Entertainment & Arts

Destiny author Sally Beauman dies aged 71

Sally Beauman Image copyright Charlie Hopkin
Image caption Sally Beauman also wrote non-fiction books about the Royal Shakespeare Company

Writer Sally Beauman, probably best-known for her novel Destiny, has died in hospital aged 71.

Her family, who said she will be "greatly missed", announced her death in The Times, saying they were with her when she "died peacefully".

Her late husband, actor Alan Howard, died last year.

Beauman has had her best-selling novels translated into more than 20 languages worldwide, with other titles including Rebecca's Tale and The Visitors.

'Great storytelling'

International bestseller Destiny, written in 1987, was "a spellbinding story of star-crossed love" according to bookseller Barnes and Noble.

It described the novel as "Sally Beauman's masterpiece about a man and a woman and their once-in-a-lifetime love".

Beauman also wrote for the New Yorker, Sunday Times and Telegraph magazine and penned two non-fiction books: The Royal Shakespeare Company's Centenary Production of Henry V and The Royal Shakespeare Company: A History of Ten Decades.

Ursula Mackenzie, head of Beauman's publishers 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 leaves one son, James, his wife and two grandchildren.

The family said it will be a private funeral.

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