SAFE PASSAGE: Everyday heroines

Cat 243 Dover by Mary Jo

Mary Burchell was one of Mills & Boon’s famous early writers.  Her first novel for M&B was published in 1936, and she went on to write over 125 novels, most of them romances, (but also a few Westerns under a different pseudonym.)  The last was published in 1985, a year before her death at age 82.

I used to comb yard sales and used bookstores for her out of print books on behalf of my mother, who loved the older HMB writers.  And she loved Mary Burchell most of all because many of the stories involved music. 

Safe Passage The name Mary Burchell was actually a pseudonym for Ida Cook—an everyday name for a woman who was both a successful writer and a true heroine.  Born in far Northern England (Sunderland), Ida Cook came from a modest, civil service oriented family—her father worked for the Customs and Excise service. 

Ida and her older sister, Louise, came of age during WWI, when an entire generation of young men was devastated on the killing fields of France and Belgium.  That was probably why the sisters never married.  They lived together their whole lives and were best friends as well as sisters.

We_Followed_Our_Stars_by_Ida_Cook Did either of them ever fall in love?  Ida wrote love stories, after all!  If she was disappointed in love, it didn’t show up in her memoir, Safe Passage.  Originally titled We Followed Our Stars and published in 1950, the book tells how Ida and Louise grew up, worked, fell in love with opera—and risked their lives to help Jews escape from Nazi Germany.

Their love of opera was actually the direct path to their rescue work.  Both Ida and Louise had modest civil service jobs, but the world changed one day in 1923 when Louise heard a lecture on music at work.  Ravished by the music that was played, she saved the enormous sum of 23 pounds (two or three months’ salary) to buy a gramophone and ten recordings.  In no time at all, Louise and Ida were intoxicated lovers of vocal music. 

Pretty Woman--opera night Remember the scene in Pretty Woman when Richard Gere told Julia Roberts that a true, deep connection with opera was something you were either born with or not?  The next scene showed Julia weeping at the performance.  I wasn’t born with that connection—but Ida and Louis were.

The sisters skipped lunches in order to buy tickets to hear a London concert by Amelita Galli-Curci, one of the great stars of the day.  Soon the voice lovers became opera lovers, and since Galli-Curci sang opera only in New York, Ida and Louise decided to sail to New York. 

It took two years for them to save the money, and the hundred pounds needed was close to half of Ida’s salary for those two years.  The gracious Amelita Galli-Curci said that if they made it to New York, she’d see that they got tickets to all of her performances. 

Ida and Louise Large So for two years the sisters saved—they found that a brown bread bun for lunch was more filling than a white bun.  No proper lunches for them!  Not when they had a dream. 

When they arrived in New York, newspaper articles were written about them.  Not 220px-Galli-Curci%2C_Amelita%2C_1882-1963 only were they minor celebrities, but they wore their homemade evening gowns, heard magnificent music, and were personal guests of Galli-Curci and her husband.  (Galli-Curci on the right.  Ida is the seated sister above.)

That was the beginning of happy years when they listened to as much opera as they could find and made friends of opera stars who appreciated their intelligence and passion for the music.  They also made friends with other opera lovers who, like them, could only afford cheap gallery seats, but who had passion and a deep knowledge of the music. 

Among the opera stars Ida and Louise befriended were conductor Clemens Krauss and his Romanian wife, soprano Viorica Ursuleac.  The musicians asked the Cook sisters to “look after” a Jewish friend who wanted to leave Austria for England.  It was the beginning of Ida and Louise’s quiet crusade to help Jews escape.

Masquerade with Music In the 1930s, European Jews had great difficult moving to England.  They had to prove they had the money to support themselves, yet currency restrictions prevented them from moving their money out of Germany and Austria. 

This is where Ida and Louise came in.  Encouraged by Krauss and his wife, they took on the roles of obsessed opera lovers (which they were) who made trip after trip to the Continent to see special productions.  Sometimes Krauss deliberately staged an opera in a city they needed to visit.

And when they came home, they smuggled valuables back to England so the Jewish owners could later follow.  Often they flew to Cologne on a Friday evening, got on the night train to Munich, attended an opera Saturday night, and stayed in the fancy hotels used by high Nazi officials to prove how innocent they were.

On Sunday they would return home by train and boat through Holland so they Fur Coat wouldn’t meet the same customs officials.  It was a punishing schedule, especially for Louise, who still worked in her office job.

They carried over labels from English furriers, stitched them into luxurious German furs, and wore the coats back to England as if they were the real owners.  They also brought back jewels.  Once Ida wore a big splashy jeweled brooch that represented someone’s entire wealth, and she surrounded it with tacky Woolworth beads. 

Ida also found English people who would guarantee a certain amount of money in support of a particular refugees. Some of these sponsors had little themselves, but they were willing to share what they had to save lives.  Some of them even offered places in their own homes.  (Ida was very shy, but when she stood up to talk about refugess, she was persuasive!)

Ida personally guaranteed over half her income to support refugees. Though her writing earned her a good living, she stretched her funds to the limit and went into debt.  She’d bought a small flat in London that she used to house refugees in need. 

London Burning When the war came and the Blitz began destroying London, there were no more trips to the Continent.  The Cook family exemplified the indomitable Londoners, doing their jobs and war work. 

When Ida and Louise finally persuaded her parents to evacuate to friends in the north, the elder Cooks left London at 10:00 am, and three hours later the Cook family home was blown up.  But the family cat, Prince Igor, survived, so all was well. 

Shelter 2 During the Blitz, Ida volunteered as a night watcher in a bomb shelter in Bermondsey.  From her, I learned that musicians and other entertainers performed in the London underground shelters.  Some had given up safe, lucrative work in America to come home to England to share their talents and help maintain morale.  “London can take it” indeed!

Safe Passage  is full of such wonderful stories, but rather than repeat them all, I suggest you read the book if it's the kind of tale you fancy. 

Safe-passage-British cover In 1965, Israel named Ida and Louise Cook as Righteous Gentiles for their rescue work, and in 2010, the British government posthumously named them British Heroes of the Holocaust.  Mary Burchell gave pleasure to millions of readers over many, many years, and her books are still read.  But even she couldn’t hold a candle to the real Ida and Louise.

What 'everyday heroes and heroines' do you know and admire?  Do you think you could have this kind of courage?  I have my doubts about myself, but I know that some of you could do better!

Mary Jo. who likes the above picture of the sisters from the British edition of Safe Passage

120 thoughts on “SAFE PASSAGE: Everyday heroines”

  1. Lovely post, Mary Jo. I’d heard for many years about Mary Burchell, a most beloved Mills and Boon author who, with her sister, helped smuggled Jews out of Nazi territory. It’s such a wonderful story, and so different from the general image of a romance writer.
    I’ve ordered the book and am looking forward to reading it.
    As for everyday heroes — I don’t think anyone knows what they might be capable (or incapable) of until the moment arrives. Certainly my few experiences of dramatic events indicate that sometimes the most unlikely-seeming people emerge as heroes.

    Reply
  2. Lovely post, Mary Jo. I’d heard for many years about Mary Burchell, a most beloved Mills and Boon author who, with her sister, helped smuggled Jews out of Nazi territory. It’s such a wonderful story, and so different from the general image of a romance writer.
    I’ve ordered the book and am looking forward to reading it.
    As for everyday heroes — I don’t think anyone knows what they might be capable (or incapable) of until the moment arrives. Certainly my few experiences of dramatic events indicate that sometimes the most unlikely-seeming people emerge as heroes.

