- Essie Summers
Essie Summers. New Zealand inheritance. London: Mills & Boon, 1957.
in Christchurch in 1912, Ethel Snelson Flett, better known by her maiden name
of Essie Summers, was a modest housewife, mother and wife to a Presbyterian
minister. She came to Dunedin after World War II when her husband was
transferred to Wakari parish, and it was here that she made her first attempts
as a romance writer. After shifts to Weston and Rakaia, she settled with more
permanency in a villa at Preston Crescent, Belleknowes, from where she wrote
the vast majority of her romances. New
Zealand inheritance was her first novel published in 1957.
Essie Summers. Bachelors galore. London: Mills & Boon, 1958.
second novel Bachelor’s galore has a
Mid-Canterbury setting. Written during her time at Rakaia, she had shifted to
Belleknowes before it was published in 1958.
Essie Summers. The smoke and the fire. London: Mills & Boon, 1964.
The smoke and the fire is one of Essie
Summers’ novels with a Dunedin setting. Essie described Dunedin as “the one
place beloved over all” in her 1974 autobiography. She retired to Hawkes Bay
and died in Taradale in 1998.
Essie Summers. Bride in flight. London: Mills & Boon, 1964.
Summers wrote more than fifty romance novels which sold 19 million copies
worldwide. A distinctive feature of her novels was her vivid descriptions of
Otago and South Island scenery, which inspired the visits of many tourists.
Essie’s romances were always entirely devoid of coarse language and never went
beyond the bedroom door.