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FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO LOVED CATS
ELINOR GLYN (1864-1943)
Novelist, Journalist, Scriptwriter, Film Director

By: Carol C. Schwartz

Located between Southern Great Britain and Northern France in the English Channel are the Channel Islands, one of which is Jersey, the place where Elinor Sutherland Glyn was born. When Elinor was three months of age her father died, and Elinor's mother returned to the parental home located in Ontario, Canada. It was here Elinor and her sister, Lucy, were schooled by their aristocratic French grandmother, a member of the the royal circles and was a strong influence. Later, her mother remarried and they returned to the island of Jersey.

Elinor did marry landowner Clayton Glyn, but he became a drunk, bankrupt and died leaving her penniless. It was mandatory she earn a living by writing.

Elinor became a British novelist and script writer cornering the market on erotic fiction. Her sexy romantic novels were filled with action. The novels: His Hour, Halcyon, The Man and His Master, and The Career of Catherine Brown were all the rage and mirrored her private fantasies with their aristocratic heroines and dashing heroes. It, Three Weeks, and Beyond the Rocks also very racy, celebrated her as the author of best sellers in the early part of the 20th century.

Because of the popularity and international fame of her books, Glyn was called to Hollywood. One of her best known works was It which was filmed by Hollywood with Clara Bow as the star. For this reason, Clara Bow became world famous as the "It" girl. Elinor also became a scriptwriter for the silent movie business and had a short career as the earliest female director.

Elinor Glyn loved cats! She had many during her lifetime. Her favorite were her two large Persian cats, marmalade and the other ginger in color. The color marmalade is an old-fashioned description of a red tabby probably a bit more fiery in color than the ginger colored cat.

 

Elinor was a member of the Literary Club and attended the luncheon at the magnificent Dorchester Hotel in London in the early 30s. It was here she draped her lovely, large marmalade Persian cat around her neck while giving her speech at the luncheon. Many reported that all was fine and the cat conducted himself well throughout the speech. Elinor summed up all of her novels by stating: "I write about rich environments and lovely women and handsome men--it isn't a bit clever, but people do seem to like it." Oftimes Elinor was seen at the literary luncheons with one of her Persians as an accessory.

Would you like to sin
With Elinor Glyn
On a tiger skin?
Or would you prefer
To err
With her
On some other fur?

-Anonymous, after 1907

 

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