    Reply
  3. Lovely post, Mary Jo. I’d heard for many years about Mary Burchell, a most beloved Mills and Boon author who, with her sister, helped smuggled Jews out of Nazi territory. It’s such a wonderful story, and so different from the general image of a romance writer.
    I’ve ordered the book and am looking forward to reading it.
    As for everyday heroes — I don’t think anyone knows what they might be capable (or incapable) of until the moment arrives. Certainly my few experiences of dramatic events indicate that sometimes the most unlikely-seeming people emerge as heroes.

    Reply
  4. Lovely post, Mary Jo. I’d heard for many years about Mary Burchell, a most beloved Mills and Boon author who, with her sister, helped smuggled Jews out of Nazi territory. It’s such a wonderful story, and so different from the general image of a romance writer.
    I’ve ordered the book and am looking forward to reading it.
    As for everyday heroes — I don’t think anyone knows what they might be capable (or incapable) of until the moment arrives. Certainly my few experiences of dramatic events indicate that sometimes the most unlikely-seeming people emerge as heroes.

    Reply
  5. Lovely post, Mary Jo. I’d heard for many years about Mary Burchell, a most beloved Mills and Boon author who, with her sister, helped smuggled Jews out of Nazi territory. It’s such a wonderful story, and so different from the general image of a romance writer.
    I’ve ordered the book and am looking forward to reading it.
    As for everyday heroes — I don’t think anyone knows what they might be capable (or incapable) of until the moment arrives. Certainly my few experiences of dramatic events indicate that sometimes the most unlikely-seeming people emerge as heroes.

    Reply
  6. Like Anne, I’d heard about this story of Mary Burchell aka Ida Cook and her sister, but I didn’t know she’d written a book about her work with the Jews. Thanks, Mary Jo. I’m another who’s off to order a copy.
    I recently watched a TV program about a beautiful young Australian woman whose grandmother was a victim of the Jewish holocaust and who is now (almost single-handedly) running an orphanage in Cambodia.
    I’m sure that putting the needs of others first is the true secret of happiness. So hard to put into practice, but so admirable.

    Reply
  7. Like Anne, I’d heard about this story of Mary Burchell aka Ida Cook and her sister, but I didn’t know she’d written a book about her work with the Jews. Thanks, Mary Jo. I’m another who’s off to order a copy.
    I recently watched a TV program about a beautiful young Australian woman whose grandmother was a victim of the Jewish holocaust and who is now (almost single-handedly) running an orphanage in Cambodia.
    I’m sure that putting the needs of others first is the true secret of happiness. So hard to put into practice, but so admirable.

    Reply
  8. Like Anne, I’d heard about this story of Mary Burchell aka Ida Cook and her sister, but I didn’t know she’d written a book about her work with the Jews. Thanks, Mary Jo. I’m another who’s off to order a copy.
    I recently watched a TV program about a beautiful young Australian woman whose grandmother was a victim of the Jewish holocaust and who is now (almost single-handedly) running an orphanage in Cambodia.
    I’m sure that putting the needs of others first is the true secret of happiness. So hard to put into practice, but so admirable.

    Reply
  9. Like Anne, I’d heard about this story of Mary Burchell aka Ida Cook and her sister, but I didn’t know she’d written a book about her work with the Jews. Thanks, Mary Jo. I’m another who’s off to order a copy.
    I recently watched a TV program about a beautiful young Australian woman whose grandmother was a victim of the Jewish holocaust and who is now (almost single-handedly) running an orphanage in Cambodia.
    I’m sure that putting the needs of others first is the true secret of happiness. So hard to put into practice, but so admirable.

    Reply
  10. Like Anne, I’d heard about this story of Mary Burchell aka Ida Cook and her sister, but I didn’t know she’d written a book about her work with the Jews. Thanks, Mary Jo. I’m another who’s off to order a copy.
    I recently watched a TV program about a beautiful young Australian woman whose grandmother was a victim of the Jewish holocaust and who is now (almost single-handedly) running an orphanage in Cambodia.
    I’m sure that putting the needs of others first is the true secret of happiness. So hard to put into practice, but so admirable.

    Reply
  11. Thanks for sharing this inspirational story. Mary’s books were just lovely, and she is obviously the best heroine ever.

    Reply
  12. Thanks for sharing this inspirational story. Mary’s books were just lovely, and she is obviously the best heroine ever.

    Reply
  13. Thanks for sharing this inspirational story. Mary’s books were just lovely, and she is obviously the best heroine ever.

    Reply
  14. Thanks for sharing this inspirational story. Mary’s books were just lovely, and she is obviously the best heroine ever.

    Reply
  15. Thanks for sharing this inspirational story. Mary’s books were just lovely, and she is obviously the best heroine ever.

    Reply
  16. What a wonderful story, Mary Jo! And at the rist of sounding like a rebel, my favorite ‘everyday heroine’ was actually a countess. Constance Markiewicz was the first woman to be elected to the British House of Commons, and one of the first women to hold a cabinet post (Minister of Labor of the Irish Republic).
    As a member of the Irish Citizens’ Army, she took part in the 1916 Easter Ririns. After a six-day stand-off, she and the other rebels were arrested and jailed. Markiewicz was sentenced, but because she was a woman, her sentence was commuted to life in prison.
    Her words upon being arrested: “I did what was right and I stand by it.”
    She died in 1927 at the age of 59.

    Reply
  17. What a wonderful story, Mary Jo! And at the rist of sounding like a rebel, my favorite ‘everyday heroine’ was actually a countess. Constance Markiewicz was the first woman to be elected to the British House of Commons, and one of the first women to hold a cabinet post (Minister of Labor of the Irish Republic).
    As a member of the Irish Citizens’ Army, she took part in the 1916 Easter Ririns. After a six-day stand-off, she and the other rebels were arrested and jailed. Markiewicz was sentenced, but because she was a woman, her sentence was commuted to life in prison.
    Her words upon being arrested: “I did what was right and I stand by it.”
    She died in 1927 at the age of 59.

    Reply
  18. What a wonderful story, Mary Jo! And at the rist of sounding like a rebel, my favorite ‘everyday heroine’ was actually a countess. Constance Markiewicz was the first woman to be elected to the British House of Commons, and one of the first women to hold a cabinet post (Minister of Labor of the Irish Republic).
    As a member of the Irish Citizens’ Army, she took part in the 1916 Easter Ririns. After a six-day stand-off, she and the other rebels were arrested and jailed. Markiewicz was sentenced, but because she was a woman, her sentence was commuted to life in prison.
    Her words upon being arrested: “I did what was right and I stand by it.”
    She died in 1927 at the age of 59.

    Reply
  19. What a wonderful story, Mary Jo! And at the rist of sounding like a rebel, my favorite ‘everyday heroine’ was actually a countess. Constance Markiewicz was the first woman to be elected to the British House of Commons, and one of the first women to hold a cabinet post (Minister of Labor of the Irish Republic).
    As a member of the Irish Citizens’ Army, she took part in the 1916 Easter Ririns. After a six-day stand-off, she and the other rebels were arrested and jailed. Markiewicz was sentenced, but because she was a woman, her sentence was commuted to life in prison.
    Her words upon being arrested: “I did what was right and I stand by it.”
    She died in 1927 at the age of 59.

