Edith Nesbit, known as Daisy to her family (but nicknamed Ernest by H. G. Wells), was born in London in 1858, the youngest of six children.
She was an extremely prolific writer, and supported her family of four children (plus the two adopted children fathered by her husband) with her novels, short stories, and magazine work.
Her books for children include: The Railway Children, The Treasure Seekers, Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Wouldbegoods, The Story of the Amulet, The Magic City, Wet Magic and The Last of the Dragons.
Though she was seen to be extremely modern in her behaviour, dress and habits, and was highly involved with The Fabian Society (her husband was one of the founder members) her fiction is curiously bound to the strict social orders of late Victorian England. Even when her fictional families are "poor", they still have a full set of servants. The stories revolve almost exclusively around the middle class children that she makes her heroes, and the servants, shop keepers and farmers are there for support, and comedic effect. Much of her work has that golden dreaminess of a perfect childhood, that was so central to the work of Kenneth Grahame.