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Hélène Barcynska entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
Timeline
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Hélène Barcynska was a prolific popular novelist of the twentieth century, who had her greatest successes before and after the First World War and was still publishing after the second. Her autobiography, issued in 1941, lists thirty-eight novels she issued as 'Oliver Sandys' (plus six films) and twenty-one she issued as 'Countess Barcynska' (five filmed). Bibliographic Citation link. Her stories show inventiveness (as well as borrowing from life) and ingenuity. Her total output of novels may be a hundred and thirty, Bibliographic Citation link. but library catalogues do not capture all the likely attributions. She also published short stories, further memoirs (one of them an account of mystical or faith-healing experience), and a biography of her second husband.
Milestones
7 October 1886 or 1887 Marguerite Florence Laura Jervis (whose later pseudonyms included that of Countess Barcynska) was born at Henzada in Burma (then part of British India), the eldest of three surviving children. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
Summer 1911 The earliest dated 'Oliver Sandys' novel, The Woman in the Firelight, was finished a few weeks after Marguerite Jervis's wedding, using the idea of a good woman's bad life which her husband had vetoed. Bibliographic Citation link.
By May 1928 Writing as 'Oliver Sandys', HB published another novel, Vista, the Dancer, dedicated to Kitty Cunningham, "for her loyalty and devotion." Bibliographic Citation link.
10 March 1964 HB died of heart failure at Shrewsbury Hospital. Bibliographic Citation link.
By early July 1964 HB's final, posthumous novel was again issued as by 'Oliver Sandys': it is Madame Adastra, set largely in the world of hospitals and nursing. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
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