Novelist dies at age of 77

A famous author from the borough who wrote historical sagas set in the north east has died at the age of 77.

Benita Brown, who grew up in Whitley Bay and spent most of her life in the north east, died in hospital last week after a short illness.

The popular novelist, who married former BBC Radio Newcastle producer Norman Brown, wrote 13 popular family sagas set in the region, including her 2006 best seller Fortune’s Daughter, which was shortlisted for Romantic Novel of the Year.

Her son Martin Brown said: “Her books were regularly listed among the ‘most borrowed’ by library users.

“There’s a maximum royalty you can get for borrowed books and she reached that maximum as her books got borrowed so much. She was very popular in the north east.”

The funeral will be held at St Aidan’s Church, at Brunton Park, Newcastle, on Tuesday, at 10.30am.