Reay Tannahill

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Reay Tannahill
Born(1929-12-09)9 December 1929
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Died2 November 2007(2007-11-02) (aged 77)
London, England, United Kingdom
Pen nameReay Tannahill,
Annabel Laine
OccupationHistorian, writer, novelist
GenreNon-fiction, historical fiction, romance
Notable awardsRoNA Award
SpouseMichael Edwardes (1958-1983)

Reay Tannahill[pronunciation?] (9 December 1929 – 2 November 2007) was a British historian, non-fiction writer, and novelist, best known perhaps for two non-fiction bestsellers: Food in History and Sex in History. She also wrote under the pseudonym Annabel Laine.[1] Her novel Passing Glory won in 1990 the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association.[2]


Personal life[edit]

Reay Tannahill was born on 9 December 1929[3] in Glasgow, Scotland,[4] where she was brought up.[5] Her forename was the maiden name of her mother, Olive Reay.[4] She was educated at Shawlands Academy, and obtained an MA in History and a postgraduate certificate in Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow.[5]

In 1958, she married Michael Edwardes; the marriage ended in divorce in 1983 and he died in 1990.[3]

Until her death on 2 November 2007 she lived in a smart terraced house in London near Tate Britain.[4]


Before she started to write, she worked as a probation officer, advertising copywriter, newspaper reporter, historical researcher and graphic designer.[3] She published her first non-fiction book in 1964. With the international success came with the book Food in History, her publisher suggested a companion volume on the second great human imperative, Sex in History. For her 2002 revised edition of Food in History, she won the Premio Letterario Internazionale Chianti Ruffino Antico Fattore.[4]

She also wrote historical romance novels, and in 1990, her novel Passing Glory won in 1990 the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association.[2]

She belonged to the Arts Club and the Authors' Club, and was chairman of the latter from 1997 to 2000.[4]


As Reay Tannahill[edit]


Non-fiction works[edit]

  • Regency England: The Great Age of the Colour Print (1964)
  • Paris in the Revolution: A Collection of Eye-witness Accounts (1966)
  • The Fine Art of Food (1969)
  • Food in History (1973) (Stein and Day publishers)
  • Flesh & Blood: A History of the Cannibal Complex (1975)
  • Sex in History (1980)

Historical fiction[edit]

Single novels[edit]
  • A Dark and Distant Shore (1983)
  • The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1985)
  • Passing Glory (1989)
  • In Still and Stormy Waters (1992)
  • Return of the Stranger (1995)
  • Fatal Majesty: A Novel of Mary, Queen of Scots (1998)
  • The Seventh Son (2001)
Dame Constance de Clair Series[edit]
  1. Having the Builders in (2006)
  2. Having the Decorators in (2007)

As Annabel Laine[edit]

  • The Reluctant Heiress (1979)
  • The Melancholy Virgin (1982)

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Reay Tannahill's Pseudonym, 15 July 2012
  2. ^ a b Awards by the Romantic Novelists' Association, 15 July 2012
  3. ^ a b c Reay Tannahill at The Herald Scotland, 15 July 2012
  4. ^ a b c d e Reay Tannahill at the Independent, 15 July 2012
  5. ^ a b Reay Tannahill's Biography, 15 July 2012
  6. ^ Wands, D C. "Reay Tannahill." Fantastic Fiction. 23 Nov. 2006. 29 Nov. 2006 <>.

External links[edit]