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Ayres, Ruby Mildred (1883–1955)

English novelist of 150 books, with sales totaling more than eight million copies. Born in 1883 in Watford, Hertshire, England; died on November 14, 1955, in Weybridge, England; married Reginald William Pocock (insurance broker), in 1909.

Selected works:

Castles in Spain (1912); Dark Gentleman (1953).

Ruby Ayres' father was an architect in the county of Hertshire, where she was raised. In 1909, with her marriage to London insurance broker Reginald Pocock, Ayres moved to Harrow and seems to have hardly risen from her desk. In the 41 years between her first novel, Castles in Spain, and her last, Dark Gentleman, Ayres produced 150 books—in excess of three a year. She claimed to begin each new book by first setting "the price. Then I fix the title. Then I write the book."

The novels, romances that bring together a wealthy heroine and an even richer gentleman despite minor difficulties, sold more than eight million copies. A number of her stories were serialized in British newspapers or made into movies. Ayres also authored one play, SilverWedding, which was produced in 1932. In the 1940s, after over 30 years of marriage, Ayres husband was killed in a train accident. Ayres then moved to Weybridge, where she lived with her sister until she died in 1955. At the time of her death, Ayres had enjoyed two years of retirement from her resolute writing pace.

Crista Martin , Boston, Massachusetts

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