BLUE BLOOD RUNS RED
First Published in December 1936 – 248 pages
under the pseudonym of Jon Early (W. E. Johns)
Republished in paperback by Norman Wright in 1998 - 191 pages
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Johns' only real solidly romantic novel features nothing about aeroplanes at all. It is said that a lady guest at a dinner party challenged W. E. Johns to write a purely romantic novel and he shut himself away for a week and came up with this story, full of witty and entertaining dialogue.
Glen Lomax is told by his father John, that the family fortune is no more and as a result he has to rent out the estate and they all have to move out. If they cannot raise the price of the estate within twelve months, then it will be sold off. The family butler, Judkins (a name Johns would use again for the Butler in his space adventure books) is to stay on to help the new American family, the Wombergers, who have taken on the lease, get acquainted with the estate. Glen takes a final look around his old family home before going to say goodbye to the butler. He find Judkins ill and has to call an ambulance to send him off to hospital. Gloria Womberger, the rich and beautiful heiress of the Womberger family arrives a day early and mistakes Glen for Judkins. Glen is happy to play the part of the butler for fun and the couple spend some happy hours together and fall in love. Glen knows he has to tell Gloria who he really is, but he is frightened to tell her, because she has already confided in him her hatred of "gold diggers" - men who deceive her and pretend to love her in order to get at her money. Glen now finds himself in a difficult position, bearing in mind his own financial position, but is about to tell Gloria the truth when her father, Silas Womberger, a rich American business man, arrives, together with his entourage. Glen, whilst acting as the butler and with the help of his childhood knowledge of priest-holes, is able to overhear Womberger Senior's plans for dealing on the stock exchange. Using this advance knowledge, Glen is able to turn what money he has left and what money he can raise, into a sizeable fortune. Glen's plan is that once he is himself wealthy, Gloria will no longer believe him to be a "gold-digger" when his deception is revealed. Things do not go according to plan, when Gloria unexpectedly discovers Glen's identity. Keeping her discovery a secret and then misinterpreting Glen's subsequent actions, Gloria thinks the worst of him. Eventually, she confronts Glen and accuses him of being a charlatan and a fraud. Glen is heartbroken but leaves with dignity. Gloria subsequently discovers her misunderstanding and then she has to take steps to get him back so that the two lovers can be together forever.
The original dust wrapper shows Glen carrying Gloria to bed after she has fallen asleep and the reprint shows the two lovers in the Rose Garden, with Gloria sitting on cupid's bench.
Blue Blood Runs Red
Subtitle - none
Publication Details - originally published by George Newnes
Original first edition full dust jacket