    Reply
  20. What a wonderful story, Mary Jo! And at the rist of sounding like a rebel, my favorite ‘everyday heroine’ was actually a countess. Constance Markiewicz was the first woman to be elected to the British House of Commons, and one of the first women to hold a cabinet post (Minister of Labor of the Irish Republic).
    As a member of the Irish Citizens’ Army, she took part in the 1916 Easter Ririns. After a six-day stand-off, she and the other rebels were arrested and jailed. Markiewicz was sentenced, but because she was a woman, her sentence was commuted to life in prison.
    Her words upon being arrested: “I did what was right and I stand by it.”
    She died in 1927 at the age of 59.

    Reply
  21. Wonderful post, Mary Jo! I read many Burchell books in the 60s and 70s. I remember the Oscar Warrender books especially.
    Corrie Ten Boom has long been one of my heroines, both for what she did during WW II and afterwards. On a personal level, my oldest nephew is a medical firefighter. He’s definitely one of my everyday heroes.

    Reply
  22. Wonderful post, Mary Jo! I read many Burchell books in the 60s and 70s. I remember the Oscar Warrender books especially.
    Corrie Ten Boom has long been one of my heroines, both for what she did during WW II and afterwards. On a personal level, my oldest nephew is a medical firefighter. He’s definitely one of my everyday heroes.

    Reply
  23. Wonderful post, Mary Jo! I read many Burchell books in the 60s and 70s. I remember the Oscar Warrender books especially.
    Corrie Ten Boom has long been one of my heroines, both for what she did during WW II and afterwards. On a personal level, my oldest nephew is a medical firefighter. He’s definitely one of my everyday heroes.

    Reply
  24. Wonderful post, Mary Jo! I read many Burchell books in the 60s and 70s. I remember the Oscar Warrender books especially.
    Corrie Ten Boom has long been one of my heroines, both for what she did during WW II and afterwards. On a personal level, my oldest nephew is a medical firefighter. He’s definitely one of my everyday heroes.

    Reply
  25. Wonderful post, Mary Jo! I read many Burchell books in the 60s and 70s. I remember the Oscar Warrender books especially.
    Corrie Ten Boom has long been one of my heroines, both for what she did during WW II and afterwards. On a personal level, my oldest nephew is a medical firefighter. He’s definitely one of my everyday heroes.

    Reply
  26. From MJP:
    Anne, I know you’re right that it’s hard to tell how people will react in an emergency, and I’m grateful that I haven’t had an opportunity to find out personally. *g* I guess I did save a life once, but it was by calling 911, not a dangerous activity.
    Barbara, you’re right that caring for others is a road to happiness. Connversely, depression is often a downward spiral of self-aborption. Breaking out of that to care for others is a way to start healing.
    Cynthia, I’m not sure a countess can be too ‘everyday,’ but certainly she had courage and the willingness to act for beliefs.
    Janga, firefighters, both medical and regular, rate pretty near the top of any everyday hero list. They’re the ones who run toward the fire, not away.
    WHere would we be without such people?

    Reply
  27. From MJP:
    Anne, I know you’re right that it’s hard to tell how people will react in an emergency, and I’m grateful that I haven’t had an opportunity to find out personally. *g* I guess I did save a life once, but it was by calling 911, not a dangerous activity.
    Barbara, you’re right that caring for others is a road to happiness. Connversely, depression is often a downward spiral of self-aborption. Breaking out of that to care for others is a way to start healing.
    Cynthia, I’m not sure a countess can be too ‘everyday,’ but certainly she had courage and the willingness to act for beliefs.
    Janga, firefighters, both medical and regular, rate pretty near the top of any everyday hero list. They’re the ones who run toward the fire, not away.
    WHere would we be without such people?

    Reply
  28. From MJP:
    Anne, I know you’re right that it’s hard to tell how people will react in an emergency, and I’m grateful that I haven’t had an opportunity to find out personally. *g* I guess I did save a life once, but it was by calling 911, not a dangerous activity.
    Barbara, you’re right that caring for others is a road to happiness. Connversely, depression is often a downward spiral of self-aborption. Breaking out of that to care for others is a way to start healing.
    Cynthia, I’m not sure a countess can be too ‘everyday,’ but certainly she had courage and the willingness to act for beliefs.
    Janga, firefighters, both medical and regular, rate pretty near the top of any everyday hero list. They’re the ones who run toward the fire, not away.
    WHere would we be without such people?

    Reply
  29. From MJP:
    Anne, I know you’re right that it’s hard to tell how people will react in an emergency, and I’m grateful that I haven’t had an opportunity to find out personally. *g* I guess I did save a life once, but it was by calling 911, not a dangerous activity.
    Barbara, you’re right that caring for others is a road to happiness. Connversely, depression is often a downward spiral of self-aborption. Breaking out of that to care for others is a way to start healing.
    Cynthia, I’m not sure a countess can be too ‘everyday,’ but certainly she had courage and the willingness to act for beliefs.
    Janga, firefighters, both medical and regular, rate pretty near the top of any everyday hero list. They’re the ones who run toward the fire, not away.
    WHere would we be without such people?

    Reply
  30. From MJP:
    Anne, I know you’re right that it’s hard to tell how people will react in an emergency, and I’m grateful that I haven’t had an opportunity to find out personally. *g* I guess I did save a life once, but it was by calling 911, not a dangerous activity.
    Barbara, you’re right that caring for others is a road to happiness. Connversely, depression is often a downward spiral of self-aborption. Breaking out of that to care for others is a way to start healing.
    Cynthia, I’m not sure a countess can be too ‘everyday,’ but certainly she had courage and the willingness to act for beliefs.
    Janga, firefighters, both medical and regular, rate pretty near the top of any everyday hero list. They’re the ones who run toward the fire, not away.
    WHere would we be without such people?

    Reply
  31. Sadly I’ve already spent next months book money, so I’ll have to add Safe Passage to the July list.
    My favourite historical heroine is Nancy Wake, who worked with the French Resistance during WWII.
    I think the everyday heroines I admire most are the military wives. I’m not sure I could cope with their everyday lives.
    H! 🙂

    Reply
  32. Sadly I’ve already spent next months book money, so I’ll have to add Safe Passage to the July list.
    My favourite historical heroine is Nancy Wake, who worked with the French Resistance during WWII.
    I think the everyday heroines I admire most are the military wives. I’m not sure I could cope with their everyday lives.
    H! 🙂

    Reply
  33. Sadly I’ve already spent next months book money, so I’ll have to add Safe Passage to the July list.
    My favourite historical heroine is Nancy Wake, who worked with the French Resistance during WWII.
    I think the everyday heroines I admire most are the military wives. I’m not sure I could cope with their everyday lives.
    H! 🙂

    Reply
  34. Sadly I’ve already spent next months book money, so I’ll have to add Safe Passage to the July list.
    My favourite historical heroine is Nancy Wake, who worked with the French Resistance during WWII.
    I think the everyday heroines I admire most are the military wives. I’m not sure I could cope with their everyday lives.
    H! 🙂

    Reply
  35. Sadly I’ve already spent next months book money, so I’ll have to add Safe Passage to the July list.
    My favourite historical heroine is Nancy Wake, who worked with the French Resistance during WWII.
    I think the everyday heroines I admire most are the military wives. I’m not sure I could cope with their everyday lives.
    H! 🙂

    Reply
  36. Mary Jo, I loved this post today. I started reading Harlequins when I was a young girl; Katrina Britt, Betty Neels, Essie Summers, and Mary Burchell were some of my faves. I have read Mary Burchell’s autobiography and it was titled WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS with MB’s name on it. I think one of my fave stories of hers was THE GIRL IN THE BLUE DRESS.
    Heroes are people who touch your lives in many ways whether it is a teacher, a firefighter or police officer, someone serving in the military. My mother is my favorite heroine. She was there to kiss the scrapes, she cried with me, laughed with me, fought cancer and won, and is now having to face up to my dad’s beginning stages of dementia. She’s a strong and beautiful woman.

