Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jane Belson, Douglas Adams' widow, passed away

Polly Adams and Jane Belson (oil on Canvas, 2010, Philip Morgan)

Jane Belson just passed away, peacefully during her sleep,  this morning 7th september 2011, about ten years after her husband Douglas Adams. She was 59 years old and suffered from cancer for many years.

Jane Belson met Douglas after the break up with his previous love affair. He was then looking for a flat mate and they were introduced by a common friend Mary Allen. Jane moved in the spare bedroom in spring 1982. He was then trying to finish "Life, the universe and everything" : "There would be bursts of typing punctuated by long bits of guitar playing (acoustic - the electric guitar came later and annoyed the hell out of our neighboors). I'd come home from chambers to find Douglas waiting to read me what he had written, scrutinizing my reactions minutely and checking carefully to see that I was laughing in the right way at the right joke. It was my first encounter with a writer (well anybody really) who needed that level of reassurance" she told years later to Nick Webb, Douglas Adams first publisher and biographer ("Wish you were here", 2003).

"Jane and Douglas became friends, then lovers and eventually soulmates" explained Nick Webb. After almost getting married in 1985, they lived apart for a while but Jane Belson and Douglas Adams finally got married on November 25 1991, the day Pan Books threw a party for Douglas in the Groucho Club in London's Soho to celebrate the recent Pan publication of Last chance to See and the presentation of Douglas' third golden Pan award. It was a surprise for the guests of the said party as they got married this very afternoon.

Douglas and Jane had a daughter Polly born on 22 June 1994.

Polly wrote on her twitter account : "I wouldn't change the last 17 year for the world. I could never have asked for a better role model or friend. Rest in peace, mummy."

More informations about Douglas Adams' life on my online DNA biography page on