17 October 1864
Jersey, Channel Islands, U.K.
|Died||23 September 1943 78) (aged|
Chelsea, London, U.K.
|Pen name||Elinor Glyn|
|Occupation||Novelist and scriptwriter|
|Notable works||Beyond the Rocks , Three Weeks , The Visits of Elizabeth|
Clayton Louis Glyn
(m. 1892;died 1915)
|Children||2, including Juliet|
|Relatives|| Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon (sister)|
Sir Edward Rae Davson, 1st Baronet (son-in-law)
Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams, 1st Baronet (son-in-law)
Sir Brandon Rhys-Williams, 2nd Baronet (grandson)
Elinor Glyn ( née Sutherland; 17 October 1864 – 23 September 1943) was a British novelist and scriptwriter who specialised in romantic fiction, which was considered scandalous for its time, although her works are relatively tame by modern standards. She popularized the concept of the it-girl , and had tremendous influence on early 20th-century popular culture and, possibly, on the careers of notable Hollywood stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson and, especially, Clara Bow.
Elinor Sutherland was born on 17 October 1864 in Saint Helier, Jersey, in the Channel Islands.  She was the younger daughter of Douglas Sutherland (1838–1865), a civil engineer of Scottish descent, and his wife Elinor Saunders (1841–1937), of an Anglo-French family that had settled in Canada.  Her father was said to be related to the Lords Duffus.   [lower-alpha 1]
Her father died when she was two months old; her mother returned to the parental home in Guelph, in what was then Upper Canada, British North America (now Ontario) with her two daughters.  Here, young Elinor was taught by her grandmother, Lucy Anne Saunders (née Willcocks), daughter of Sir Richard Willcocks, a magistrate in the early Irish police force, who helped to suppress the Emmet Rising in 1803.   Richard's brother Joseph also settled in Upper Canada, publishing one of the first opposition papers there, pursuing liberty, and dying a rebel in 1814. The Anglo-Irish grandmother instructed young Elinor in the ways of upper-class society. This training not only gave her an entrée into aristocratic circles on her return to Europe, it also led to her reputation as an authority on style and breeding when she worked in Hollywood in the 1920s. Her grandfather on her mother's side, Thomas Saunders (1795-1873) was a direct descendant of the Saunders family who had possessed Pitchcott Manor in Buckinghamshire for several centuries. 
The family lived in Guelph for seven years at a stone home that still stands near the University of Guelph.  Glyn's mother remarried in 1871 to David Kennedy, and the family returned to Jersey when Glyn was about eight years old.  Her subsequent education at her stepfather's house was by governesses.  Glyn's elder sister grew up to be Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon, famous as a fashion designer under the name Lucile.
At the age of 28, the green-eyed, red-haired but dowryless Elinor married on 27 April 1892. Her husband was Clayton Louis Glyn (13 July 1857 – 10 November 1915), a wealthy but spendthrift barrister and Essex landowner who was descended from Sir Richard Carr Glyn, an 18th-century Lord Mayor of London.  The couple had two daughters, Margot and Juliet, but the marriage foundered on mutual incompatibility.
Glyn began writing in 1900, starting with Visits of Elizabeth, serialised in The World ,  a book based on letters to her mother, although Lady Angela Forbes claimed, in her memoirs, that Glyn used her as the prototype of Elizabeth.  As Glyn's husband fell into debt from around 1908, she wrote at least one novel a year to keep up her standard of living.
Her marriage was troubled, and Glyn began having affairs with various British aristocrats. Her novel Three Weeks , about an exotic Balkan queen who seduces a young British aristocrat, was allegedly inspired by her affair with Lord Alistair Innes Ker, brother of the Duke of Roxburghe,16-years her junior, which scandalized Edwardian society. 
Around 1907, Glyn toured the United States, resulting in her book Elizabeth visits America (1909).   
Glyn had a long affair between circa 1907 and 1916 with Lord Curzon, the former Viceroy of India.  [lower-alpha 2] Society painter Philip de László painted her in 1912, when she was 48. Curzon is presumed to have commissioned it and had given Glyn the sapphires she wears in the portrait.  [lower-alpha 3] In 1915, Curzon leased Montacute House, in South Somerset, for him and Glyn, now a widow as her husband had died that autumn at the age of 58 after several years of illness. Curzon asked Glyn to decorate Montacute House and with Glyn away from London, Curzon courted heiress Grace Duggan. Glyn learned of Curzon and Duggan's engagement from the morning papers and burnt 500 love letters in the bedroom fireplace, never speaking to Curzon again. 