    Reply
  37. Mary Jo, I loved this post today. I started reading Harlequins when I was a young girl; Katrina Britt, Betty Neels, Essie Summers, and Mary Burchell were some of my faves. I have read Mary Burchell’s autobiography and it was titled WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS with MB’s name on it. I think one of my fave stories of hers was THE GIRL IN THE BLUE DRESS.
    Heroes are people who touch your lives in many ways whether it is a teacher, a firefighter or police officer, someone serving in the military. My mother is my favorite heroine. She was there to kiss the scrapes, she cried with me, laughed with me, fought cancer and won, and is now having to face up to my dad’s beginning stages of dementia. She’s a strong and beautiful woman.

    Reply
  38. Mary Jo, I loved this post today. I started reading Harlequins when I was a young girl; Katrina Britt, Betty Neels, Essie Summers, and Mary Burchell were some of my faves. I have read Mary Burchell’s autobiography and it was titled WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS with MB’s name on it. I think one of my fave stories of hers was THE GIRL IN THE BLUE DRESS.
    Heroes are people who touch your lives in many ways whether it is a teacher, a firefighter or police officer, someone serving in the military. My mother is my favorite heroine. She was there to kiss the scrapes, she cried with me, laughed with me, fought cancer and won, and is now having to face up to my dad’s beginning stages of dementia. She’s a strong and beautiful woman.

    Reply
  39. Mary Jo, I loved this post today. I started reading Harlequins when I was a young girl; Katrina Britt, Betty Neels, Essie Summers, and Mary Burchell were some of my faves. I have read Mary Burchell’s autobiography and it was titled WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS with MB’s name on it. I think one of my fave stories of hers was THE GIRL IN THE BLUE DRESS.
    Heroes are people who touch your lives in many ways whether it is a teacher, a firefighter or police officer, someone serving in the military. My mother is my favorite heroine. She was there to kiss the scrapes, she cried with me, laughed with me, fought cancer and won, and is now having to face up to my dad’s beginning stages of dementia. She’s a strong and beautiful woman.

    Reply
  40. Mary Jo, I loved this post today. I started reading Harlequins when I was a young girl; Katrina Britt, Betty Neels, Essie Summers, and Mary Burchell were some of my faves. I have read Mary Burchell’s autobiography and it was titled WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS with MB’s name on it. I think one of my fave stories of hers was THE GIRL IN THE BLUE DRESS.
    Heroes are people who touch your lives in many ways whether it is a teacher, a firefighter or police officer, someone serving in the military. My mother is my favorite heroine. She was there to kiss the scrapes, she cried with me, laughed with me, fought cancer and won, and is now having to face up to my dad’s beginning stages of dementia. She’s a strong and beautiful woman.

    Reply
  41. From MJP:
    Maree, I’ve read some about Nancy Wake, and she was an amazing woman. I agree with you that military spouses are definitely in the everyday hero category. They have to have nerves of steel and a high level of competence.
    WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS (which is a pretty good pun for the book title) was published when Mary Burchell was best known as a writer. The revised version was later, after Ida and Louise Cook’s war work had become better known, and they changed the title as well.
    Both versions of the book are copyrighted in the names of Ida and Louise Cook. Ida was the more talkative sister, but she alway made it very clear that she and Louise were full partners in what they did. They were both heroines.

    Reply
  42. From MJP:
    Maree, I’ve read some about Nancy Wake, and she was an amazing woman. I agree with you that military spouses are definitely in the everyday hero category. They have to have nerves of steel and a high level of competence.
    WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS (which is a pretty good pun for the book title) was published when Mary Burchell was best known as a writer. The revised version was later, after Ida and Louise Cook’s war work had become better known, and they changed the title as well.
    Both versions of the book are copyrighted in the names of Ida and Louise Cook. Ida was the more talkative sister, but she alway made it very clear that she and Louise were full partners in what they did. They were both heroines.

    Reply
  43. From MJP:
    Maree, I’ve read some about Nancy Wake, and she was an amazing woman. I agree with you that military spouses are definitely in the everyday hero category. They have to have nerves of steel and a high level of competence.
    WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS (which is a pretty good pun for the book title) was published when Mary Burchell was best known as a writer. The revised version was later, after Ida and Louise Cook’s war work had become better known, and they changed the title as well.
    Both versions of the book are copyrighted in the names of Ida and Louise Cook. Ida was the more talkative sister, but she alway made it very clear that she and Louise were full partners in what they did. They were both heroines.

    Reply
  44. From MJP:
    Maree, I’ve read some about Nancy Wake, and she was an amazing woman. I agree with you that military spouses are definitely in the everyday hero category. They have to have nerves of steel and a high level of competence.
    WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS (which is a pretty good pun for the book title) was published when Mary Burchell was best known as a writer. The revised version was later, after Ida and Louise Cook’s war work had become better known, and they changed the title as well.
    Both versions of the book are copyrighted in the names of Ida and Louise Cook. Ida was the more talkative sister, but she alway made it very clear that she and Louise were full partners in what they did. They were both heroines.

    Reply
  45. From MJP:
    Maree, I’ve read some about Nancy Wake, and she was an amazing woman. I agree with you that military spouses are definitely in the everyday hero category. They have to have nerves of steel and a high level of competence.
    WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS (which is a pretty good pun for the book title) was published when Mary Burchell was best known as a writer. The revised version was later, after Ida and Louise Cook’s war work had become better known, and they changed the title as well.
    Both versions of the book are copyrighted in the names of Ida and Louise Cook. Ida was the more talkative sister, but she alway made it very clear that she and Louise were full partners in what they did. They were both heroines.

    Reply
  46. What a wonderful post. Two lovely ladies that lead incredible lives. They certainly match any heroine that “Mary Burchel”l could write into her stories. There are many unsung heroes that surface during emergencies. During hurricanes, tornados, or floods, they help when needed and sometimes go above and beyond what even they expect. The parents of one of my daughter’s best friends are both doctors. They worked in separate hospitals in New Orleans during Katrina. They both stayed at the hospitals with their patients until all could be evacuated. Neither knew what had happened to the other until well into the event.
    The Red Cross volunteer who go out sometimes for weeks to a disaster site give much of themselves and it is all volunteer. We have worked s few small local disasters, but there is one retired couple in our chapter who has responded for weeks to floods and are always ready to leave at a moments notice.

