Destiny author Sally Beauman dies

Destiny author Sally Beauman dies

Author and journalist Sally Beauman has died, aged 71.

Best known for her internationally bestselling 1987 novel, Destiny, Beauman died “peacefully” on Thursday (7th July) in hospital. Her family announced the news in the Times yesterday (11th July), adding she would be “greatly missed”.

Beauman, born in Devon, read English literature at Girton College, Cambridge and, after graduating, lived in America while beginning her career as a journalist on the magazine New York. 

She went on to write eight novels that were translated into as many as 20 languages worldwide. They included Rebecca's Tale (Sphere), a sequel to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, and The Visitors (Abacus), which the Daily Mail described as "Death on the Nile meets Downton Abbey".

She also wrote two non-fiction books: The Royal Shakespeare Company's Centenary Production of Henry V and The Royal Shakespeare Company: A History of Ten Decades (OUP).

Ursula Mackenzie, chairman at Little, Brown, said: "In a fiction career spanning nearly 30 years, Sally Beauman wrote eight novels - her skill was to combine great storytelling, intricate characterisation and a wonderful sense of history and place. 

"For a popular novelist, she explored complex themes and the darker reaches of the human psyche - one of the reasons she was the perfect choice to write the companion novel to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, as they shared many of each other's qualities as writers. 

"Her final novel, The Visitors, set largely in Egypt at the time of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, was critically acclaimed and probably her finest work."

Beauman is survived by her son, James Howard, his wife Lucy and their children, Fin and Ellie. Beauman’s husband, actor Alan Howard, passed away last year.