Teresa Denys, also known as Jacqui Bianchi, was a renowned English romance novelist and editor born in 1947. She authored two major works, The Silver Devil and The Flesh and the Devil, both considered bodice-ripper masterpieces.
A Candle in the Wind
“If you don’t love your characters who else will?”TERESA DENYS (JACQUI BIANCHI) 1947-1987/88
Teresa Denys only published two books in her lifetime. However, it happens that both of them, The Silver Devil and The Flesh and the Devil, are bodice-ripper masterpieces. The sweeping epics feature cruel heroes unmatched in their obsessive devotions to their heroines.
Teresa Denys, aka Jacqui Bianchi
“Luxuriate; romantic fiction is life with texture added.”TERESA DENYS (JACQUI BIANCHI)
She was born on April 29, 1947, in London, England, to Joseph George (Bianchi), a police officer, and Majorie nee Bird. Bianchi attended secondary school in London.
As far as her politics went, she was moderate, a Tory with liberal tendencies.
Since childhood, Bianchi was always inclined to be around books. So it was no surprise that her first job was in London’s Newham Public Library Service as a librarian from 1965 to 1969.
Later, she worked as an insurance clerk for a few years. Then she found a job as a secretary for Winn-Industries, Ltd, before focusing on writing full-time in 1974.
Teresa Denys, the Author
Bianchi had a sense of whimsy, taking her pen name from the fey Captain Terri Dennis from the British romp, Privates of Parade, a play and film about gay soldiers attempting to perform a drag queen revue.
In 1978 she completed her first novel, The Silver Devil. It was supposedly based upon the dark themes found in the Jacobean play The Revenger’s Tragedy, which touched upon violence, lust, revenge, and sexual and gender dynamics.
The Silver Devil was first released with Futura Publications in England. Afterward, it was reprinted by Ballantine Books in the US.
Her second book, The Flesh and the Devil, came out two years later in 1980, another Futura paperback. It was published only in hardcover in the US by St. Martin’s Press.
“I began writing eight years before thinking of submitting my first manuscript, which was luckily accepted instantly. The principal problems are finding sufficient time to write and my own perfectionism. Currently I am having to travel much too far and too frequently and have difficulty in balancing the demands of two careers and a private life, plus any home life that is not spent at the typewriter.”Jacqui Bianchi (aka Teresa Denys), Contemporary Authors, Vol 105, Gale Research Company, 1982
Teresa Denys, the Editor
Besides being a writer, Bianchi was a successful editor for Mills and Boon, collaborating with authors such as Penny Jordan, Leigh Michaels, and Emma Goldrick. In addition, she discovered and guided Australia’s all-time best-selling romance author, Emma Darcy.
“What was most fascinating for us, was she didn’t cut 30, 40, or 50 pages. She cut a paragraph here, a phrase there, a sentence here… She showed us how to tighten up the writing and move forward more quickly. We learned so much from her,” said the Australian author about Bianchi’s editorial style.
Death and Legacy
“Screw the punch; you want a knock-out, don’t you?”TERESA DENYS (JACQUI BIANCHI) 1947-1987/88
Teresa Denys had plans to write more books. She was working on another romance set in 17th-century England and France. She also delved into research about ancient Greek legends and epic poems.
Bianchi loved classical theater, poetry, and music. She had been a breast cancer survivor and was in remission after treatment.
Around the time of her passing, she lived in London with roommates and several animal friends.
Sadly, Jacqui Bianchi died much too young in a car crash. According to former Mills and Boon author Sally Beauman, it occurred in 1987.
- The Silver Devil, Futura, 1978
I knew that love would not turn the silver devil into an angel. He would remain what he was–subtle yet childish, unfeeling yet passionate, lost irretrievably to everything but his own desire. But he loved me–and I loved him, now and forever.THE SILVER DEVIL
- The Flesh and The Devil, Futura, 1980
“Kindness is a painless thing to give, and easy, a sop to those you do not need. Friendship and kindness have nought to do with this.” For a moment, the look in his eyes, as brilliant as an eagle’s in the harsh inscrutability of his face, terrified her. “I am not kind to the air I breathe, nor the food I eat, nor to you.”THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL