Sunday, May 08, 2016
Enid Florence Brockies
Lived in Sunderland and was educated at the Sunderland High School for Girls. Performed in the North of England Musical Tournament in Newcastle in 1928. In 1931 she came first in the contralto singing section of the competition. In 1932, she was advertising herself as a silver and bronze medallist and teaching “Voice Production, Singing and Pianoforte” from her home address at 7 Park Parade, Roker, Sunderland. She performed with the Sunderland High School Old Girls’ Literary and Dramatic Society, earning some good notices for her demure performance as Iolanthe. She also took part in Gilbert and Sullivan productions, notably Yeomen of the Guard, and was for some time with Henry Baynton’s Shakespearean Company.
She began writing as Countess Helene Magriska in 1937, her first novel, Ten Poplars, published by Constable. The book tells the story of Anya, a young female doctor who discovers a treatment for restoring health and appearance to those advancing in years. The story’s hero, Warren Melvyn, is a 43-year-old actor from Hollywood who comes seeking a cure for the effects of ageing. He falls, firstly, in love with the doctor, and all seems to be going well under Dr Anya’s daughter, Linda, infatuated with the film star, appears to wreck their dreams.
Silken Sin (1939) featured another Hollywood star, this time a heroine named “Bubbles” Harland, a former Broadway chorus girl whose allure meant that she was the natural prey of every man she met. Bubbles uses her charms to advance her career, leaving in her wake a string of broken relationships from a theatre proprietor to a Russian film director.
Black Ballarina (1940) stars a Polish ballet dancer who flees from Warsaw when war breaks out and, helped by an American, reaches New York. She becomes embroiled in a love triangle with an American millionaire and his actress wife who is in love with a Mexican. A murder and subsequent trial bring the book to a thrilling climax. Crimson Brocade (1941) followed the fortunes and misfortunes of generations of the banking Lestway family; Polished Jade (1943), meanwhile, returned to the theme of a young girl, once destitute, and her dizzying rise to Broadway fame. Other novels included The Girl from Moinette’s (1936), Blonde Sinner (1939), Dark Madonna (1940), And Then Onide Laughed (1941) and The House of Caddalo (1943).
Brockies died at her home, 7 Park Parade, Sunderland, in July 1943, survived by both parents. Because of paper shortages during the Second World War, three further novels were published posthumously, bringing her sales up to over a million copies.
Novels as (Countess) Hélène Magriska
The Girl from Moinette's. London, Mellifont Press (3150), 1936.
Ten Poplars. London, Constable & Co., 1937.
Love in Morocco. London, Fiction House (Piccadilly Novels 93), 1938.
Whirled Into Marriage. London, Fiction House (Piccadilly Novels 104), Dec 1938.
Egyptian Love. London, Fiction House (Piccadilly Novels 122), Sep 1939; London, Edward Foster, 1947; as The Sheik by Gina Dewell, Brown Watson, 1955.
The Blonde Sinner. London, John Long, 1939.
Silken Sin. London, John Long, 1939.
Black Ballerina. London, John Long, 1940.
Dark Madonna. London, John Long, 1940.
Crimson Brocade. London, John Long, 1941.
And Then Onide Laughed. London, John Long, 1941.
The House of Caddalo. London, John Long, 1943.
Polished Jade. London, John Long, 1943.
The Devil Shed Tears. London, John Long, 1944.
Happily Ever After. London, John Long, 1945.
The Scarlet Flame. London, John Long, 1950.