Eleanor Hibbert

Eleanor Hibbert

Infobox Writer
name = Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert
imagesize = 157px
caption = Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert
pseudonym = Eleanor Burford,
Jean Plaidy,
Elbur Ford,
Kathleen Kellow,
Ellalice Tate,
Anna Percival,
Victoria Holt,
Philippa Carr
birthdate = birth date|1906|9|1|mf=y
birthplace = Kensington, London, England
deathdate = death date and age|1993|1|18|1906|9|1|mf=y
deathplace = At sea, somewhere between Greece and Port Said, Egypt
occupation = Novelist
nationality = British
period = 1941-1993
genre = Historical, gothic, romance
movement =
notableworks =
influences =
influenced =
website =

Eleanor Alice Burford (September 01, 1906 in Kensington, London, EnglandJanuary 18, 1993 at sea, somewhere between Greece and Port Said, Egypt), Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy, which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). Lesser known were the novels Hibbert published under her maiden name Eleanor Burford, or the pseudonyms of Elbur Ford, Kathleen Kellow and Ellalice Tate. Many of her readers under one penname never suspected her other identities.


Personal life

Eleanor Alice Burford was born in September 01, 1906 in the South London suburb of Kennington. Her father, Joseph Burford, was something of an odd-job man, with no steady profession, but he quickly passed on his great love of books to his young daughter. She was an avid reader from the age of four onwards.

She was also captivated by the city of her birth. "I consider myself extremely lucky to have been born and raised in London," she later wrote, "and to have had on my doorstep this most fascinating of cities with so many relics of 2000 years of history still to be found in its streets. One of my greatest pleasures was, and still is, exploring London. Circumstances arose which brought my school life to an abrupt termination, and I went hastily to a business college where I studied shorthand, typewriting and languages. And so I had to set about the business of earning a living."

At the age of 16, Eleanor left school and went to work for a jeweller in Hatton Garden, where she typed and weighed gems. In her early twenties, she married a leather merchant, George Percival Hibbert (she was his second wife), who shared her love of books and reading. "I found that married life gave me the necessary freedom to follow an ambition which had been with me since childhood; and so I started to write in earnest."

She died on January 18, 1993 at sea, somewhere between Greece and Port Said, Egypt.

Writing career

At first, Eleanor tried to emulate her literary heroes – the Brontës, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo and Leo Tolstoy – and during the 1930s she completed nine long novels, all of them serious psychological studies of contemporary life. However, none of these were accepted for publication. Determined to succeed, Mrs Hibbert tried her hand at short stories for newspapers, such as the Daily Mail and Evening News. The Literary Editor of the Daily Mail is the person who is attributed with steering her writing in the right direction; he told her "You're barking up the wrong tree - you must write something which is saleable, and the easiest way is to write romantic fiction".

She published her first novels in 1941 under her maiden name: Eleanor Burford, under this pseudonym she signed 32 novels until 1962.

In 1948, she signed her first book under the prolific pseudonym Jean Plaidy, used to published historical novels.

From 1950 to 1953, she signed 5 novels as Elbur Ford, from 1952 to 1960 she used the pseudonym Kathleen Kellow to signed 8 novels, and since 1956 to 1961, she signed 5 novels as Ellalice Tate.

In 1960, she signed one novel as Anna Percival and her first novel as the pseudonym Victoria Holt, served to sign her popular gothic romances.

She created her last pseudonym Philippa Carr in 1972.


As Eleanor Burford

ingle Novels

*"Daughter of Anna", 1941
*"Passionate Witness", 1941
*"The Married Lover", 1942
*"When The Entire World is Young", 1943
*"So The Dreams Depart", 1944
*"Not in Our Stars", 1945
*"Dear Chance", 1947
*"Alexa", 1948
*"The House at Cupid's Cross", 1949
*"Believe The Heart", 1950
*"The Love Child"*, 1950
*"Saint or Sinner", 1951
*"Bright Tomorrow", 1952
*"Dear Delusion", 1952
*"Leave me my Love", 1953
*"When we are Married", 1953
*"Castiles in Spain", 1954
*"Heart's Afire", 1954
*"Gay Lord Robert", 1955
*"Royal Road to Fotheringhay", 1955
*"Two Loves in Her Life", 1955
*"When Other Hearts", 1955
*"Begin to Live", 1956
*"Married in Haste", 1956
*"To Meet a Stranger", 1957
*"Blaze of Noon", 1958
*"Pride in the Morning", 1958
*"Red Sky at Night", 1959
*"The Dawn Chorus", 1959
*"Night of Stars", 1960
*"Now That April's Gone", 1961
*"Who's Calling", 1962

