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Book - “The Damsel and the Sage”
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Title: Book - “The Damsel and the Sage”
Identifier: 2004.6.14
Donor: Barbara Sayers Larson
Item Date: 1903
Creation Date: 2012
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A hard covered book. The cover has a beige background with a green linen stripe running down the left side. The title is printed in green capital letters on the top upper half of the cover. The author's name "Elinor Glyn" is printed in green capital letters on the lower half of the cover. There is a gold flower and leaf pattern, with a decorative line, embossed onto the beige background, surrounding the title and author information. The edges of the pages are gilt at the top only. The spine is covered in green linen, with the title and author information in gold capital letters at the top and the publisher at the bottom. The first page reads, "Dear Mary, with love and best wishes, Percy Sutherland, Dec. 25th 1903."

This book originally belonged to Dora Sayers Caro, Barbara Sayers Larson's sister.

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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