TRIBUTES have been paid to a romantic novelist and Waltham Abbey historian who passed away last month.

Dinah Dean died on June 21, after a lengthy period of ill-health.

Miss Dean was a prolific writer, who wrote 16 romantic novels for publisher Mills and Boon, with some under her own name or using pen names Jane Hunt or Marjorie May.

She was also a keen local historian, who wrote pamphlets about the history of the town, which are still on sale to visitors currently.

She fell in love with the Abbey after moving to Roundhills in 1968 from East London.

An Only child, Miss Dean was Born in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire, on November 28, 1928, to Herbert Dean, an engineer, and his wife, Marjory.

As a young child Miss Dean developed a lasting love of history and books, which was cemented by her first job as a bookseller in Bumpus, Booksellers of London’s Oxford Street.

After completing a teacher training course, she worked in schools in East London, teaching history, supervising sport, and even refereeing football matches. She eventually resigned from teaching to devote herself full-time to writing.

Miss Dean threw herself into life in Waltham Abbey, becoming Parish clerk and organising events for the Abbey Church She also joined Waltham Abbey Historical Society and held office as Chairman and, subsequently, as Secretary for more than thirty years to 2007.

Chairman of the Harlow Civic Society Stan Newens paid tribute to Miss Dean saying: “She was considered to be in the top rank, both for writing quality and historical accuracy.

"Although many of her stories were set in early 19th century Waltham Abbey, Essex, England or Russia, some were based in the mediaeval or other periods.

“To collect background information, she visited Russia and established close ties with the Assistant Director of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

"She also used her expertise to deliver fascinating lectures on her travels and various historic themes, such as the genealogy of the Godwinson family of King Harold.”

Her funeral was conducted at Waltham Abbey by the Rev. Martin Webster on July 17. Books and romance novels: The Ice King [1980].

The Eagle’s Fate [1981].

Wheel of Fortune [1983].

Tatya’s Story [1984].

The River of Time [1985].

The Country Gentleman [1985].

The Country Cousins [1986].

Flight from the Eagle [1986].

Briar Rose [1986].

Maid of Honour [1987].

The Cockermouth Mail [1989].

Silk and Stone [1990].

Daughter of the Sunset Isles [1991].

Road to Kaluga.

That Sweet Enemy.

Green Gallant.

Books about Waltham Abbey: The Legend of the Holy Cross of Waltham.

King Harold’s Town [with John Camp).

Christianity in Waltham Abbey.

The Five Churches of Waltham Abbey.

Evidence of the Burial of King Harold II, Godwinson, at Waltham Abbey.

The Gilt and Gild Chapels of Waltham Abbey.

The Christian Symbolism of the Zodiac.