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Romantic novelist Ida Pollock dies aged 105

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 14, 2013

ROMANTIC NOVELIST:   Ida Pollock, who has died at the age of 105.

ROMANTIC NOVELIST: Ida Pollock, who has died at the age of 105.

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A CORNWALL author who was recognised as the world's oldest romantic novelist has died aged 105.

Ida Pollock, a mother of one, of Lanreath, near Looe, died last week in a nursing home where she spent her last few weeks being treated for ill health.

She wrote 70 books for Mills and Boon under different pen names and sold millions of books during her writing career.

Her daughter, Rosemary, is an unmarried editor and writer who looked after her mother until six weeks before she died, when she went into a nursing home.

Rosemary, 70, also of Lanreath, said: "Everyone loved her right up to the end – she was extraordinary. She was a very good wife and mother.

"She wanted to write and live in that world that she had created. She had the life that she wanted, an extraordinary life."

Mrs Pollock settled in Lanreath and remained there for 27 years after living in six different countries around the world.

Her daughter said she recited poetry just weeks before she got ill.

The writer was born in Lewisham, South London, where she finished her first book at the age of 14.

The male heroes in her novels were modelled on her late husband, Colonel Hugh Pollock, who died aged 82 in 1971.

The war veteran and publisher was previously married to Enid Blyton and was editor to Winston Churchill.

Miss Pollock said that her mother fell in love with her father after visiting the publishing house that he worked in to showcase her work. The publishers lost her mother's book at first but it was her father who published two of her books in the end.

She decided to become a full-time author in the Thirties, under the guise of Joan Allen.

Her stories were based on young heroines and she wrote under a number of pen names including Susan Barrie, Pamela Kent, Rose Burghley and Mary Whistler.

She also released a handful of books under her own name, publishing her last few under the alter-ego Marguerite Bell.

She wrote short stories and more than 100 romance novels.

Her final two novels will be published in the new year, bringing the total to 125 novels. Her last published fiction story A Distant Drum was in 2005. It tells how Fanny Templeton falls for the Marquis of Ordley after clashing at the Battle of Waterloo.

As well as writing novels and short stories, Mrs Pollock painted and had work displayed at national exhibitions.

Mrs Pollock's funeral will be conducted by the Reverend Marilyn Elliott in the coming days at St Marnarch's Parish Church, Lanreath.

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