Elinor Glyn

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Elinor Glyn

Elinor Glyn (17 October 18649 September 1943), born Elinor Sutherland, was a British novelist, short-story writer and screenwriter. Her lurid and sexually charged romances were a byword in their day.


  • And loveliest sight of all, in front of the fire, stretched at full length, was his tiger – and on him – also at full length – reclined the lady, garbed in some strange clinging garment of heavy purple crepe, its hem embroidered with gold, one white arm resting on the beast's head, her back supported by a pile of the velvet cushions, and a heap of rarely bound books at her side, while between her red lips was a rose not redder than they – an almost scarlet rose.
    • Three Weeks (1907), ch. 6.
  • A madness of tender caressing seized her. She purred as a tiger might have done, while she undulated like a snake.
    • Three Weeks (1907), ch. 11.
  • No matter what he does, one always forgives him. It does not depend upon looks, either – although this actual person is abominably good-looking – it does not depend upon intelligence or character or – anything – as you say, it is just "it".
    • The Man and the Moment (1914), ch. 7.
  • To have "It", the fortunate possessor must have that strange magnetism which attracts both sexes. He or she must be entirely unselfconscious and full of self-confidence, indifferent to the effect he or she is producing, and uninfluenced by others. There must be physical attraction, but beauty is unnecessary.
    • Foreword to It, and Other Stories (1927)
  • He had that nameless charm, with a strong magnetism which can only be called "It", and cats – as well as women – always knew when he came into the room.
    • It, and Other Stories (1927), ch. 1, p. 10.


  • Would you please publish the enclosed manuscript or return it without delay, as I have other irons in the fire.
    • A covering note sent with a manuscript submission, which was supposedly returned with the answer, "Put this with your other irons." The same story had much earlier been told about Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Piozzi in Kate Sanborn Home Pictures of English Poets (New York: Appleton, 1869) p. 215.


  • Would you like to sin
    With Elinor Glyn
    On a tiger skin?
    Or would you prefer
    To err
    With her
    On some other fur?
    • Anonymous rhyme satirising Three Weeks, quoted in J. Lee Thompson Forgotten Patriot (Madison, N.J.:Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 2007) p. 259
  • I have read but little of Madame Glyn. I did not know that things like It were going on. I have misspent my days. When I think of all those hours I flung away in reading Henry James and Santayana, when I might have been reading of life, throbbing, beating, perfumed life, I practically break down.
  • Prudent readers will do well to hold Three Weeks at arm's length, unless they want to be cut by flying adjectives.
    • S. J. Perelman "Cloudland Revisited: Tuberoses and Tigers", in The Most of S. J. Perelman (London: Mandarin, [1979] 1992) p. 282.
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