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Writer of romantic books dies, aged 95; Wirral author wrote Mills & Boon romances for 40 years.

Byline: Laura Davis

A WIRRAL author who was one of Mills & Boon's most popular novelists has died at the age of 95.

Marjorie Lewty wrote 44 romances in the four decades she worked for the publishing firm.

She continued to produce stories late in life with her final novel A Real Engagement published in 1999.

Mrs Lewty's son Simon, who lived with her in Leamington Spa, said: "She was a wonderful woman.

"You felt you could trust her with anything and that she would trust you back.

"It was a strange way that she brought us up. I don't remember ever being told not to do anything.

"She was always writing and used to discuss her books with me as she wrote them."

Born Marjorie Lobb to a Bohemian family in Wallasey, she was encouraged to take advantage of her creative ability.

Her mother, Mabel, was the manager of the Queen's Cinema in Liverpool where Mrs Lewty often accompanied the silent movies on the piano.

Her plans to study sciences at university were thwarted when her father James, a sailor in the Merchant Navy, died leaving the family with little money.

She was forced to take a job at a bank which she hated.

After the writer's marriage to Richard Lewty, a dental surgeon with a practice in Liverpool, she began to write short stories which were published in magazines.

She moved to Sutton Coldfield several years later but never forgot her roots in Merseyside or her home in Alexandra Drive, Birkenhead.

She returned to the region several times with her son and daughter, Deborah Bornoff, to show them where she grew up.

Simon added: "She loved it in Liverpool.

"She used to tell us about crossing on the ferry to the Isle of Man and about how she was once nearly blown over at the Pier Head because the wind was so strong.

"In her writing she had the ability to take something and make it real.

"She never claimed to have creative talent.

She always thought of herself as a craftsman of words."

Many of Mrs Lewty's first stories were written for children and included magical characters like Wiz, an apprentice wizard, and Tame Wee Dragon, a pyromaniac reptile with the unfortunate habit of igniting almost everything he breathed over.

During the 1940s and 1950s her stories for adults became more romantic and she decided to send a manuscript to Mills & Boon.

Never Call It Loving was published in 1958 and from then on the writer worked exclusively for the publisher.

Although she rarely travelled, many of Mrs Lewty's stories were set in exotic locations which she learnt about in travel brochures and books.

She was a prolific writer, producing around one novel every 18 months increasing the frequency after the death of her husband in 1978.

As her sight deteriorated, Mrs Lewty was determined to continue writing and acquired a voice-controlled software package.

She dictated her final few books directly into her computer.

A spokeswoman for Mills & Boon said: " "Marjorie wrote for us for a long time and was a very successful writer with lots of loyal fans. She will be missed."

CAPTION(S):

NEVER FORGOT HER ROOTS: Marjorie Lewty often returned to Merseyside
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 31, 2002
Words:537
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