Elinor Glyn entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Elinor Glyn, a highly prolific and popular twentieth-century romance novelist, also wrote comedies of manners, and screenplays (mostly for silent films). The sexual candour of her novels shocked her Edwardian public: she became particularly known for her term 'It'—meaning personal sexual magnetism—and for her novella and silent film of that title. Over the course of her career, she wrote more than forty novels, adapted eight of them for film (all but two silent), as well as three volumes of short stories, three successive volumes on her thoughts and theories about love, and one on her writing process. During World War One, she wrote French propaganda for US journals, and throughout her career she wrote articles on love, fashion, beauty, and etiquette for magazines such as Cosmopolitan. She kept a journal throughout her life, but never published it. Her novels depict female sensuality and, often, illicit love affairs between older, dominant women and younger, impressionable men. Most of her central figures either come from the upper class, or climb the social ladder by marriage or good luck. Elinor Glyn's writing is drenched in her romantic notion of love, which she saw as overwhelming, uncontrollable, passionate, sensual, selfless, idealistic, and chivalrous. In her fiction lovers often triumph over impossible situations before consummating their love. Her represention of female sensuality is compatible with advising women: "Be elusive—always." Bibliographic Citation link.
17 October 1864 Elinor Sutherland (later EG) was born in Jersey (one of the Channel Islands), three months before her father died of typhoid in Italy. Bibliographic Citation link.
June 1907 EG's own longing for passion and romance and frustration with her marriage inspired her to write her hugely successful romance novel Three Weeks—which she wrote from start to finish in six weeks. Bibliographic Citation link.
23 September 1943 EG died at 39 Royal Avenue, Chelsea, after a week in hospital, from an undetermined illness. Bibliographic Citation link.
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