Rosamunde Pilcher, nee Scott, was born in Lelant, Cornwall, on 22 September 1924.
She was educated at St. Clare's Polwithen (in Penzance, Cornwall) and Howell's School Llandaff (in Cardiff, South Wales), then at Miss Kerr-Sanders' Secretarial College.
She did military service with the Women's Royal Naval Service 1943-46, and married Graham Hope Pilcher in 1946. They have two daughters and two sons.
Pilcher began her writing career in 1949 as an author of Mills and Boon romances, under the name Jane Fraser. She published ten such novels, the last ("The Keeper's House") in 1963.
Between 1955 and 1957 she also wrote three plays (two co-written with Charles C. Gairdner), one of which ("The Dashing White Sergeant") was produced in London in 1955 (the other plays are "The Piper of Orde" and "The Tulip Major").
Her first novel as Rosamunde Pilcher, "A Secret To Tell", was published in the same year, and there are two other Pilcher novels ("April" and "On My Own") up to 1965, when she began exclusively using her own name.
Pilcher's international reputation was secured by "The Shell Seekers" (1987), of which she has said (in the New York Times Book Review) that if she'd died the day after writing it, everyone would know exactly what happened in her own life. She has also said (in Publisher's Weekly), "I don't ever write about a place or a person or an experience that I don't know a lot about." Cornwall, where she was born, and Scotland, where she has lived for many years (in Invergowrie, Dundee), therefore figure largely in Pilcher's work.
She has published two short story collections: "The Blue Bedroom" (1985), and "Flowers In The Rain" (1991), and says her stories are "not so much love stories, but more about human relations... If the stories do not have a happy ending, then they always have a hopeful ending."
After Mills and Boon (and Harlequin, Canada), Pilcher published in the UK with Collins (up to and including "Under Gemini"), then mostly with New English Library, a division of Hodder Headline plc. "The Carousel", "Voices in Summer" and "The Shell Seekers" were published in the UK by Severn House.
Her US publisher (from "Sleeping Tiger" onwards) has been St. Martin's Press, and from "Under Gemini" onwards her books have been published in the US prior to or simultaneously with their UK publication.
Roam AloneMay 13, 2001 Night & Day
Click the image to open and read the article.
The Shell Seeker at HomeA Visit With Rosamunde Pilcher by Catherine Calvert
Victoria Magazine, vol. 10, no. 3, March 1998
Click the images to open and read the article pages.