Last week we welcomed author Brendan King into school to reveal the real woman behind the popular novelist and MTGS Old Girl, Beryl Bainbridge and discuss his recent biography of her.
Beryl was at MTGS from 1942-47. Brendan talked about her time at school and said she struggled academically, he recounted some of her diary entries at the time – 6th Feb entry “Damn it, these teachers”. She was quite a rebel and was known as Basher Bainbridge. In her later years she came back to visit MTGS and admitted that she wasn’t our ideal student. Brendan said that Beryl’s time at MTGS wasn’t all negative and credited some of her writing success down to her former inspirational English teacher Miss Peck. Dame Beryl Bainbridge went on to become one of the most popular and recognisable English novelists of her generation.
Brendan worked for Beryl in the late 80s originally as her proof reader. He said they complemented each other well as Beryl was spontaneous & instinctive and he was logical & disciplined. He worked with her up until 2010 and helped to prepare her final novel The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress for publication after her death.
The talk was well attended by former staff, Old Boys and Old Girls, some who had known Beryl at School. A group of our own sixth form girls also attended.
In his biography Brendan displays a frank portrait of Beryl Bainbridge, revealing the real woman behind her popular image as a quirky eccentric. The biography Love by All Sorts of Means is now available.