Mary Burchell's picture

Mary Burchell

(Ida Cook)
UK flag (1904 - 1986)

aka James Keene

Ida Cook was born on 1904 at 37 Croft Avenue, Sunderland, England. With her older sister Mary Louise Cook (1901), she attending the Duchess' School in Alnwick. Later the sisters took civil service jobs in London, and developed a passionate interest in opera.

A constant presence at Covent Garden, the pair became close to some of thegreatest singers of the era; Amelia Galli-Curci, Rosa Ponselle, Tito Gobbiand Maria Callas. They also came to know the Austrian conductor ClemensKrauss, and it was through he that Cooks learned of the persecution ofEuropean Jews. In 1934, Krauss's wife asked the sisters to help a friend toleave Germany. Having accomplished this, the sisters continued the goodwork, pretending to be eccentric opera fanatics willing to go anywhere tohear a favourite artist. Krauss assisted them, even arranging to perform incities they needed to visit. The sisters made repeated trips to Germany,bringing back jewellery and valuables belonging to Jewish families. Thisenabled Jews to satisfy British requirements as regards financial security -Jews were not allowed to leave Germany with their money. Using manytechniques of evasion, including re-labelling furs with London labels, thesisters enabled 29 persons to escape from almost certain death.

The Cooks' own finances were little precarious, and when Ida obtained acontract with Mills and Boon to published her first novel in 1936, she leftthe Civil Service to write full time. As Mary Burchell, she became aprolific writer of romantic fiction. Her great popularity helped the successof Mills and Boon, and guaranteed substantial income after the war. For manydecades, her writing supported her two passions: refugees and young operasingers. Her flat in Dolphin Square at various times housed homelessEuropean families.

In 1950, Ida Cook wrote her autobiography: "We followed our stars", and in1965, the Cook sisters were honoured as Righteous Gentiles by the Yad VashemMartyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority in Israel, thus joining OskarSchindler among others.

She helped to found and was for many years president of the RomanticNovelist's Association. As Mary Burchell, she wrote over a hundred romancenovels, many of which were translated, and her most famous work is "TheWarrender Saga", a series about the opera world, full of real details.

Ida Cook passed away on December 22, 1986 and her sister Louise in 1991. They were honoured posthumously by the British government as "British Heroes of the Holocaust" in 2010.

Genres: Romance
   Wife to Christopher (1936)
   Except My Love (1937)
   Other Lips Have Loved You (1938)
     aka Two Loves Have I
   With All My Worldly Goods (1938)
   After Office Hours (1939)
   One of the Family (1939)
   I'll Go With You (1940)
   Yours With Love (1940)
   Accompanied by His Wife (1941)
   Always Yours (1941)
   Thine Is My Heart (1942)
   Where Shall I Wander? (1942)
     aka Bargain Wife
   My Old Love Came (1943)
   Take Me with You (1944)
   Thanks to Elizabeth (1944)
   Away Went Love (1945)
   Find Out the Way (1946)
   First Love-Last Love (1946)
   Wife by Arrangement (1946)
   Not Without You (1947)
   Under Joint Management (1947)
   Ward of Lucifer (1947)
   If You Care (1948)
   Then Come Kiss Me (1948)
   Choose Which You Will (1949)
   I Will Love You Still (1949)
   If This Were All (1949)
   Wish on the Moon (1949)
   At First Sight (1950)
   A Letter for Don (1950)
   Love Him or Leave Him (1950)
   Here I Belong (1951)
   Mine for a Day (1951)
   Tell Me My Fortune (1951)
   Over the Blue Mountains (1952)
   Stolen Heart (1952)
   Sweet Adventure (1952)
   The Heart Cannot Forget (1953)
   The Heart Must Choose (1953)
   No Real Relation (1953)
   A Ring On Her Finger (1953)
   Nurse Allison's Trust (1954)
     aka Meet Me Again
   When Love's Beginning (1954)
   Hospital Corridors (1955)
   The Prettiest Girl (1955)
   Yours to Command (1955)
   For Ever and Ever (1956)
   Loving Is Giving (1956)
   On the Air (1956)
   To Journey Together (1956)
   And Falsely Pledge My Love (1957)
   Joanna at the Grange (1957)
   Love Is My Reason (1957)
     aka My Love is My Reason
   Nurse Marika, Loyal in All (1957)
     aka Loyal in All
   Dear Sir (1958)
   Dear Trustee (1958)
   The Girl in the Blue Dress (1958)
   Corner House (1959)
   Honey (1959)
   Star Quality (1959)
     aka Surgeon of Distinction
   Across the Counter (1960)
   Choose the One You'll Marry (1960)
   My Sister Celia (1961)
   Reluctant Relation (1961)
   The Wedding Dress (1961)
   House of Conflict (1962)
   Inherit My Heart (1962)
   Dangerous Loving (1963)
   Sweet Meadows (1963)
   Do Not Go, My Love (1964)
   The Strange Quest of Anne Weston (1964)
     aka The Strange Quest of Nurse Anne
   Girl with a Challenge (1965)
   Her Sister's Children (1965)
   Meant for Each Other (1966)
   The Other Linding Girl (1966)
   Cinderella After Midnight (1967)
   Dearly Beloved (1967)
   The Marshall family (1967)
   Though Worlds Apart (1967)
   Missing from Home (1968)
   A Home for Joy (1969)
   Call and I'll Come (1970)
   Dare I Be Happy (1970)
   Little Sister (1970)
   Love Made the Choice (1970)
   One Man's Heart (1970)
   The Rosewood Box (1970)
   Yet Love Remains (1971)
   But Not for Me (1971)
   Second Marriage (1971)
   Pay Me Tomorrow (1971)
   Strangers May Marry (1972)
   It's Rumoured in the Village (1973)
   Such Is Love (1975)
   Just a Nice Girl (1975)
   The Brave in Heart (1975)
   Nobody Asked Me (1976)
   Damaged Angel (1976)
no image availablethumbno image availablethumb
thumbthumbno image availablethumb
no image availablethumbno image availablethumb
no image availableno image availablethumbno image available
thumbthumbno image availablethumb
thumbno image availablethumbno image available
thumbthumbno image availableno image available
no image availablethumbthumbthumb
no image availablethumbthumbthumb
thumbthumbthumbno image available
thumbno image availablethumbthumb
thumbthumbthumbno image available
no image availablethumbthumbthumb
no image availableno image availablethumbthumb
thumbno image available
Non fiction
   We Followed Our Stars (1950)
     aka Safe Passage