1864 – 1943
Who was Elinor Glyn?
Elinor Glyn, née Sutherland, was a British novelist and scriptwriter who specialised in romantic fiction which was considered scandalous for its time. She popularized the concept of It. Although her works are relatively tame by modern standards, she had tremendous influence on early 20th century popular culture and perhaps on the careers of notable Hollywood stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson and Clara Bow in particular.
Born Elinor Sutherland on 17 October 1864 in Saint Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, the younger daughter of Douglas Sutherland, who was a civil engineer of Scottish descent and related to the Lords Duffus, through his wife Elinor Saunders, of an Anglo-French family, which had settled in Canada. Following the death of her father when she was just two months old, her mother returned to the parental home in Guelph, Ontario with her two daughters Lucy Christiana and baby Elinor. Here Elinor was schooled by her grandmother, Lucy Anne Saunders née Willcocks, in the ways of upper-class society. This training not only gave her an entrée into aristocratic circles on her return to Europe, but it led her to be considered an authority on style and breeding when she worked in Hollywood in the 1920s.