Aronson, Theo(dore Ian Wilson) 1930-2003
ARONSON, Theo(dore Ian Wilson) 1930-2003
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 13, 1930, in Kirkwood, South Africa; died May 13, 2003, in Frome, Somerset, England. Advertising manager and author. Aronson was a well-known biographer who focused his writings on members of European and British royal families. Educated at Grey College in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and at the University of Cape Town, where he studied art, he entered the business of advertising as an art director and advertising designer for the J. Walter Thompson Co. He remained there from 1952 to 1964, when his book The Golden Bees: The Story of the Bonapartes became a bestseller and provided him enough income to become a full-time freelance writer. What followed was a string of well-researched histories of royal families, including Defiant Dynasty: The Coburgs of Belgium (1968), The Kaisers (1971), Victoria and Disraeli: The Makings of a Romantic Partnership (1977), Royal Family: Years of Transition (1984), and Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story (1990). Unhappy with the worsening political situation in South Africa, Aronson left his homeland for England in 1979. He continued to write, but by the 1990s was meeting with more competition from "upstart" younger historians who labeled his style old-fashioned. In reaction to this, Aronson penned the rather scandalous Prince Eddy and the Homosexual Underworld (1995), which drew mixed reviews and many a raised eyebrow from those who found it atypical of the author's style. The author returned to form, however, with Princess Margaret: A Biography (1997). His last book, Royal Subjects (2000), is an autobiography.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Writers Directory, 18th edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2003.
Daily Telegraph (London, England), May 15, 2003.
Independent (London, England), May 27, 2003, p. 16.
Times (London, England), May 20, 2003, p. 29.