As Jean Plaidy

ingle Novels

Together They Ride (1945)
*"Beyond the Blue Mountains" (1948)
*"The Goldsmith's Wife" (1950)
*"Daughter of Satan" (1952)
*"Lilith" (1954)
*"Melisande (It Began in Vauxhall Gardens)" (1955)
*"The Scarlet Cloak" (1957)
*"Milady Charlotte" (1959)
*"Evergreen Gallant" (1965)
*"Defenders of the Faith"* (1971)
*"Madame du Barry"* (1994)
*"The King's Adventurer"* (1996) (Originally "This Was a Man" by Ellalice Tate)

The Tudor Saga

#"Uneasy Lies the Head" (1982)
#"Katharine, the Virgin Widow" (1961)
#"Shadow of the Pomegranate" (1962)
#"The King's Secret Matter" (1962)
#"Murder Most Royal" (1949)
#"Saint Thomas' Eve" (1954)
#"The Sixth Wife" (1953)
#"The Thistle and the Rose" (1963)
#"Mary, Queen of France" (1964)
#"Spanish Bridegroom" (1954)
#"Gay Lord Robert" (1955)

The Catherine De Medici Trilogy

#"Madame Serpent" (1951)
#"The Italian Woman" (1952)
#"Queen Jezebel" (1953):*"Catherine De Medici" (omnibus) (1969)

The Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots Series

#"Royal Road to Fotheringay" (1955)
#"The Captive Queen of Scots" (1963)

The Stuart Saga

#"Murder in the Tower" (1964)
#"A Health Unto His Majesty" (1956)
#"The Wandering Prince" (1956)
#"Here Lies Our Sovereign Lord" (1957)
#"The Three Crowns" (1965)
#"The Haunted Sisters" (1966)
#"The Queen's Favourites" (1966)

The French Revolution Series

#"Louis the Well Beloved" (1959)
#"The Road to Compiegne" (1959)
#"Flaunting, Extravagant Queen" (1957)

The Lucrezia Borgia Series

#"Madonna of the Seven Hills" (1958)
#"Light on Lucrezia" (1958)

The Isabella and Ferdinand Trilogy

#"Castile for Isabella" (1960)
#"Spain for the Sovereigns" (1960)
#"Daughter of Spain" (1961):*"Isabella and Ferdinand" (Omnibus) (1970)

The Georgian Saga

#"The Princess of Celle" (1967)
#"Queen in Waiting" (1967)
#"Caroline, the Queen" (1968)
#"The Prince and the Quakeress" (1975)
#"The Third George" (1969)
#"Perdita's Prince" (1969)
#"Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill" (1970)
#"Indiscretions of the Queen" (1970)
#"Regent's Daughter" (1971)
#"Goddess of the Green Room" (1971)
#"Victoria in the Wings" (1972)

The Queen Victoria Series

#"The Captive of Kensington Palace" (1972)
#"The Queen and Lord M" (1973)
#"The Queen's Husband" (1973)
#"The Widow of Windsor" (1974)

The Norman Trilogy

#"The Bastard King" (1974)
#"The Lion of Justice" (1975)
#"The Passionate Enemies" (1976)

The Plantagenet Saga

#"The Plantagenet Prelude" (1976)
#"The Revolt of the Eaglets" (1977)
#"The Heart of the Lion" (1977)
#"The Prince of Darkness" (1978)
#"The Battle of the Queens" (1978)
#"The Queen from Provence" (1979)
#"Hammer of the Scots" (also published as "Edward Longshanks") (1979)
#"The Follies of the King" (1980)
#"The Vow on the Heron" (1980)
#"Passage to Pontefract" (1981)
#"The Star of Lancaster" (1981)
#"Epitaph for Three Women" (1981)
#"Red Rose of Anjou" (1982)
#"Sun in Splendour" (1982)

The Queens of England Series

#"Myself My Enemy" (1983)
#"Queen of This Realm: The Story of Elizabeth I" (1984)
#"Victoria Victorious" (1985)
#"The Lady in the Tower" (1986)
#"The Courts of Love: The Story of Eleanor of Aquitaine" (1987)
#"In the Shadow of the Crown" (1988)
#"The Queen's Secret: The Story of Queen Katherine" (1989)
#"" (1990)
#"The Pleasures of Love: The Story of Catherine of Braganza" (1991)
#"William's Wife" (1992)
#"The Rose Without a Thorn" (1993)

Children's Novels

*"Meg Roper, daughter of Sir Thomas More" (1961)
*"The Young Elizabeth" (1961)
*"The Young Mary Queen of Scots" (1962)

Historical Non-fiction

*"Mary Queen of Scots: The Fair Devil of Scotland" (1975)
*"A Triptych of Poisoners"
*"The Rise of the Spanish Inquisition"
*"The Growth of the Spanish Inquisition"
*"The End of the Spanish Inquisition"