    Reply
  47. What a wonderful post. Two lovely ladies that lead incredible lives. They certainly match any heroine that “Mary Burchel”l could write into her stories. There are many unsung heroes that surface during emergencies. During hurricanes, tornados, or floods, they help when needed and sometimes go above and beyond what even they expect. The parents of one of my daughter’s best friends are both doctors. They worked in separate hospitals in New Orleans during Katrina. They both stayed at the hospitals with their patients until all could be evacuated. Neither knew what had happened to the other until well into the event.
    The Red Cross volunteer who go out sometimes for weeks to a disaster site give much of themselves and it is all volunteer. We have worked s few small local disasters, but there is one retired couple in our chapter who has responded for weeks to floods and are always ready to leave at a moments notice.

    Reply
  48. What a wonderful post. Two lovely ladies that lead incredible lives. They certainly match any heroine that “Mary Burchel”l could write into her stories. There are many unsung heroes that surface during emergencies. During hurricanes, tornados, or floods, they help when needed and sometimes go above and beyond what even they expect. The parents of one of my daughter’s best friends are both doctors. They worked in separate hospitals in New Orleans during Katrina. They both stayed at the hospitals with their patients until all could be evacuated. Neither knew what had happened to the other until well into the event.
    The Red Cross volunteer who go out sometimes for weeks to a disaster site give much of themselves and it is all volunteer. We have worked s few small local disasters, but there is one retired couple in our chapter who has responded for weeks to floods and are always ready to leave at a moments notice.

    Reply
  49. What a wonderful post. Two lovely ladies that lead incredible lives. They certainly match any heroine that “Mary Burchel”l could write into her stories. There are many unsung heroes that surface during emergencies. During hurricanes, tornados, or floods, they help when needed and sometimes go above and beyond what even they expect. The parents of one of my daughter’s best friends are both doctors. They worked in separate hospitals in New Orleans during Katrina. They both stayed at the hospitals with their patients until all could be evacuated. Neither knew what had happened to the other until well into the event.
    The Red Cross volunteer who go out sometimes for weeks to a disaster site give much of themselves and it is all volunteer. We have worked s few small local disasters, but there is one retired couple in our chapter who has responded for weeks to floods and are always ready to leave at a moments notice.

    Reply
  50. What a wonderful post. Two lovely ladies that lead incredible lives. They certainly match any heroine that “Mary Burchel”l could write into her stories. There are many unsung heroes that surface during emergencies. During hurricanes, tornados, or floods, they help when needed and sometimes go above and beyond what even they expect. The parents of one of my daughter’s best friends are both doctors. They worked in separate hospitals in New Orleans during Katrina. They both stayed at the hospitals with their patients until all could be evacuated. Neither knew what had happened to the other until well into the event.
    The Red Cross volunteer who go out sometimes for weeks to a disaster site give much of themselves and it is all volunteer. We have worked s few small local disasters, but there is one retired couple in our chapter who has responded for weeks to floods and are always ready to leave at a moments notice.

    Reply
  51. From MJP:
    LibraryPat, the kinds of people you describe are so very much everyday heroes, with courage and generosity of spirit. One reason I love writing romance is because we write about the heroic–the best in people rather than the worst.
    Pam, for years I collected battered old Mary Burchells for my mother, but I didn’t hear the story of real Ida Cook until quite recently. And then I was blown away.
    Cara, I try to imagine what it would be like to sit in one of those railroad cars in Germany, wearing illegal furs and jewels. Armed guards are going through the car, questioning, searching, looking at papers. Could I could my face innocent and my voice sassy? Or would I have run screaming? Chilling to imagine!

    Reply
  52. From MJP:
    LibraryPat, the kinds of people you describe are so very much everyday heroes, with courage and generosity of spirit. One reason I love writing romance is because we write about the heroic–the best in people rather than the worst.
    Pam, for years I collected battered old Mary Burchells for my mother, but I didn’t hear the story of real Ida Cook until quite recently. And then I was blown away.
    Cara, I try to imagine what it would be like to sit in one of those railroad cars in Germany, wearing illegal furs and jewels. Armed guards are going through the car, questioning, searching, looking at papers. Could I could my face innocent and my voice sassy? Or would I have run screaming? Chilling to imagine!

    Reply
  53. From MJP:
    LibraryPat, the kinds of people you describe are so very much everyday heroes, with courage and generosity of spirit. One reason I love writing romance is because we write about the heroic–the best in people rather than the worst.
    Pam, for years I collected battered old Mary Burchells for my mother, but I didn’t hear the story of real Ida Cook until quite recently. And then I was blown away.
    Cara, I try to imagine what it would be like to sit in one of those railroad cars in Germany, wearing illegal furs and jewels. Armed guards are going through the car, questioning, searching, looking at papers. Could I could my face innocent and my voice sassy? Or would I have run screaming? Chilling to imagine!

    Reply
  54. From MJP:
    LibraryPat, the kinds of people you describe are so very much everyday heroes, with courage and generosity of spirit. One reason I love writing romance is because we write about the heroic–the best in people rather than the worst.
    Pam, for years I collected battered old Mary Burchells for my mother, but I didn’t hear the story of real Ida Cook until quite recently. And then I was blown away.
    Cara, I try to imagine what it would be like to sit in one of those railroad cars in Germany, wearing illegal furs and jewels. Armed guards are going through the car, questioning, searching, looking at papers. Could I could my face innocent and my voice sassy? Or would I have run screaming? Chilling to imagine!

    Reply
  55. From MJP:
    LibraryPat, the kinds of people you describe are so very much everyday heroes, with courage and generosity of spirit. One reason I love writing romance is because we write about the heroic–the best in people rather than the worst.
    Pam, for years I collected battered old Mary Burchells for my mother, but I didn’t hear the story of real Ida Cook until quite recently. And then I was blown away.
    Cara, I try to imagine what it would be like to sit in one of those railroad cars in Germany, wearing illegal furs and jewels. Armed guards are going through the car, questioning, searching, looking at papers. Could I could my face innocent and my voice sassy? Or would I have run screaming? Chilling to imagine!

    Reply
  56. I’ve got a copy of Safe Passage but I haven’t read it yet. I’m trying to get hold of more of Burchell’s novels first.
    Re this comment, though, I’m going to have to disagree:
    ‘Barbara, you’re right that caring for others is a road to happiness. Connversely, depression is often a downward spiral of self-aborption. Breaking out of that to care for others is a way to start healing.’
    Caring for others may often cause depression. For example, one 2007 study found that ‘Carers who look after frail, disabled or mentally ill relatives suffer “extraordinary” rates of depression and have the lowest level of wellbeing of any group in society’ ( http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/high-rates-of-deperssion-in-carers/2007/10/14/1192300600633.html ) and a more recent study found that
    ‘Many new fathers experience post-natal depression, yet most cases go undetected and untreated, experts warn.
    One in 10 new fathers may have the baby blues, US researchers believe – based on their trawl of medical literature.
    While this rate is lower than in new mothers, it is more than currently recognised, they told the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    Lack of sleep and new responsibilities, or supporting a wife with post-natal depression can be triggers, they say.’ ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8687189.stm )

