Lucky's Lucky Land
Sweet Mare

Dick Frances - Horseman

Dick francis Dick Francis died Valentine's Day.  The New York Times captures his flashy professional horse career as champion jockey before the 42 books.  

His lifelong deep affinity for horses is described by The Mail Online - Welsh-born to a "horsey" family,  a truant who rode more than he studied.  (Sorta sounds familiar.)  

But the bestest part about the Mail story that the Times won't touch is the contention that Francis didn't write his books.  His wife did.  

Mary and dick

Mary was a crucial part of the thriller-writing 'team'. Although partly paralysed by polio and suffering chronic asthma and bronchitis, she researched all the books  -  in the process becoming a computer expert, photographer, accountant, painter and wine buff, even qualifying as a pilot for the book Flying Finish.

Indeed, as his biographer, I am convinced that Francis (who was poorly educated and not at all literary) did not write the books himself. I am sure that they were written by his clever, literate, university-educated wife but published under his name because as a famous jockey he would sell more copies.

In 1980, Mary told me: 'Yes, Dick would like me to have all the credit for them, but believe me, it's much better for everyone, including the readers, to think that he writes them because they're taut, masculine books that might otherwise lose their credibility.'


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