalist, fiction reviewer and biographer. Her books number A Very Great Profession: The Woman’s Novel 1914 – 39; Cynthia Asquith; Morgan: a biography of EM Forster; and The Other Elizabeth Taylor. Nicola Beauman founded Persephone Books in 1998 to reprint (mostly) women writers, (mostly) of the inter-war period portrayed in A Very Great Profession, and now has one hundred and twenty-five titles in print.
Marion Lloyd is publisher of Scholastic’s children’s fiction imprint, Marion Lloyd Books. She started her career in 1972 as the editor of Armada Books, then moving to be Editorial Director of children’s books at Pan. This was followed by a stint at Red House Book Club, then Editorial Director for Fiction at Pan Macmillan before moving to Scholastic to set up her eponymous list. Marion’s books have won the Smarties Prize, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Newbery Medal and the Costa Books Award.
Amanda Craig is a British novelist, short-story writer and critic. She reviews children’s books for The New Statesman and also writes for the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Observer. Her most recent novel, The Lie of the Land, has been optioned for a TV series by Baby Cow Productions. Amanda’s eighth novel, The Golden Rule, will be published by Little Brown in 2020.