Thought of the Day 10.17.12 Elinor Glyn


“All the legislation in the world will not abolish kissing”
Elinor Glyn

Portrait of Elinor Glyn, 1927

Portrait of Elinor Glyn, 1927 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elinor Southerland was born on this day in Jersey, Channel Islands, England in 1864. Today is the 148th anniversary of her birth.

Elinor’s father died when she was a toddler and the family moved for a while to Canada. They returned to Jersey when she was eight and her mother remarried.  Elinor…

was a voracious reader interested in French history and mythology, though she had no formal education … She would later be drawn to mysticism and romance. [The Literature Network]

She liked to write and she kept a diary.

At 28 she married Clayton Glyn. The couple had two daughters, Margot and Juliet. The marriage was not a happy one.  and, although Elinor and Clayton officially remained together both had affairs.

Elinor had affairs with a succession of British aristocrats and some of her books are supposedly based on her various affairs… [Good Reads]

English: Elinor Glyn portrait

English: Elinor Glyn portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She contributed articles to Scottish Life and Cosmopolitan but her real break through in the literary world came with the serialization of her first book The Visits of Elizabeth in 1900. The book, was written as a series of letters by an innocent young woman. Elizabeth.

The naive and charming narrator gets herself into social scrapes due to her innocence, … they are actually funny over a hundred years later because you know what Elizabeth doesn’t know–and perhaps that was the appeal for the more knowing Edwardian readers. Glyn’s book is a bit of a satire, but a romantic one, and Elizabeth gets her happily-ever-after, but not before making every handsome gentleman fall deeply in love with her.  [Amazon.com review]

Elinor was prolific in turning out her novels (she had to be, finances at home had taken a turn for the worse and the once wealthy Clayton Glyn was in debt by 1908. He died in 1915.)  Her reputation as a writer of romance grew with the publications  of The Seventh Commandment (1902), The Reflections of Ambrosine (1903), The Damsel and the Sage (1903), The Vicissitudes of Evangeline (1905) and Beyond the Rocks (1906).

Movie poster for Three Weeks

Her risqué Three Weeks, about an exotic Balkan queen who seduces a young British aristocrat, was allegedly inspired by her affair with Lord Alistair Innes Ker. On the one hand it scandalized Edwardian aristocrats and jeopardized Glyn’s status. [The Literature Network]

Deemed immoral and banned at elite schools like Eton and panned by some critics who considered it disjointed and dull, the book non the less sold out within weeks of its publication and  it  “ensured her meteoric rise to fame.” [ibid]. It also brought about the anonymous  ditty:

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

Her private life seemed to either echo or prelude the romantic interludes of the heroines in her novels as she continued to crank out “romances” until the start of World War One. During the Great War she worked in France as a war correspondent and Glyn was one of two women to witness the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

Elinor Glyn looks up at Rudolph Valentino, fro...

Elinor Glyn looks up at Rudolph Valentino, from the frontispiece of Beyond The Rocks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She made the move to Hollywood in 1920 where she worked as a scriptwriter  for MGM and Paramount. The Great Moment was filmed in 1920.  In 1922 Beyond the Rocks was made into a major motion picture with red-hot Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson. Three Weeks was given the big screen treatment not once, but twice, first in 1914 and then in 1924. And Glyn wrote the screenplay and was closely involved in the production of the 1926 Love’s Blindness.

In 1927 she wrote a novella that gave us the expression “the IT girl.”  She coined the phrase and quickly  crowned Clara Bow, who was staring in Red Hair (a movie based on Glyn’s The Vicissitudes of Evangeline), as the first IT girl. Here autobiography Romantic Adventure was published in 1936. She continued writing until 1940 when she published her last — and 42nd — book, The Third Eye.

English novelist and scriptwriter Elinor Glyn ...

English novelist and scriptwriter Elinor Glyn (1864-1943) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elinor Glyn died in September of 1943 in Chelsea, London.

————————————————————————–

Bookshelf:

Interested in reading some of Elinor Glyn’s books? You can find them through the links below.

Red Hair (Classic Reprint)<img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=rico095-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B0094JHIEE&#8221; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Man and maid<img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=rico095-20&l=am2&o=1&a=117680328X&#8221; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Three Weeks<img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=rico095-20&l=am2&o=1&a=0715603612&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

The Visits Of Elizabeth<img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=rico095-20&l=am2&o=1&a=1162711698&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

The man and the moment<img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=rico095-20&l=am2&o=1&a=1178145077&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

The man and the moment<img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=rico095-20&l=am2&o=1&a=1178145077&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

The Point of View<img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=rico095-20&l=am2&o=1&a=1444425269&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

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About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

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