Ida Crowe was born on 12 April 1908 in Kent, England, UK. From the age of ten, she knew she wanted to write. She began writing fiction when she was in her very early teens while still at school, and setting her first publication, Palanquins and coloured lanterns, in 1920's Shanghai. Soon her stories were in major magazines and before she was twenty had several short in major magazines and short novels in print.
At 31, during a visit to George Newnes's office, Ida met its editor, the 50 years old Hugh Alexander Pollock (1888–1971), who was married since 1924 with her second wife, the children's writer Enid Blyton. They had two daughters Gillian Mary (1931–2007) and Imogen Mary (b. 1935), but their marriage was in difficulties. Hugh was divorced from his first wife, with whom he had two sons; William Cecil Alexander (1914–1916) and Edward Alistair (1915–1969).
During the World War II, Hugh offered Ida a post as civilian secretary. Ida worked in London through the Blitz, and May 1942, she came close to being killed by a bombing raid, while Hugh was sent overseas. During the war Hugh was hit by shrapnel on a firing range, and Ida contact with Enid, but she declined go to visit her husband in Dorking, because she was so busy and hated the hospitals. Hugh decided to divorce his wife, who in 1941 meet Kenneth Fraser Darrell Waters and had begun a relationship with him. After their divorce, Enid remarried with Darrell Waters on 20 October 1943, and six days after Ida remarried with Hugh at London's Guildhall register office. In 1944, they had a daughter Rosemary Pollock, also a romance writer. Enid changed the name of their daughters, and Hugh did not see them again.
After the World War II, the marriage experienced financial problems, and in 1950, her husband had to declare bankruptcy. She decided wrote the popular contemporary romances, and sold her first novel to Mills & Boon in 1952. Being in print with several major international publishers at the same time, she decided to use multiple pseudonyms. In the 1950s, she wrote as Susan Barrie, Pamela Kent, Rose Burghley and Mary Whistler to Mills & Boon, as Averil Ives and Barbara Rowan to Ward Lock, as Anita Charles to Wright & Brown, as Jane Beaufort to Collins. In 1964, she published under her married name, Ida Pollock, her first historical novel, The Gentle Masquerade, and after the success of it, Mills and Boon's "Masquerade" series of historical romances was launched. Under her last pseudonym, Marguerite Bell, she also wrote historical romances. Most of her novels have been reprinted by Mill & Boon (or Harlequin in USA).
In the 1970s, she slowed the rhythm of publication, but continues to write. Besides romances, she published as Barbara Rowan, a suspense novel and two Children/Young Adults Fiction books. And Ida's autobiography, Starlight, published November 15, 2009, tells the story of the start of her career, her marriage, and the relation of her husband with her ex-wife Enid Blyton.
During her marriage, she travelled widely and lived in many parts of England, as well as Ireland, France, Switzerland, Italy and Malta. Hugh died at 8 November 1971 in Malta, where he is buried in Mtarfa's British military cemetery. After her husband death, Pollack returned with her daughter to England, she lived several years in Wiltshire, before moving to Lanreath in 1986.
Ida Crowe Pollock is a recognized oil painter, who has been selected for inclusion in a national exhibition in 2004. She also makes model houses, usually scale miniatures of Georgian or Tudor buildings.
Pseudonym/s: Susan Barrie, Pamela Kent, Averil Ives, Anita Charles, Barbara Rowan, Jane Beaufort, Rose Burghley, Mary Whistler, Ida Pollock (married name), Marguerite Bell.
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