Novelist's final note to husband

PUBLISHED: 10:33 15 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:04 04 May 2010

Valerie Grosvenor Myer

Valerie Grosvenor Myer

HADDENHAM novelist Valerie Grosvenor Myer left a heart-rending note to her husband before deciding to end her 10-year-struggle with illness by taking an overdose of painkillers. Losing the ability to speak and write, Valerie, 72, pictured, had made three

HADDENHAM novelist Valerie Grosvenor Myer left a heart-rending note to her husband before deciding to end her 10-year-struggle with illness by taking an overdose of painkillers.

Losing the ability to speak and write, Valerie, 72, pictured, had made three previous attempts at suicide as her battle with Parkinson's disease became too much to bear.

Her husband, Michael, 75, discovered his wife's body at their West End home and said her decision was both "rational and courageous".

"I have got friends who are struggling with illness and it is a great cross to bear", he said. "My darling had the right idea.

"She was losing her speech and the idea of Valerie not able to speak was absurd. Our marriage was a 47-year conversation and I miss her terribly.

"But it was right for her to do what she did. It was better than her soldering on the way she was."

Valerie was well-known for her literary contributions, sense of humour and her flamboyant hats.

She had been a critic, poet, biographer, playwright, editor and teacher during an impressive career spanning more than 50 years.

The daughter of a coalminer, her success came despite family objections to higher education which led to her being taken out of school at 16 to train as a librarian.

But her love and talent for writing prompted her to pursue a career in journalism and she became the author of many books. She also gained at place at Newnham College, Cambridge at the age of 28 and gained a first class honours degree in English.

Valerie died on August 9 and a note on her computer to her husband said: "Without you I could never have developed my potential."

An inquest into her death at Ely Coroner's Court on Friday recorded a verdict of suicide after hearing that she had taken an overdose of paracetamol.

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