Friday, November 19, 2010

Author's in the Spotlight Friday: Jean Plaidy

Welcome to the second Author's in the Spotlight Friday here at All Things Historical Fiction! Last week I featured Susan Higginbotham author of The Traitor's Wife. If you missed it click here Susan Higginbotham

This week I have chosen to honor the Goddess herself Jean Plaidy (Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert). During most of the 20th century, Eleanor was known as one of the finest English Historical Fiction authors. What's interesting about Eleanor was that she wrote under eight pennames and many of her readers of one penname never suspected her other identities. Some of her most used and well known pennames are: Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt, and Philippa Carr.

Eleanor Alice Burford was born on September 1, 1906 in Kensington, London. She acquired her love of reading from her father who was known to be a little weird. While in her twenties, she married George Percival Hibbert, a leather merchant who also shared her love of reading. Sadly, Eleanor died on January 18, 1993 while at sea. It was suspected her boat sank somewhere between Greece and Egypt.

The height of her career was in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Her novels were based on fictionalized history, which were all very carefully researched. One thing I found interesting about her was how she loved to collect old history books and read them from cover to cover and then transform them into exciting narratives that captivated readers all over the world.

By the time of her death, Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert, was a global success. Her novels under Jean Plaidy had sold over 14 million copies and her Victoria Holt books had sold an astounding 56 million copies worldwide.

I absolutely adore Eleanor’s work, especially her Jean Plaidy novels. She really knows how to capture every moment and every detail of the past and then make them come alive on the page. I’m currently working on collecting all of her Jean Plaidy novels and then working my way to Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr. Although most of her books were written in the 50’s and 60’s, Random House publishing company is re-publishing her work with beautiful cover art.

Here is the master list of Eleanor's Jean Plaidy work:
(Note) I changed some of the titles to the new reprinted titles by Random House Publishers

Tudor Series

To Hold the Crown
Katherine of Aragon
Murder Most Royal
The King’s Confidante

The Sixth Wife
The Thistle and the Rose
Mary, Queen of France
For a Queen’s Love
A Favorite of the Queen

Mary Stuart Series

The Royal Road to Fotheringhay
The Captive Queen of Scots
James I
The Murder in the Tower

Charles II Trilogy

The Loves of Charles II

Stuart Saga

The Three Crowns
The Haunted Sisters
The Queen’s Favorites

Georgian Series

The Princess of Celle
Queen in Waiting
Caroline, the Queen
The Prince and the Quakeress
The Third George
Perdita´s Prince
Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill
Indiscretions of the Queen
The Regent’s Daughter
The Goddess of the Green Room
Victoria in the Wings

Queen Victoria Series

The Captive of Kensington Palace
The Queen and Lord M
The Queen’s Husband
The Widow of Windsor

Queens of England Series

Loyal in Love
Queen of this Realm
Victoria Victorious

The Lady in the Tower
The Courts of Love
In the Shadow of the Crown
The Queen’s Secret
The Reluctant Queen
The Merry Monarch’s Wife
The Queen’s Devotion
The Rose Without a Thorn

Ferdinand and Isabella Series

Castile for Isabella
Spain for the Sovereigns
Daughters of Spain

Lucrezia Borgia Series
Madonna of the Seven Hills
Light on Lucrezia
Lucrezia Borgia

de’Medici Series

Madame Serpent
The Italian Woman
Queen Jezebel
Catherine de’Medici
Henry of Navarre
Evergreen Gallant

French Revolution Series

Louis, the Well-Beloved
The Road to Compiegne
Flaunting Extravagant Queen

Spanish Inquisition Series

The Rise of the Spanish Inquisition
The Growth of Spanish Inquisition
The End of the Spanish Inquisition
The Spanish Inquisition

Norman Series

The Bastard King
The Lion of Justice
The Passionate Enemies

Plantagenet Series

The Plantagenet Prelude
The Revolt of the Eaglets
The Heart of the Lion

The Prince of Darkness
The Battle of the Queens
The Queen from Provence
The Hammer of the Scots
The Follies of the King
The Vow on the Heron
The Passage to Pontefract
The Star of Lancaster
Epitaph for Three Women
The Red Rose of Anjou
The Sun in Splendour


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm now following yours and looking forward to reading some of your reviews as I love historical fiction :)

    And I agree, books are usually better than films - I prefer to imagine things for myself. The only exception I would make is Lord of the Rings, I love the story but didn't enjoy the writing style of the books.

  2. Thank you Sam!

    I completely agree about the Lord Of the Rings. I could not read the books but LOVED the movies.