    Reply
  57. I’ve got a copy of Safe Passage but I haven’t read it yet. I’m trying to get hold of more of Burchell’s novels first.
    Re this comment, though, I’m going to have to disagree:
    ‘Barbara, you’re right that caring for others is a road to happiness. Connversely, depression is often a downward spiral of self-aborption. Breaking out of that to care for others is a way to start healing.’
    Caring for others may often cause depression. For example, one 2007 study found that ‘Carers who look after frail, disabled or mentally ill relatives suffer “extraordinary” rates of depression and have the lowest level of wellbeing of any group in society’ ( http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/high-rates-of-deperssion-in-carers/2007/10/14/1192300600633.html ) and a more recent study found that
    ‘Many new fathers experience post-natal depression, yet most cases go undetected and untreated, experts warn.
    One in 10 new fathers may have the baby blues, US researchers believe – based on their trawl of medical literature.
    While this rate is lower than in new mothers, it is more than currently recognised, they told the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    Lack of sleep and new responsibilities, or supporting a wife with post-natal depression can be triggers, they say.’ ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8687189.stm )

    Reply
  58. I’ve got a copy of Safe Passage but I haven’t read it yet. I’m trying to get hold of more of Burchell’s novels first.
    Re this comment, though, I’m going to have to disagree:
    ‘Barbara, you’re right that caring for others is a road to happiness. Connversely, depression is often a downward spiral of self-aborption. Breaking out of that to care for others is a way to start healing.’
    Caring for others may often cause depression. For example, one 2007 study found that ‘Carers who look after frail, disabled or mentally ill relatives suffer “extraordinary” rates of depression and have the lowest level of wellbeing of any group in society’ ( http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/high-rates-of-deperssion-in-carers/2007/10/14/1192300600633.html ) and a more recent study found that
    ‘Many new fathers experience post-natal depression, yet most cases go undetected and untreated, experts warn.
    One in 10 new fathers may have the baby blues, US researchers believe – based on their trawl of medical literature.
    While this rate is lower than in new mothers, it is more than currently recognised, they told the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    Lack of sleep and new responsibilities, or supporting a wife with post-natal depression can be triggers, they say.’ ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8687189.stm )

    Reply
  59. I’ve got a copy of Safe Passage but I haven’t read it yet. I’m trying to get hold of more of Burchell’s novels first.
    Re this comment, though, I’m going to have to disagree:
    ‘Barbara, you’re right that caring for others is a road to happiness. Connversely, depression is often a downward spiral of self-aborption. Breaking out of that to care for others is a way to start healing.’
    Caring for others may often cause depression. For example, one 2007 study found that ‘Carers who look after frail, disabled or mentally ill relatives suffer “extraordinary” rates of depression and have the lowest level of wellbeing of any group in society’ ( http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/high-rates-of-deperssion-in-carers/2007/10/14/1192300600633.html ) and a more recent study found that
    ‘Many new fathers experience post-natal depression, yet most cases go undetected and untreated, experts warn.
    One in 10 new fathers may have the baby blues, US researchers believe – based on their trawl of medical literature.
    While this rate is lower than in new mothers, it is more than currently recognised, they told the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    Lack of sleep and new responsibilities, or supporting a wife with post-natal depression can be triggers, they say.’ ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8687189.stm )

    Reply
  60. I’ve got a copy of Safe Passage but I haven’t read it yet. I’m trying to get hold of more of Burchell’s novels first.
    Re this comment, though, I’m going to have to disagree:
    ‘Barbara, you’re right that caring for others is a road to happiness. Connversely, depression is often a downward spiral of self-aborption. Breaking out of that to care for others is a way to start healing.’
    Caring for others may often cause depression. For example, one 2007 study found that ‘Carers who look after frail, disabled or mentally ill relatives suffer “extraordinary” rates of depression and have the lowest level of wellbeing of any group in society’ ( http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/high-rates-of-deperssion-in-carers/2007/10/14/1192300600633.html ) and a more recent study found that
    ‘Many new fathers experience post-natal depression, yet most cases go undetected and untreated, experts warn.
    One in 10 new fathers may have the baby blues, US researchers believe – based on their trawl of medical literature.
    While this rate is lower than in new mothers, it is more than currently recognised, they told the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    Lack of sleep and new responsibilities, or supporting a wife with post-natal depression can be triggers, they say.’ ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8687189.stm )

    Reply
  61. From MJP:
    Laura, you’re right–being a caregiver can be very, very depressing. My statement was far too sweeping.
    What I meant was the kind of caring that involves getting out of a downward spiral of depression and self absorption where one’s problems loom larger and larger, and going out into the world to interact with others who need a hand. Cuddle cats, visit an old folks home, become a scout leader.
    That’s very different from being a caregiver (which I’ve had some experience of). Caregiving is hard. Cuddling cats is easier, but it can help improve one’s mood.

    Reply
  62. From MJP:
    Laura, you’re right–being a caregiver can be very, very depressing. My statement was far too sweeping.
    What I meant was the kind of caring that involves getting out of a downward spiral of depression and self absorption where one’s problems loom larger and larger, and going out into the world to interact with others who need a hand. Cuddle cats, visit an old folks home, become a scout leader.
    That’s very different from being a caregiver (which I’ve had some experience of). Caregiving is hard. Cuddling cats is easier, but it can help improve one’s mood.

    Reply
  63. From MJP:
    Laura, you’re right–being a caregiver can be very, very depressing. My statement was far too sweeping.
    What I meant was the kind of caring that involves getting out of a downward spiral of depression and self absorption where one’s problems loom larger and larger, and going out into the world to interact with others who need a hand. Cuddle cats, visit an old folks home, become a scout leader.
    That’s very different from being a caregiver (which I’ve had some experience of). Caregiving is hard. Cuddling cats is easier, but it can help improve one’s mood.

    Reply
  64. From MJP:
    Laura, you’re right–being a caregiver can be very, very depressing. My statement was far too sweeping.
    What I meant was the kind of caring that involves getting out of a downward spiral of depression and self absorption where one’s problems loom larger and larger, and going out into the world to interact with others who need a hand. Cuddle cats, visit an old folks home, become a scout leader.
    That’s very different from being a caregiver (which I’ve had some experience of). Caregiving is hard. Cuddling cats is easier, but it can help improve one’s mood.

    Reply
  65. From MJP:
    Laura, you’re right–being a caregiver can be very, very depressing. My statement was far too sweeping.
    What I meant was the kind of caring that involves getting out of a downward spiral of depression and self absorption where one’s problems loom larger and larger, and going out into the world to interact with others who need a hand. Cuddle cats, visit an old folks home, become a scout leader.
    That’s very different from being a caregiver (which I’ve had some experience of). Caregiving is hard. Cuddling cats is easier, but it can help improve one’s mood.

    Reply
  66. Mary Jo,you are so right about the railway car scene, You know, we write these daring heroes and heroines and it’s “easy” to make them do difficult and incredible brave things on paper. To do it in the flesh is something I can’t really imagine. I’d like to think that I’d have that sort of courage. But I don’t deceive myself at all about how hard it would be not to slink away into the shadows.
    Hooray for Ida and Louise.

    Reply
  67. Mary Jo,you are so right about the railway car scene, You know, we write these daring heroes and heroines and it’s “easy” to make them do difficult and incredible brave things on paper. To do it in the flesh is something I can’t really imagine. I’d like to think that I’d have that sort of courage. But I don’t deceive myself at all about how hard it would be not to slink away into the shadows.
    Hooray for Ida and Louise.

