Louise & Ida Cook

Ida Cook (24 August 1904 – 22 December 1986) was a British campaigner for Jewish refugees and a romance novelist as Mary Burchell.

Ida Cook and her sister Mary Louise Cook (1901–1991) rescued Jews from the Nazis during the 1930s. The sisters helped 29 people escape, funded mainly by Ida’s writing. In 1965, the Cook sisters were honoured as Righteous among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority in Israel.

Between 1936 and 1985, Ida Cook wrote 112 romance novels as Mary Burchell for Mills & Boon. She helped to found, and from 1966 to 1986 was the second president of, the Romantic Novelists’ Association. In 1950 she wrote her autobiography, We Followed Our Stars, later re-edited and expanded as Safe Passage, which is currently in print.

Louise and Ida moved into Lovaine House on Percy Terrace aged 11 and 8 in 1912 and lived there until 1919.