Fay Weldon dead: Author of Loves of a She-Devil dies aged 91

Writer Fay Weldon has died at the age of 91 (PA Archive)
Writer Fay Weldon has died at the age of 91 (PA Archive)

Author and playwright Fay Weldon has died at the age of 91.

The writer’s nephew writer Roger Clarke first confirmed the news of her death on Twitter on Thursday.

He penned: “I just heard the news from her son Dan that my beloved aunt Fay Weldon died this morning.

“I’m so glad to have known her. I only met her after tracking down my biological family. She was wise, funny and true. She helped me so much. I’ll miss her, everything about her.”

The news was later confirmed by her literary agent, Georgina Capel Associates Ltd, who shared a statement from her family.

They tweeted: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Fay Weldon (CBE), author, essayist and playwright. She died peacefully this morning 4th January 2023.”

Her son confirmed news of her death to The Guardian.

The prolific writer penned more than 50 works across her lifetime, including The Cloning of Joanna May, The Life, Loves of a She-Devil and the Booker prize-shortlisted Praxis.

Weldon was born in a Worcestershire village in 1931, and spent her early years in New Zealand, where her father was a doctor.

After returning to England at the end of the second world war, she went on to study at St Andrews.

Weldon first worked as a Clerk at the Foreign Office before moving into advertising, and became the head of ad firm Ogilvy, Benson & Mather.

By the 1960s, she started writing for TV and film, writing the very first episode of Upstairs, Downstairs in 1971, which won her a Writer’s Guild award for Best British TV Series Script.

In her long career, she also wrote the script for the 1980 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and contributed to ITV series Armchair Theatre and BBC’s Wednesday Play.

Her novel, The Fat Woman’s Joke, was her first novel published in 1967. In 2001, Weldon was awarded the rank of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

She is survived by her four children, Nicolas, Sam, Dan and Tom.