Andrews, Lucilla (writer) – Library

Reference: LUCILLA ANDREWS COLLECTIONDate: c. 1954-1996Extent: c. 38 volumes
book cover
A Library copy of Lucilla Andrews’ first novel, The print petticoat.

Lucilla Andrews (1919-2006)¬†wrote more than 30¬†popular romance¬†novels as well as¬†her memoir¬†No Time for Romance¬†(1977).¬†Her¬†‚Äėhospital fiction‚Äô often¬†drew¬†on¬†her experience¬†as a Nightingale nurse in London during the Second World War.

Andrews was born on the 20th of November 1919 in Suez, Egypt to an English father, William Henry Andrews, and a Spanish mother, Lucilla Quero-Bejar. Aged three, Lucilla went to an English boarding school in Sussex and spent much of her childhood away from her parents. 

In 1937, Andrews began work as a military nurse, training at St Thomas’s hospital in London. Here she remained for much of the war, despite her nurses home once being struck by a V2 bomb in 1945. 

Andrews married Dr James Crichton in 1947, and soon discovered him to be gravely ill with an unnamed condition. The couple had their only child, Veronica, in March 1949, four months before Crichton was hospitalised. It was in this period that Andrews began pursuing writing seriously as a way of supporting herself and her daughter during her husband’s illness. 

She first sold a story in 1952, to Good Housekeeping magazine. She got a good price, 25 guineas, and was able to quit her job as a nurse and concentrate on writing. Two years later¬†in 1954¬†her first novel¬†The Print Petticoat¬†was published.¬†This¬†was¬†also¬†the year Crichton died¬†and¬†marked the beginning of Andrews‚Äô prolific output¬†of romantic novels. She¬†published¬†regularly‚ÄĒsometimes using the pseudonyms Diana Gordon and Joanna Marcus‚ÄĒuntil her¬†last¬†novel¬†The Sinister Side¬†in 1996, when Andrews was in her late seventies.¬†¬†

Andrews suffered the death of her daughter Veronica Crichton, a communications adviser for the Labour party, in April 2002.  

Despite the huge¬†popularity of her romantic novels, many of her books fell out of print.¬†However,¬†she¬†began to¬†receive attention again¬†late¬†in her life.¬†In 2006 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award¬†from the Romantic Novelists Association‚ÄĒfor which Andrews was a founding member at its inception in 1960.¬†In the same year, months before her death, an argument broke out¬†in the British literary media¬†about whether Ian McEwan¬†had plagiarised from Andrews‚Äô memoir¬†No Time for Romance¬†in¬†his¬†bestseller¬†Atonement¬†(2001)¬†– an argument Andrews only engaged with to declare her disinterest.¬†¬†

She died¬†in Edinburgh‚ÄĒher home since 1969‚ÄĒon¬†the 3rd¬†of October 2006.¬†¬†

The collection in the Library is close to a full set of Andrews’ published works. Several have personal inscriptions from the author to her daughter. 

The collection was donated to the Library in 2015 by Baroness Hayter, who received the books from Lucilla Andrews. 

Information about Lucilla Andrews’ life and work taken from the following source: 

MORE INFORMATION

The books are currently uncatalogued. Please contact specialcollections@reading.ac.uk for more information.  

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