    Reply
  68. Mary Jo,you are so right about the railway car scene, You know, we write these daring heroes and heroines and it’s “easy” to make them do difficult and incredible brave things on paper. To do it in the flesh is something I can’t really imagine. I’d like to think that I’d have that sort of courage. But I don’t deceive myself at all about how hard it would be not to slink away into the shadows.
    Hooray for Ida and Louise.

    Reply
  69. Mary Jo,you are so right about the railway car scene, You know, we write these daring heroes and heroines and it’s “easy” to make them do difficult and incredible brave things on paper. To do it in the flesh is something I can’t really imagine. I’d like to think that I’d have that sort of courage. But I don’t deceive myself at all about how hard it would be not to slink away into the shadows.
    Hooray for Ida and Louise.

    Reply
  70. Mary Jo,you are so right about the railway car scene, You know, we write these daring heroes and heroines and it’s “easy” to make them do difficult and incredible brave things on paper. To do it in the flesh is something I can’t really imagine. I’d like to think that I’d have that sort of courage. But I don’t deceive myself at all about how hard it would be not to slink away into the shadows.
    Hooray for Ida and Louise.

    Reply
  71. What extraordinary women! Thank you, Mary Jo. I’d heard of the legendary Mary Burchell and the good works she and her sister did, but it so fabulous to learn more about them both.
    I’m going to order Safe Passage now. What true heroines!

    Reply
  72. What extraordinary women! Thank you, Mary Jo. I’d heard of the legendary Mary Burchell and the good works she and her sister did, but it so fabulous to learn more about them both.
    I’m going to order Safe Passage now. What true heroines!

    Reply
  73. What extraordinary women! Thank you, Mary Jo. I’d heard of the legendary Mary Burchell and the good works she and her sister did, but it so fabulous to learn more about them both.
    I’m going to order Safe Passage now. What true heroines!

    Reply
  74. What extraordinary women! Thank you, Mary Jo. I’d heard of the legendary Mary Burchell and the good works she and her sister did, but it so fabulous to learn more about them both.
    I’m going to order Safe Passage now. What true heroines!

    Reply
  75. What extraordinary women! Thank you, Mary Jo. I’d heard of the legendary Mary Burchell and the good works she and her sister did, but it so fabulous to learn more about them both.
    I’m going to order Safe Passage now. What true heroines!

    Reply
  76. From MJP:
    Trish, I think you’ll enjoy SAFE PASSAGE. Because she was a skilled writer, she really brings the time period to vivid life. Ida and Louise seem to have been wonderfully sane women who found great joy in life. They also had great parents (and two brothers) to whom they were devoted. Good women who lived good lives.

    Reply
  77. From MJP:
    Trish, I think you’ll enjoy SAFE PASSAGE. Because she was a skilled writer, she really brings the time period to vivid life. Ida and Louise seem to have been wonderfully sane women who found great joy in life. They also had great parents (and two brothers) to whom they were devoted. Good women who lived good lives.

    Reply
  78. From MJP:
    Trish, I think you’ll enjoy SAFE PASSAGE. Because she was a skilled writer, she really brings the time period to vivid life. Ida and Louise seem to have been wonderfully sane women who found great joy in life. They also had great parents (and two brothers) to whom they were devoted. Good women who lived good lives.

    Reply
  79. From MJP:
    Trish, I think you’ll enjoy SAFE PASSAGE. Because she was a skilled writer, she really brings the time period to vivid life. Ida and Louise seem to have been wonderfully sane women who found great joy in life. They also had great parents (and two brothers) to whom they were devoted. Good women who lived good lives.

    Reply
  80. From MJP:
    Trish, I think you’ll enjoy SAFE PASSAGE. Because she was a skilled writer, she really brings the time period to vivid life. Ida and Louise seem to have been wonderfully sane women who found great joy in life. They also had great parents (and two brothers) to whom they were devoted. Good women who lived good lives.

    Reply
  81. I will have to put “Safe Passage” on my “to be read” list. Thank you, Mary Jo, for sharing the story of the Cook sisters. I am glad to know that their efforts to aid European Jews during World War II were recognized during their lifetime. Heroism can be found in many different places, and it was lovely to learn about these two remarkable women!

    Reply
  82. I will have to put “Safe Passage” on my “to be read” list. Thank you, Mary Jo, for sharing the story of the Cook sisters. I am glad to know that their efforts to aid European Jews during World War II were recognized during their lifetime. Heroism can be found in many different places, and it was lovely to learn about these two remarkable women!

    Reply
  83. I will have to put “Safe Passage” on my “to be read” list. Thank you, Mary Jo, for sharing the story of the Cook sisters. I am glad to know that their efforts to aid European Jews during World War II were recognized during their lifetime. Heroism can be found in many different places, and it was lovely to learn about these two remarkable women!

    Reply
  84. I will have to put “Safe Passage” on my “to be read” list. Thank you, Mary Jo, for sharing the story of the Cook sisters. I am glad to know that their efforts to aid European Jews during World War II were recognized during their lifetime. Heroism can be found in many different places, and it was lovely to learn about these two remarkable women!

    Reply
  85. I will have to put “Safe Passage” on my “to be read” list. Thank you, Mary Jo, for sharing the story of the Cook sisters. I am glad to know that their efforts to aid European Jews during World War II were recognized during their lifetime. Heroism can be found in many different places, and it was lovely to learn about these two remarkable women!

    Reply
  86. I got my hands on an old copy of WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS a couple of years ago after reading a mention of it in someone’s blog. It was an amazing but also difficult read. I could only handle bits at a time when she was telling us about her rescue work and WWII, had to cry some in between chapters. When Harlequin brought out SAFE PASSAGE (still available @ both eHarlequin and M&B), I had to buy it for the forward and the new pictures and to be able to force it on other people. I think it’s a must-read.
    Not as important as the work that Louise and Ida did, I will tell you all that I’ve brought up Mary Burchell/Ida Cook when people diss romances. Because really? You’re gonna diss a woman who saved 29 lives and did it with the money she earned from writing romances?
    Excellent blog entry, MJ.
    Penn

    Reply
  87. I got my hands on an old copy of WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS a couple of years ago after reading a mention of it in someone’s blog. It was an amazing but also difficult read. I could only handle bits at a time when she was telling us about her rescue work and WWII, had to cry some in between chapters. When Harlequin brought out SAFE PASSAGE (still available @ both eHarlequin and M&B), I had to buy it for the forward and the new pictures and to be able to force it on other people. I think it’s a must-read.
    Not as important as the work that Louise and Ida did, I will tell you all that I’ve brought up Mary Burchell/Ida Cook when people diss romances. Because really? You’re gonna diss a woman who saved 29 lives and did it with the money she earned from writing romances?
    Excellent blog entry, MJ.
    Penn

