Queer Places:
Jubilee Pl, Chelsea, London SW3 3TD, UK

Grizel Rosemary Graham Niven (28 November 1906 – 28 January 2007) was an English sculptor. She created the bronze sculpture, the Bessie, which has been given to the winner of the annual Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction since its inception in 1996.

Grizel Niven was born in Belgravia, London, in 1906, the daughter of William Edward Graham Niven and Henriette Julia Degacher. Her younger brother was the actor and writer David Niven.

Niven, in collaboration with Paul Clinton, was awarded a prize for one the six best designs in an international competition for the memorial sculpture at the Dachau Concentration Camp, a prize eventually won by Nandor Glid (the son of parents murdered in Auschwitz) in 1967.[1][2]

Niven heard Kate Mosse talking on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour about setting up a Women’s Prize for Fiction, and telephoned to offer a cast of a sculpture of hers as a prize.[3][4] The 3ft-high original stood in her garden in Jubilee Place, Chelsea, London.[5][6] The bronze Bessie figurine itself is 7.5 inches high.[7]

She died on 28 January 2007, aged 100.[9][10]


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/queerplaces/images/Grizel_Niven