Margery Williams


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Margery Williams Bianco (22 July 1881 in London, England – 4 September 1944 in New York City, United States) was an English-American author, primarily of popular children's books. A professional writer since the age of nineteen, she achieved lasting fame at forty-one with the 1922 publication of the classic that is her best-known work, The Velveteen Rabbit (1922). 

She received the Newbery Honor for Winterbound. Margery Winifred Williams was born in London, the second daughter of a noted barrister and a renowned classical scholar, Robert Williams, and Florence Williams née Harper. She and her sister were encouraged by her father, whom she remembered as a deeply loving and caring parent, to read and use their imaginations.

Writing about her childhood many years later, she recalled how vividly her father described characters from various books and the infinite world of knowledge and adventure that lay on the printed page. She noted that the desire to read, which soon transformed into a need to write, was a legacy from her father that would be hers for a lifetime.

When Margery was seven years old, her father died suddenly, a life-changing event that, in one way or another, would affect all of her future creative activity. The undertone of sadness and the themes of death and loss that flow through her children's books have been criticized by some reviewers. Still, Williams always maintained that hearts acquire greater humanity through pain and adversity.

She wrote that life is a process of constant change—there are departures for some and arrivals for others—and the process allows us to grow and persevere. In 1890 Margery moved with her family to the United States. A year later, they moved to a rural Pennsylvania farming community. Over the succeeding years, until 1898, Margery was a student at the Convent School in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania. 

Her ambition to make a living as an author propelled her in 1901, at the age of nineteen, to return to her birthplace and submit to a London publisher her first novel, The Late Returning, which was published in 1902 and aimed at an adult audience. It did not sell well, nor did her subsequent novels, The Price of Youth and The Bar.

While visiting her publisher, Margery Williams met Francesco Bianco, an Italian living in London, who was employed as the manager of one of the book departments. They were married in 1904 and became the parents of a son, Cecco, and a daughter, Pamela. Pamela was a renowned child artist who had a showing in Turin at the age of eleven. 

Her fame brought the Bianco family to New York, and (with the exception of Cecco) they lived in the Greenwich Village area until the end of their lives. Pamela illustrated some of her mother's books, including The Skin Horse and The Little Wooden Doll. Margery considered motherhood a full-time job when her children were young, and her writing efforts were curtailed.

Best author’s book


The Velveteen Rabbit

Amanda Palmer