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Eleanor Graham‘s family came from rural Scotland but moved to Essex in 1900, when she was four. Her father, the editor ofCountry Life, was often away from home and her mother, whose own mother had instilled in her a deep dislike of housework, spent her days buried in a book; as a result Eleanor, the youngest child, was quite isolated. North London Collegiate School was followed by a spell as a medical student; then, after four years managing the children’s department of Bumpus’s bookshop, she became a children’s books editor for Heinemann and later Methuen. Having worked at the Board of Trade at the beginning of the war, in 1941 she was appointed founding editor of Puffin Books, a post of huge influence and importance which she held for twenty years. She wrote four novels for children, includingThe Children Who Lived in a Barnin 1938 (reissued as a Puffin in 1955), and a dozen or so non-fiction ‘re-tellings’ and anthologies. She died in 1984.
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