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Last edited by Kitty Nichols
May 4, 2014 | History

M. C. Beaton

1936 -

Marion Chesney was born in 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland. Her first job was a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John Smith & Sons Ltd. While working there, the Scottish Daily Mail hired her to review variety shows; she quickly rose to be their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to work as a secretary--albeit without typing or shorthand skills--in the advertising department of Scottish Field magazine but was soon the fashion editor instead. She moved to the Scottish Daily Express, where she reported mostly on crime, then to Fleet Street and the Daily Express, where she was their chief woman reporter.

Marion married Harry Scott Gibbons, and they had a son, Charles. Harry was offered a job as editor of the Long Island, New York, Oyster Bay Guardian, and the small family moved to the United States. The Oyster Bay job didn’t work out, and the trio moved to Virginia. Marion and Harry worked in the same greasy spoon in Alexandria--Marion waited tables, and Harry washed dishes. Happily, they both got jobs on Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and returned to New York.

Marion wanted to spend more time at home with young Charles. In 1977, encouraged by her husband, she started to write historical romance novels, eventually publishing over one hundred books under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, and under a variety of pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester.

By 1985, Marion was weary of historicals and turned to detectives stories, writing as M. C. Beaton. A course at a fishing school during a holiday in Sutherland provided inspiration for the first Constable Hamish Macbeth story. Eventually, the family returned to Scotland and and bought a croft house and croft in Sutherland, where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. Another move, to the Cotswolds, led to the birth of Agatha Raisin.

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May 4, 2014 Edited by Kitty Nichols Edited without comment.
May 4, 2014 Edited by Kitty Nichols Edited bio
July 28, 2013 Edited by CGN Edited without comment.
July 26, 2013 Edited by CGN Added new photo
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import