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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Book - Halcyone
Identifier: 2004.6.10
Donor: Barbara Larson
Item Date: 1912
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A red linen hard covered book entitled "Halcyone" by Elinor Glyn. The front cover has a thin white line embossed along all the edges. The title is printed in white in capital letters at the top of the cover. The author's name is at the bottom. The centre of the cover has a cameo of a woman's profile embossed into the linen. This is surrounded by an embossed oval adorned with flowers and leaves to the left and right of the oval. The spine has the title in white capital letters at the top, as well as the title again in a smaller set of 'wings' embossed into the linen. The author and publisher are also located on the spine. The inside front cover has a small blue diamond shaped sticker of the bookshop where the book was purchased. It reads, 'THE MALLAGH BOOKSHOP, LONDON, CANADA'. The first page has a note in pencil, reading, 'To the Babe, with love &, best wishes, from D.' History: The book was given to Barbara from her sister Dora. Elinor Glyn (1864-1943) was the daughter of Douglas and Elinor Sutherland and a first cousin to Mary Magrath Harris of Benares. Elinor and her sister Lucy (later famous as the couturier Lucile and a survivor of the TITANIC) spent their early years growing up in Guelph. Their father had died in Italy of Typhus soon after Elinor’s birth. Their mother remarried in 1872 and the family moved to the island of Jersey. Elinor married Clayton Glyn in 1892 and they had two daughters, Margot (1893) and Juliet (1898). Elinor was a noted novelist who gained critical acclaim for her first novel 'The Visits of Elizabeth', which were based on her early social experiences. Elinor gained notoriety after writing 'Three Weeks' a novel in which a younger man becomes the lover of an older woman, with a passionate love scene on a tiger skin rug!! Elinor is credited with having invented the genre of romance novels that we know today. Elinor continued to write many novels, and also reported about World War I; she was one of only two women present at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Elinor restyled herself as Madame Glyn when she took a position for Famous Players-Lasky (later Paramount Pictures) writing screenplays for the infant motion picture industry in Hollywood. Elinor wrote many screenplays and helped to influence the style of both sets and actors. Her greatest success came with the movie “It” which launched the career of Clara Bow. The 1927 movie even had a cameo appearance by Elinor herself. Elinor counted Gloria Swanson, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks among her Hollywood friends. Elinor was a very glamorous, extravagant and interesting woman and has been the subject of many articles and books including Marion Fowlers, 'The Way She Looks Tonight'. Elinor wrote her own autobiography 'Romantic Adventure' in 1936. She died in 1943 at the age of 79.
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   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)