|Dame Beryl Bainbridge|
|Born||21 November 1932
Bainbridge was born in Liverpool and raised in nearby Formby. Even as a small child she enjoyed writing, and by age 10 she frequently updated her diary. She had elocution lessons and by 11 she was appearing on the radio alongside Billie Whitelaw and Judith Chalmers. She was expelled from Merchant Taylors' Girls' School, Crosby at age 14 when she was caught with a vulgar note, written by someone else, in her pocket. That summer she fell in love with a former German POW who was waiting to be repatriated. For the next six years, the couple corresponded and tried to get permission for the German man to return to Britain so they could be married. The relationship ended in 1953.
The following year she married artist Austin Davies. The two divorced soon after, leaving Bainbridge a single mother of two children. She later had a third child by Alan Sharp, a daughter who is the actress Rudi Davies. In 1958 she attempted suicide by putting her head in an oven.
She spent her early years working as an actress and appeared in a 1961 episode of the soap opera Coronation Street playing an anti-nuclear protester.
To help fill her time, Bainbridge began to write, primarily based on incidents from her childhood. Her early novels were well-received by critics but failed to earn much money. Her first novel, Harriet Said... was written at this time. It was to be her third published novel, having been rejected by several publishers, one of whom found the central characters "repulsive almost beyond belief". It was published after A Weekend with Claude (1967) and Another Part of the Wood (1968).
In the 1990s Bainbridge turned to historical fiction. These novels continued to be popular with critics but were also commercially successful. Among her historical fiction novels is Master Georgie set in the Crimean War, for which she won the 1998 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.
Her most recent novel, According to Queeney is a fictionalized account of the last years of the life of Samuel Johnson as seen through the eyes of Queeney Thrale, eldest daughter of Henry Thrale and Hester Thrale, and received wide acclaim.
Since the 1990s, Bainbridge has also served as a theatre critic for the monthly magazine The Oldie. Her reviews rarely contain negative content, and are usually published after the play has closed.
Throughout the year 2007, Charlie Russell produced a documentary, "Beryl's Last Year", about the life his grandmother, Beryl Bainbridge. Beryl believed she was destined to die aged 71, like her father, mother and nine other relatives. The documentary detailed her upbringing and attempts write a final novel Dear Brutus, which she decided to leave unfinished. It was aired in the United Kingdom on BBC Four.
In 2009, she donated the short story Goodnight Children, Everywhere to Oxfam's 'Ox-Tales' project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Her story was published in the 'Air' collection.