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Sex “sold” for Jackie Collins, but it was the emotional honesty of her writing that kept readers hooked for almost half a century. Alexandra Heminsley considers the enduring legacy of Hollywood’s naughtiest novelist.

For a woman so associated with sex and decadence, Jackie Collins’ day-to-day routine would have surprised many of her fans. She worked, writing in longhand with a black felt-tip pen, every day until her death in 2015. She went to bed early. She filed promptly. According to Suzanne Baboneau, managing director of Simon & Schuster UK and Collins’ line editor since 1980, she “knew the value of a deadline, and always delivered a wonderfully clean manuscript.”

Although Collins—with her Armani pantsuits, her panther-bedecked desk, and her iconic house designed to look like David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash—epitomized Hollywood glamour to so many, she was in fact a hardworking Brit who, as Baboneau puts it, had “a real morality about her.”

  • Words:
    Alexandra Heminsley

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