The Creator of the Wombles
The First Biography of Elisabeth Beresford
by Kate Robertson
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Pub Date 28 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 14 Mar 2023
Pen & Sword, White Owl
This is the extraordinary story of Elisabeth Beresford, creator of The Wombles, the furry, fun-loving recyclers of rubbish which became a children’s publishing and television sensation in the 1970s. What drove this imaginative and prolific writer of children’s books to invent The Wombles? From her birth in Paris in 1926 to her death in the Channel Islands in 2010, Beresford’s working life was led to the full, driven by the fear of debt. Married to the TV and radio sports commentator, Max Robertson, and with two children, Elisabeth’s life was never dull but always uncertain. In addition to writing over 140 children’s books, she wrote romantic fiction for women’s magazines, became a regular contributor to the Today programme, Woman’s Hour (BBC) and Woman’s World (Central Office of Information). As a journalist she interviewed a fascinating range of people from politicians and film stars to children in the remote Australian Outback. With the publication of The Wombles, and subsequently the enchanting BBC films, Elisabeth found fame and for a very brief moment, fortune.
This is the first biography of ‘Mrs Womble’ as Elisabeth was known by millions of fans. Written by her daughter with insider knowledge and access to private family archives - diaries, letters, photographs and family memories - this book relates the remarkable and often hilarious life of one of the 20th century’s most successful children’s authors.