Glyn pioneered risqué, and sometimes erotic, romantic fiction aimed at a female readership, a radical idea for its time—though her writing is not scandalous by modern standards. In her novel The Man and the Moment (1914),  she coined the use of the word it to mean a characteristic that "draws all others with magnetic force. With 'IT' you win all men if you are a woman–and all women if you are a man. 'IT' can be a quality of the mind as well as a physical attraction."  Her use of the word is often erroneously taken to simply be a euphemism for sexuality or sex appeal. 
During World War I, Glyn became a war correspondent, working in France.  At the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, 28 June 1919, Glyn was one of only two women present. 
After the death of her husband and separation from Curzon, Glyn went to Hollywood, for the filming of her novel, The Great Moment .  
In 1919, she signed a contract with William Randolph Hearst's International Magazine Company to write stories and articles that included a clause for the motion picture rights.  She was brought over from England to write screenplays by the Famous Players-Lasky Production Company.  She wrote for Cosmopolitan and other Hearst press titles, advising women on how to keep their men and imparting health and beauty tips. The Elinor Glyn System of Writing (1922) gives insights into writing for Hollywood studios and magazine editors of the time. 
From the 1927 novel, "It":
To have "It," the fortunate possessor must have that strange magnetism which attracts both sexes.... In the animal world "It" demonstrates in tigers and cats—both animals being fascinating and mysterious, and quite unbiddable.
From the 1927 movie, "It" is described as, "self-confidence and indifference as to whether you are pleasing or not."  In addition to It Glyn was the celebrated author of such early 20th-century bestsellers as Three Weeks,  Beyond the Rocks  and other novels that were quite racy for the time.  The screenplay of the novel It helped Glyn gain popularity as a screenwriter. However, althought she is only credited as an author, adapter, and co-producer on the project, she also made a cameo appearance in the film. 
She is credited[ who? ] with the re-styling of Gloria Swanson from giggly starlet to elegant star. The duo connected again when Beyond the Rocks was made into a silent film that was released in 1922. The Sam Wood directed film stars Swanson and Rudolph Valentino as a romantic pair. In 1927, Glyn helped to make a star of actress Clara Bow, for whom she coined the sobriquet "the It girl." In 1928, Bow also starred in Red Hair , which was based on Glyn's 1905 novel of the same name. 
Glyn was one of the most famous women screenwriters in the 1920s. She has 28 story or screenwriting credits, three producing credits, and two credits for directing.  Her first script was called The Great Moment and starred Gloria Swanson.
Glyn was responsible for many screenplays in the 1920s that included Six Hours (1923). Three Weeks (1924) was one of her most famous pieces about a queen in a struggling marriage who, while on vacation, has a three-week affair.  In addition to this film, she wrote His Hour (1924), directed by King Vidor; Love's Blindness (1926), about a marriage that is done strictly for financial reasons; Man and Maid (1925), about a man who must choose between two women; The Only Thing (1925); and Ritzy (1927). Red Hair, a comedy vehicle to demonstrate the passion of red-haired people  was followed by The Price of Things in 1930. Three screenplays based on Glyn's novels and a story in the mid to late twenties, Man and Maid, The Only Thing, and Ritzy, did not do well at the box office, despite the success Glyn gained with her first project, The Great Moment, which was in the same genre.  In 1930 she wrote her first non-silent film, Such Men Are Dangerous , her last screenplay in the United States. 
Apart from being a scriptwriter for the silent movie industry, working for both MGM and Paramount Pictures in Hollywood in the mid-1920s, she had a brief career as one of the earliest female directors. 
Glyn returned home to England in 1929 in part because of tax demands. With her return she set out to form her own production company, Elinor Glyn Ltd. Her family had established a company in 1924, Elinor Glyn Ltd, to which she signed her copyrights, receiving an income from the firm and an annuity in later life. The firm was an early pioneer of cross-media branding.  After she started the company, she began working as a film director as well. Paying out of her own pocket, she directed Knowing Men in 1930, which showed a more traditionalist view of men as sexual harassers. The project was a disaster, and the screenwriter Edward Knoblock sued Glyn so that the work could not be released. Elinor Glyn Ltd produced a second film in 1930, The Price of Things, which was also unsuccessful and was never released in the US. As her company failed and she exhausted her finances, Glyn decided to retire from film work and instead focus on her first passion, writing novels. 
After a short illness, Glyn died on 23 September 1943, at 39 Royal Avenue, Chelsea, London, aged 78,  and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. Her ashes lie above the door to the Jewish Shrine at the west end of the columbarium.
This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture .(February 2023)
It is a 1927 American silent film directed by Clarence G. Badger and Josef von Sternberg, and starring Clara Bow. It is based on the serialised novella of the same name, republished in "It" and Other Stories (1927), by Elinor Glyn, who adapted the story and appears in the film as herself.
