Violet Winspear

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Lucifer's Angel by Violet Winspear


Violet Winspear was born on April 28, 1928. Her first published novel was Lucifer's Angel in 1961. Winspear was a launch author for the new Presents line in 1973 with other popular authors Anne Hampson and Anne Mather. She wrote primarily from 1961 through 1987. She created a maelstrom in 1970 when she claimed that her heroes "frighten and fascinate. They must be the sort of men who are capable of rape". Winspear received hate mail for her comments[1]. Winspear's full comment, which clarifies her writing style was:

I get my heroes so that they're lean and hard muscled and mocking and sardonic and tough and tigerish and single, of course. Oh and they've got to be rich and then I make it that they're only cynical and smooth on the surface. But underneath they're well, you know, sort of lost and lonely. In need of love but, when roused, capable of breathtaking passion and potency. Most of my heroes, well all of them really, are like that. They frighten but fascinate. They must be the sort of men who are capable of rape: men it's dangerous to be alone in the room with.

Interestingly, Winspear railed against the work of authors such as Harold Robbins. Winspear's forte was creating and sustaining sexual tension between her characters while building fantastic worlds. According to Passion's Fortune: The Story of Mills & Boon by Joseph McAleer, Winspear only traveled in her books, which were set in locales such as Greece. McAleer notes that Winspear peppered her work with local expressions through the liberal use of tourist phrasebooks. Her skills at peppering her work with foreign phrases lead to author Ethel Connell/Katrina Britt being asked to look to Winspear for guidance in her own work.

Authors who were inspired by Winspear include Muriel Jensen, Jane Porter, Trish Morey, and Sandra Marton. Winspear's nephew Jonathan Winspear is also an author.

Winspear passed away in 1989 after a long battle with cancer.

As a Harlequin Presents author, Violet Winspear published 45 books. She published 22 novels as an author for Harlequin Romance, debuting with the imprint in 1961 with Lucifer's Angel, the first of many "dark and dangerous" titles associated with her work.