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Bainbridge, Beryl. (b. 1932).

W o r k

- writes black comedies with eccentric characters exposing human folly and self-deception

- uses merciless, sardonic, even macabre humour x but: sympathetic to her characters, both male and female

- early period: preoccupied with domestic warfare between the sexes

- later period: draws on real lives and historical events, fictionalizes Great British disasters (Scott's expedition, the Crimean War, the Titanic)

The Bottle Factory Outing (1974):

- a discomforting black comedy concerned with the restrained world of working-class characters

- focuses on a household shared by two women, their mutual relationship, and their relationships with men

The Birthday Boys (1991):

- concerned with Captain Scott's doomed Antarctic expedition

- examines the fallible sides of Scott and his companions: their fears and weaknesses, their camaraderie, and their heroic foolishness

Every Man For Himself (1996):

- set on board the Titanic during its maiden voyage

- narrated by a young man called Morgan, supposedly the nephew of financier J. P. Morgan, and one of the designers of the ship

Master Georgie (1998):

- a historical novel set in the Crimean War

According to Queeney (2001):

- a fictional account of the last days of Samuel Johnson narrated by  Queeney Thrale > focuses on Johnson's misplaced passion for Queeney's mother, Mrs Hester Thrale

- largely takes the form of letters, each section is headed by a definition of a word from Johnson's Dictionary


(Photo: Elinor Bentall).

  • Author

    Dame Beryl Margaret Bainbridge. (b. 1932). British.
  • Work

    Novelist. Short story writer. Author of The Bottle Factory Outing (1974).
  • Genres

    Modern fiction. Black comedy. Grotesque.


"Beryl Bainbridge". Contemporary Writers. The British Council.

"Beryl Bainbridge". Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation.


"Tragedy, though hard to contend with, was an affirmation of life."

From According to Queeney (2001)


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