Rosamunde Pilcher, author of The Shell Seekers, and other wholesome novels has died at the age of 94 her agent confirmed yesterday. The novelist who penned nearly thirty romance and fiction books between 1949 and 2000 when she retired died following a short illness.
Pilcher was born Rosamunde E. M. L Scott on 22nd September 1924 in Lelant on the north coast of Cornwall and began writing aged 7. She was just 15 when she had her first short story published. In the late 1940s Pilcher began to write for Mills & Boon, publishing her stories under the pseudonym Jane Fraser.
Her first novel under Rosamunde Pilcher was A Secret to Tell and was published in 1955. Her most famous work, The Shell Seekers hit the shelves in 1988. The Shell Seekers centres around a character called Penelope Keeling, an elderly British woman who reflects on her life and relationships with her adult children. The novel is critically acclaimed and became her biggest literary success, selling five million copies worldwide, and being adapted for a television show starring Angela Lansbury.
The success of the novel won Pilcher a place as one of Britain’s highest-earning women and in 2003 The Shell Seekers was named by the British public as one of the top 100 novels of all time in the BBC’s Big Read.
Through her career Pilcher wrote ten novels under the name Jane Fraser, eighteen full length novels as Rosamunde Pilcher and released several short story collections too.