Thea Gabriele von Harbou was a German screenwriter, novelist, film director, and actress. She is remembered as the screenwriter of the science fiction film classic Metropolis (1927) and for the 1925 novel on which it was based. Harbou collaborated as a screenwriter with film director Fritz Lang, her husband, during the period of transition from silent to sound films.
Frederick Lonsdale was a British playwright known for his librettos to several successful musicals early in the 20th century, including King of Cadonia (1908), The Balkan Princess (1910), Betty (1915), The Maid of the Mountains (1917), Monsieur Beaucaire (1919) and Madame Pompadour (1923). He also wrote comedy plays, including The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1925) and On Approval (1927) and the murder melodrama But for the Grace of God (1946). Some of his plays and musicals were made into films, and he also wrote a few screenplays.
Katharine Tynan was an Irish writer, known mainly for her novels and poetry. After her marriage in 1893 to the Trinity College scholar, writer and barrister Henry Albert Hinkson (1865–1919) she usually wrote under the name Katharine Tynan Hinkson, or variations thereof. Tynan's younger sister Nora O'Mahony was also a poet and one of her three children, Pamela Hinkson (1900–1982), was also known as a writer. The Katharine Tynan Road in Belgard, Tallaght is named after her.
Hedwig "Vicki" Baum was an Austrian writer. She is known for the novel Menschen im Hotel, one of her first international successes. It was made into a 1932 film and a 1989 Broadway musical.
Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff-Gordon was a leading British fashion designer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who worked under the professional name Lucile.
Dame Juliet Evangeline Rhys-Williams, Lady Rhys-Williams, was a British writer and a Liberal Party politician who previously joined the Liberal National Party.
Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams, 1st Baronet,, born Rhys Williams, was a British Liberal Party politician from Wales. He later left the Liberal Party for the Conservatives.
The Only Thing is a 1925 American silent romantic drama film starring Eleanor Boardman. The film's scenario was written by author Elinor Glyn, and was based on a story adapted from Glyn's novel of the same name.
The Davson Baronetcy, of Berbice in British Guiana, is a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 21 January 1927 for Edward Rae Davson. He was Chairman of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of the British Empire and a member of the Imperial Economic Committee and the Colonial Development Advisory Committee. Davson married Margot Elinor, daughter of Clayton Louis Glyn and his wife, the novelist Elinor Glyn. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Baronet. Like his maternal grandmother he was an author. In 1957 he assumed by deed poll the surname of Glyn in lieu of his patronymic as well as the additional forename of Anthony. As of 2014 the title is held by the latter's nephew, the fourth Baronet, who succeeded his father in 2004.
Dale Fuller was an American actress of the silent era. She appeared in more than 60 films between 1915 and 1935. She is best known for her role as the maid in Foolish Wives.
Three Weeks is a 1924 American drama film directed by Alan Crosland. The movie is based on the 1907 novel of the same name by Elinor Glyn, and the title refers to the length of an affair by the Queen of Sardalia. Formerly a lost film, the FIAF database indicates a print is preserved by Russia's Gosfilmofond.
Beyond the Rocks is a 1922 American silent romantic drama film directed by Sam Wood, starring Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson. It is based on the 1906 novel of the same name by Elinor Glyn. Beyond the Rocks was long considered lost but a nitrate print of the film was discovered in the Netherlands in 2003. The film was restored and released on DVD by Milestone Film & Video in 2006.
Soul Mates is a surviving 1925 American silent drama film directed by Jack Conway, based on the 1911 novel The Reason Why by Elinor Glyn. The movie was the second successful collaboration between Glyn and Conway.
Man and Maid is a lost 1925 drama film directed by Victor Schertzinger based on a 1922 novel by Elinor Glyn. The film stars Lew Cody, Renée Adorée and Harriet Hammond.
Elizabeth Knollys, Lady Leighton, was an English courtier who served Queen Elizabeth I of England, first as a Maid of Honour and secondly, after 1566, as a Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber. Knollys was the grand-niece of Queen consort Anne Boleyn, which made her a cousin once removed of the Queen. Elizabeth married Sir Thomas Leighton of Feckenham in Worcestershire in 1578. He served as Governor of Jersey and Guernsey.
Three Weeks is a 1907 erotic romance novel by Elinor Glyn.
Three Week-Ends is a 1928 American comedy drama film directed by Clarence G. Badger and starring Clara Bow and Neil Hamilton. It is believed lost. "Three Week-Ends" is the title given in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, with alternate titles being "Three Week Ends" and "3 Weekends".
Mad Hour is a 1928 American silent drama film directed by Joseph Boyle and starring Sally O'Neil, Alice White and Donald Reed. It was adapted from a 1914 novel by Elinor Glyn.
Sir Edward Rae Davson, 1st Baronet, was a British businessman who was influential in colonial economics. He was the managing director of Messrs. S. Davson & Co., Ltd., a prominent West Indies merchant firm.