Brendan King

Brendan King .

Chaired by Robin Baird Smith

Beryl Bainbridge: The Life of a Great Novelist

Sunday 16 October 2016

1 Hour


Blenheim Palace, The Gallery



Ticket price

Biographer Brendan King and Dame Beryl Bainbridge’s daughter, actress Rudi Davies, talk about King’s new book on the life of one of England’s most popular novelists.

King uncovers the complex and sometimes traumatic private life that lay beneath the quirky and eccentric exterior Bainbridge portrayed to the world. He draws on a mass of previously unpublished material to explore her difficult childhood in Formby, her career as a young actress at Liverpool Playhouse, life as a single mother and writer, her failed marriage to painter Austin Davies, her affairs, and her longstanding relationship with her publisher Colin Haycraft.

King is an author, editor and translator. He worked for Beryl Bainbridge between 1987 and 2010 and helped prepare her final novel, The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress, for publication after her death.

Davies is the daughter of Bainbridge and novelist and screenwriter Alan Sharp. She appeared in the popular BBC school drama Grange Hill. She has appeared in a number of films including Resurrected, The Object of Beauty and Frankie Starlight and the television series A Sense of Guilt with Trevor Eve. She also played Stella – the young alter ego of Beryl – in the stage adaptation of An Awfully Big Adventure at the Liverpool Playhouse.

Discussions are chaired by King’s publisher Robin Baird Smith, of the Bloomsbury Continuum imprint. Baird Smith was also Bainbridge’s publisher when he worked at Duckworth.