As Elbur Ford

ingle Novels

*"Poison in Pimlico", 1950
*"The Flesh and the Devil", 1950
*"Bed Disturbed", 1952
*"Evil in the House"*, 1953
*"Such Bitter Business", 1953

As Kathleen Kellow

ingle Novels

*"Danse Macabre", 1952
*"Rooms at Mrs. Oliver's", 1953
*"Lilith"*, 1954
*"It Began in Vauxhall Gardens"*, 1955
*"Call of the Blood", 1956
*"Rochester, the Mad Earl", 1957
*"Milady Charlotte"*, 1959
*"The World's a Stage", 1960

As Ellalice Tate

ingle Novels

*"Defenders of the Faith"*, 1956
*"The Scarlet Cloak"*, 1957
*"The Queen of Diamonds"*, 1958
*"Madame du Barry"*, 1959
*"This was a Man", 1961

As Anna Percival

ingle Novel

*"Brides of Lanlory", 1960/01

As Victoria Holt

ingle Novels

*" Mistress of Mellyn" (1960)
*" Kirkland Revels" (1962)
*" Bride of Pendoric" (1963)
*" The Legend of the Seventh Virgin" (1965)
*" Menfreya in the Morning" (1966)
*" The King of the Castle" (1967)
*" The Queen's Confession: The Story of Marie-Antoinette" (1968)
*" The Shivering Sands" (1969)
*" The Secret Woman" (1970)
*" Shadow of the Lynx" (1971)
*" On the Night of the Seventh Moon" (1972)
*" The Curse of the Kings" (1973)
*" The House of a Thousand Lanterns" (1974)
*" Lord of the Far Island" (1975)
*" The Pride of the Peacock" (1976)
*" Devil on Horseback" (1977)
*" My Enemy, the Queen" (1978)
*" Spring of the Tiger" (1979)
*" Mask of the Enchantress" (1980)
*" Judas Kiss" (1981)
*" The Demon Lover" (1982)
*" The Time of the Hunter's Moon" (1983)
*" The Landower Legacy" (1984)
*" The Road to Paradise Island" (1985)
*" Secret for a Nightingale" (1986)
*" Silk Vendetta" (1987)
*" The India Fan" (1988)
*" The Captive" (1989)
*" Snare of Serpents" (1990)
*" Daughter of Deceit" (1991)
*" Seven for a Secret" (1992)
*" The Black Opal" (1993)
*" Remember, Remember" (2000)

As Philippa Carr

Daughters of England Series

#"Miracle At St. Bruno's" (1972)
#"The Lion Triumphant" (1973)
#"Witch from the Sea" (1975)
#"Saraband for Two Sisters" (1976)
#"Lament for a Lost Lover" (1977)
#"The Love Child" (1978)
#"The Song of the Siren" (1980)
#"The Drop of the Dice" (1981) US title: "Will You Love Me in September?"
#"The Adulteress" (1982)
#"Knave of Hearts" (1983)
#"Zipporah's Daughter" (1983)
#"Voices in a Haunted Room" (1984)
#"The Return of the Gypsy" (1985)
#"Midsummer's Eve" (1986)
#"The Pool of Saint Branok" (1987)
#"The Changeling" (1989)
#"The Black Swan" (1990)
#"A Time for Silence" (1991)
#"The Gossamer Cord" (1992)
#"We'll Meet Again" (1993)

ingle Novels

#"Daughters of England" (1995)

References and sources

External links

* [http://jeanplaidy.tripod.com/index.htm Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert "Queen of Romantic Suspense"]
* [http://www.geocities.com/athens/forum/8078/holt.html Bookbug on the Web: Victoria Holt]
* [http://members.aol.com/SGoldst155/CHP_index.html Phillipa Carr, Victoria Holt and Jane Plaidy Pages]
* [http://members.aol.com/SGoldst155/plaidy.html Books by Jean Plaidy]
* [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/victoriaholt/ Victoria Holt's Yahoogroup]

NAME= Hibbert, Eleanor Alice Burford
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Burford, Eleanor Alice (birth name); Hibbert, Eleanor Alice (married name); Burford, Eleanor (pseudonym); Plaidy, Jean (pseudonym); Ford, Elbur (pseudonym); Kellow, Kathleen (pseudonym); Tate, Ellalice (pseudonym); Percival, Anna (pseudonym); Holt, Victoria (pseudonym); Carr, Philippa (pseudonym)
SHORT DESCRIPTION= English novelist
DATE OF BIRTH= September 01, 1906
PLACE OF BIRTH= Kensington, London (England, United Kingdom
DATE OF DEATH= January 18, 1993
PLACE OF DEATH= Mediterranean Sea

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