Beloved British novelist Rosamunde Pilcher died Wednesday in hospital in Dundee, Scotland at the age of 94. From The Guardian:
Her son, the author Robin Pilcher, confirmed the news to the Guardian . “She had been in great form up until Christmas, then suffered from bronchitis in the new year, but was always expected to bounce back as before. However, she suffered a stroke on Sunday night and never regained consciousness,” he said.
Robin described Pilcher as “a wonderful, rather alternative-thinking mother – I think she might have liked the description bohemian – who touched and influenced the lives of many of all ages, not only through her writing but through personal friendships”.
Pilcher, best known for her novels set in Cornwall, broke through in 1987, with The Shell Seekers. She was then 63. In 2003, the book was nominated as one of the top 100 novels by the BBC’s Big Read.
The Shell Seekers has sold more than five million copies worldwide, and has been adapted for the stage and screen.
Pilcher’s first book, a romance novel, was published in 1949 under the pseudonym Jane Fraser.
She wrote a total of ten novels as Fraser, books she once described to the New York Times as “frightfully wet little novels – romantic stuff with red roses on the cover.” Her first novel in her own name, Secret to Tell, was published in 1955 and by 1965 she had dropped the pen name altogether.
The Shell Seekers, her breakthrough novel, was her 13th book under her own name and her 23rd novel in total.
Pilcher was prolific. She wrote 17 noels and two collections of short stories under her own name. The most beloved of her novels were September (1990), Coming Home (1995) and Winter Solstice (2000).
Pilcher retired from writing with the publication of Winter Solstice and was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2002. ◊