elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Marjorie Lewty (April 8, 1906 - January 21, 2002)

Marjorie Lewty, née Lobb (b. 8 April 1906 in Wallasey, Cheshire, England, UK – d. 21 January 2002) was a British writer of short stories and over 45 romance novels from 1958 to 1999 to Mills & Boon.

Marjorie Lobb was born on 8 April 1906 in Wallasey, Cheshire, England, UK, daughter of James, a sailor in the Merchant Navy, and Mabel, was the manager of the Queen's Cinema in Liverpool. She studied at Queen Mary High School in Liverpool, but her plans to study sciences at university were thwarted, when her father died. She was forced to take a hated job at secretary of the District Bank Ltd. from 1923 to 1933, when she married with Richard Arthur Lewty, a dental surgeon of Liverpool. They had one son Simon, and one daughter, Deborah (Bornoff). After her marriage she began to write short stories which were published in magazines. In 1958, she sold her first romance novel to Mills & Boon, and her last novel in 1999. Her husband died in 1978, and she died on 21 January 2002.

Apart from proper names, situations and facts in Mills & Boon romances were checked carefully. In 1958 Joan Bryant from Mills & Boon questioned Marjorie Lewty about her debut novel, Never Call It Loving.
"Are you sure that tea is grown in Nyasaland?" Bryant asked. "I've no doubt it is climatically possible, but I'm not conscious of having ever drunk African tea or seen it advertised... I know it seems utterly trivial, but it is just the sort of thing that, if it is wrong, readers tend to pick on."
Yes indeed, Lewty replied, her husband's nephew managed a tea estate there:
"I certainly don't think the point trivial. Ever since I began writing for magazines I've tried to check every little point. I've always understood that readers will go to no end of trouble to draw attention to anything incorrect."
At the end of the '40 and beginning of the '50 the use of agents for romance authors diminished, in a deliberate effort by Mills & Boon to control its authors and their costs. Marjorie Lewty, who joined Mills & Boon in 1958, remembered receiving a call from Alan Boon when her agent, Peter Lewin, stopped representing her.
"Alan said, "For goodness sake, don't get another agent. We will handle your stuff." And they did very successfully, much better than an agent, who of course you pay 10 per cent for doing really nothing. Mills & Boon do the agency for you, really, and get the best prices you can get from foreign translations."

Marjorie Lewty's Books on Amazon: Marjorie Lewty

Source: Passion's Fortune: The Story of Mills & Boon & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjorie_Lewty

Tags: romance history

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