    Reply
  88. I got my hands on an old copy of WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS a couple of years ago after reading a mention of it in someone’s blog. It was an amazing but also difficult read. I could only handle bits at a time when she was telling us about her rescue work and WWII, had to cry some in between chapters. When Harlequin brought out SAFE PASSAGE (still available @ both eHarlequin and M&B), I had to buy it for the forward and the new pictures and to be able to force it on other people. I think it’s a must-read.
    Not as important as the work that Louise and Ida did, I will tell you all that I’ve brought up Mary Burchell/Ida Cook when people diss romances. Because really? You’re gonna diss a woman who saved 29 lives and did it with the money she earned from writing romances?
    Excellent blog entry, MJ.
    Penn

    Reply
  89. I got my hands on an old copy of WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS a couple of years ago after reading a mention of it in someone’s blog. It was an amazing but also difficult read. I could only handle bits at a time when she was telling us about her rescue work and WWII, had to cry some in between chapters. When Harlequin brought out SAFE PASSAGE (still available @ both eHarlequin and M&B), I had to buy it for the forward and the new pictures and to be able to force it on other people. I think it’s a must-read.
    Not as important as the work that Louise and Ida did, I will tell you all that I’ve brought up Mary Burchell/Ida Cook when people diss romances. Because really? You’re gonna diss a woman who saved 29 lives and did it with the money she earned from writing romances?
    Excellent blog entry, MJ.
    Penn

    Reply
  90. I got my hands on an old copy of WE FOLLOWED OUR STARS a couple of years ago after reading a mention of it in someone’s blog. It was an amazing but also difficult read. I could only handle bits at a time when she was telling us about her rescue work and WWII, had to cry some in between chapters. When Harlequin brought out SAFE PASSAGE (still available @ both eHarlequin and M&B), I had to buy it for the forward and the new pictures and to be able to force it on other people. I think it’s a must-read.
    Not as important as the work that Louise and Ida did, I will tell you all that I’ve brought up Mary Burchell/Ida Cook when people diss romances. Because really? You’re gonna diss a woman who saved 29 lives and did it with the money she earned from writing romances?
    Excellent blog entry, MJ.
    Penn

    Reply
  91. I feel so strongly that many of our heroes and heroines are people whose lives go unremarked. People who support their communities, friends and families year after year without demanding recognition, titles or riches. Thank you for this moving post. I

    Reply
  92. I feel so strongly that many of our heroes and heroines are people whose lives go unremarked. People who support their communities, friends and families year after year without demanding recognition, titles or riches. Thank you for this moving post. I

    Reply
  93. I feel so strongly that many of our heroes and heroines are people whose lives go unremarked. People who support their communities, friends and families year after year without demanding recognition, titles or riches. Thank you for this moving post. I

    Reply
  94. I feel so strongly that many of our heroes and heroines are people whose lives go unremarked. People who support their communities, friends and families year after year without demanding recognition, titles or riches. Thank you for this moving post. I

    Reply
  95. I feel so strongly that many of our heroes and heroines are people whose lives go unremarked. People who support their communities, friends and families year after year without demanding recognition, titles or riches. Thank you for this moving post. I

    Reply
  96. I’m ashamed to say that I have not heard of Ida Cook/Mary Burchell. And I’m a Mills and Boon author! Her story should be part of our orientation.
    Thanks for writing about this, Mary Jo. I’m off to see if Safe Passage in on Kindle!

    Reply
  97. I’m ashamed to say that I have not heard of Ida Cook/Mary Burchell. And I’m a Mills and Boon author! Her story should be part of our orientation.
    Thanks for writing about this, Mary Jo. I’m off to see if Safe Passage in on Kindle!

    Reply
  98. I’m ashamed to say that I have not heard of Ida Cook/Mary Burchell. And I’m a Mills and Boon author! Her story should be part of our orientation.
    Thanks for writing about this, Mary Jo. I’m off to see if Safe Passage in on Kindle!

    Reply
  99. I’m ashamed to say that I have not heard of Ida Cook/Mary Burchell. And I’m a Mills and Boon author! Her story should be part of our orientation.
    Thanks for writing about this, Mary Jo. I’m off to see if Safe Passage in on Kindle!

    Reply
  100. I’m ashamed to say that I have not heard of Ida Cook/Mary Burchell. And I’m a Mills and Boon author! Her story should be part of our orientation.
    Thanks for writing about this, Mary Jo. I’m off to see if Safe Passage in on Kindle!

    Reply
  101. From MJP:
    **I feel so strongly that many of our heroes and heroines are people whose lives go unremarked.**
    Leigh, I completely agree. There are so many people like this, quietly doing good work. As Ida made clear in SAFE PASSAGE, she and Louise were not the only ones doing such work. We tend not to hear of such people until they die.
    ** ashamed to say that I have not heard of Ida Cook/Mary Burchell. And I’m a Mills and Boon author! Her story should be part of our orientation. **
    Diane, I only heard this story in the last year or so. The book was only reissued in the US under this title in November 2008. Before that, I imagine it was more an English story. I see they do have a Kindle edition. *g*

    Reply
  102. From MJP:
    **I feel so strongly that many of our heroes and heroines are people whose lives go unremarked.**
    Leigh, I completely agree. There are so many people like this, quietly doing good work. As Ida made clear in SAFE PASSAGE, she and Louise were not the only ones doing such work. We tend not to hear of such people until they die.
    ** ashamed to say that I have not heard of Ida Cook/Mary Burchell. And I’m a Mills and Boon author! Her story should be part of our orientation. **
    Diane, I only heard this story in the last year or so. The book was only reissued in the US under this title in November 2008. Before that, I imagine it was more an English story. I see they do have a Kindle edition. *g*

    Reply
  103. From MJP:
    **I feel so strongly that many of our heroes and heroines are people whose lives go unremarked.**
    Leigh, I completely agree. There are so many people like this, quietly doing good work. As Ida made clear in SAFE PASSAGE, she and Louise were not the only ones doing such work. We tend not to hear of such people until they die.
    ** ashamed to say that I have not heard of Ida Cook/Mary Burchell. And I’m a Mills and Boon author! Her story should be part of our orientation. **
    Diane, I only heard this story in the last year or so. The book was only reissued in the US under this title in November 2008. Before that, I imagine it was more an English story. I see they do have a Kindle edition. *g*

    Reply
  104. From MJP:
    **I feel so strongly that many of our heroes and heroines are people whose lives go unremarked.**
    Leigh, I completely agree. There are so many people like this, quietly doing good work. As Ida made clear in SAFE PASSAGE, she and Louise were not the only ones doing such work. We tend not to hear of such people until they die.
    ** ashamed to say that I have not heard of Ida Cook/Mary Burchell. And I’m a Mills and Boon author! Her story should be part of our orientation. **
    Diane, I only heard this story in the last year or so. The book was only reissued in the US under this title in November 2008. Before that, I imagine it was more an English story. I see they do have a Kindle edition. *g*

    Reply
  105. From MJP:
    **I feel so strongly that many of our heroes and heroines are people whose lives go unremarked.**
    Leigh, I completely agree. There are so many people like this, quietly doing good work. As Ida made clear in SAFE PASSAGE, she and Louise were not the only ones doing such work. We tend not to hear of such people until they die.
    ** ashamed to say that I have not heard of Ida Cook/Mary Burchell. And I’m a Mills and Boon author! Her story should be part of our orientation. **
    Diane, I only heard this story in the last year or so. The book was only reissued in the US under this title in November 2008. Before that, I imagine it was more an English story. I see they do have a Kindle edition. *g*

    Reply

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