The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

August 10, 2017

August 10, 1924

Nancy J. Buckingham Sawyer (August 10, 1924) is a British writer. She married in 1949 John Sawyer (1919 - 1992). Her husband pursued a career in advertising while she was a social worker. Starting in 1967 they wrote and published romantic and detective fiction jointly.

One of many examples is The Jade Dragon, (1974) which is blurbed this way:

When orphaned Elinor Rosslyn is confronted by handsome Stafford Darville with news that her Portuguese grandfather has died, Elinor is amazed, unaware she had relatives. She travels to Portugal to meet her grandmother, Contessa da Milaveira, and heal the family rift. At the Palacio, though by law she has a right to live there, she finds her life in danger. Who is her enemy?

The plot is intricate with feline pictures: In an interview the old contessa, directs Elinor to sit over there

"where I can see you.” The old lady herself chose a highbacked velvet chair with carved arms. As she sat down, a magnificent white cat sprang at once into her lap and another cat, with tortoiseshell markings, leapt up behind her shoulder. ...
Normally, I was fond of cats—the cook at Harley Street owned a ginger tom (her old moggy, as she called him fondly) that would often come up the basement stairs to greet me with a friendly rasping purr. But these cats were different.

Of course this is gothic romance. We see the sloppy conception in details like a cat greeting someone with a purr. Cats do not run to greet someone, nor do they offer purring as a form of salutation. Such nit-picking as mine misses the point. This was a successful product. They produced about 45 books.

Let's take a closer look at Buckingham. We have this biographical sketch:

Nancy J. Buckingham,....and John Sawyer, ... had a son, David, and a daughter, Helen. They formed one of the most popular writing-team marriage[s]. Their first books were published under her maiden name Nancy Buckingham [and were]... classical gothic novels. .... In 1980, they sold her first novels to Silhouette, and they mixed their names to create the penname Nancy John. .... The last novels that they published are a popular police series as Erica Quest, protagonized [stet] by the Detective Chief Inspector Kate Maddox. Their last novel was released in 1992, and John Sawyer passed away in 1994.

Nancy J. Buckingham Sawyer was the eighth elected Chairman (1973-1975) of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and ... was one of its Vice-Presidents.

Here is a list of the pseudonyms they wrote under:

Nancy Buckingham,
Christina Abbey,
Erica Quest,
Nancy John,
Hilary London

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