Dame Beryl Bainbridge’s Secret Life As a Painter Unveiled

Beryl Bainbridge

When Dame Beryl Bainbridge passed away last July, the literary world lost one of its treasured souls. The British novelist spent nearly four decades churning out 18 books such as The Dressmaker, Injury Time and An Awfully Big Adventure. Bainbridge, a Liverpool native, was also nominated five times for the distinguished Man Booker Prize and a two-time recipient of the Whitbread Awards trophy.

But throughout her years of writing, Bainbridge privately unleashed her creativity through another outlet: painting. BBC Newsnight recently highlighted a never-before-seen collection, which includes some of her book characters as well as family and friends depicted on canvas. Some members of Bainbridge’s family are hoping to eventually exhibit her work.

“She was a real original but she’s sometimes mistaken for an eccentric,” said BBC broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, one of Bainbridge’s longtime friends. British art critic Matthew Collings, who wasn’t aware of the author’s talents with the paintbrush, called her work “sincere”.

To watch the feature in full, please visit BBC Newsnight.