Emma Tennant, the author of Pemberley (Sceptre) and Burnt Diaries (Canongate), has died following a long illness.
Tennant’s son-in-law Leo Hollis, a writer and editor at Verso Books, confirmed that she died in hospital in London on Friday (20th January).
Tennant was born in London in 1937 and spent World War Two at her family’s estate in Peeblesshire, Scotland. She started her career as a journalist, working for Queen magazine and Vogue, and published her first novel The Colour of Rain under the pseudonym of Catherine Aydy in 1963.
She edited literary journals Bananas and was the editor the Viking series Lives of Modern Women. In later years Tennant wrote several books that were inspired by Jane Austen’s novels, including Pemberley.
Her agency PFD said she would be "greatly missed". "We are so sad to hear the news of Emma Tennant’s death. We are lucky to still be able to enjoy her legacy of wonderful books which reflect her special creative talent and her insightful understanding of Jane Austen’s works."
Jamie Byng, publisher and m.d. of Canongate, said: “It is with great sadness that we learnt today of the death of Emma Tennant, a talented and subversive writer with whom we published a number of books. Our thoughts are with her family.”
4th Estate Publishing director, Nicholas Pearson, added: "Emma Tennant devoured the classics and used them as a gateway into her own unique voice: great literature delicately retold and expanded into vivid new stories. She had so many strings to her bow – her memoirs in particular were wonderful. We are extremely proud to have published her."
Tennant was married four times and had three children, including the author Matthew Yorke.
Hollis said Tennant was good friends with writer Hilary Bailey, who also died last week.