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Mary Burchell

Mary Burchell aka Ida Cook

Also known as Ida Cook. Romantic novelist of many years’ standing in Mills & Boon List. President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association until her death in 1986.

Particularly well-known for her romantic novels with an opera background and also collaborating with her friend, the famous operatic baritone, Tito Gobbi, on two volumes of his autobiography.

Her highly popular series, THE WARRENDER SAGA is currently being reissued by Endeavour Media.

Film/TV rights in Mary Burchell’s memoir WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS, written under her real name of Ida Cook, have been optioned to House Productions. A new edition of this memoir was published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, as part of their 2008 centennial celebrations for which the British Museum created an exhibition for the occasion, featuring artefacts from the author’s life, including her first-ever publishing contract. The book was reissued under a new title, SAFE PASSAGE, in the US/Canada and will be reissued in the USA next year.

In February 2010, the Wiener Holocaust Library commemorated Ida and Louise Cook’s refugee work during the 1930s, by an event called “Rescue and Romance”, with an illustrated talk given by the biographer, Anne Sebbe. The Yad Vashem testimonial to their work was shown, as well as the programme for “This is Your Life”, when Eamonn Andrews held the “book”.

9 March 2010: 10 Downing Street – The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, honoured The British Heroes of the Holocaust, with awards of Silver Medals, bearing their names, for their actions in helping to save the lives of Jews hoping to escape from Nazi persecution. Ida and her sister, Louise, were – posthumously, alas – recipients of these Awards: among the total of twenty-seven Britons so honoured, only two are still living.

The sisters’ story features strongly in HEROES OF THE HOLOCAUST by Lyn Smith (Ebury Press) spring 2012.

January 2017. A blue plaque was placed on the house in Sunderland where the sisters lived as children, in acknowledgment of their selfless acts of bravery in Nazi Germany in the 1930s to help save Jewish lives.

January 2017. A blue plaque was placed on the house in Sunderland where the sisters lived as children, in acknowledgment of their selfless acts of bravery in Nazi Germany in the 1930s to help save Jewish lives.

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