The novel that came to make Rosamunde Pilcher an internationally renowned author was The Shell Seekers which topped the New York Times Bestseller list. The author, who recently passed away at 94 years of age, had a successful writing career spanning over 60 years.
Born in Lelant (between Hayle and St Ives) in 1924, Rosamunde had a fairly middle class English upbringing going to private school and then secretarial college. During a stint in the Women's Royal Naval Service at the end of the Second World War she met her husband Graham Hope Pilcher and was married at the age of 22 in 1946.
Three years later Rosamunde began writing for Mills and Boon under the name of Jane Fraser. She had ten novels published under that name, the last, The Keeper's House, in 1963. Her first novel under the name of Rosamunde Pilcher was A Secret to Tell was published in 1955.
In 1987 the Shell Seekers was published. It is a story set in London and Cornwall between World War II and the present, about the Keeling family, and of the passions and heartbreak that have held them together for three generations. It is to some extent based on her own life - we know this from an interview with the New York Times Book Review where she said that if she'd died the day after writing it, everyone would know exactly what happened in her own life.
She was created an Officer of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 2002.
The works of Rosamunde Pilcher are particularly popular in Germany and many have been made into TV films by ZDF television. In fact at the time of writing another of her novels is being filmed here in Cornwall.
The Shell Seekers - 1998 was filmed at Lands End, Lamorna Cove and Marazion and starred Angela Lansbury and Patricia Hodge.
Coming Home- 1998 mini series filmed in Lelant, Prideaux Place, Marazion and Penzance. Starring Peter O'Toole and Joanna Lumley.
Nancherrow - 1999 sequel to Coming Home. Filmed in Chapel Porth, Wheal Coates, Towan Head Newquay, Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Starring Susan Hampshire and Patrick Macnee.
Rosamunde has lived in Invergowrie, Dundee (Scotland) for some time now and number of her novels are set in the area.
Novels of Rosamunde Pilcher
- The Brown Fields (1951) (writing as Jane Fraser)
- Dangerous Intruder (1951) (writing as Jane Fraser)
- Young Bar (1952) (writing as Jane Fraser)
- A Day Like Spring (1953) (writing as Jane Fraser)
- Dear Tom (1954) (writing as Jane Fraser)
- A Secret to Tell (1955)
- Bridge of Corvie (1956) (writing as Jane Fraser)
- A Family Affair (1958) (writing as Jane Fraser)
- The Keeper's House (1963) (writing as Jane Fraser)
- A Long Way from Home (1963) (writing as Jane Fraser)
- On My Own (1965)
- Sleeping Tiger (1967)
- Another View (1969)
- The End of Summer (1971)
- The Empty House (1973)
- The Day of the Storm (1975)
- Under Gemini (1976)
- Wild Mountain Thyme (1979)
- The Carousel (1982)
- Voices in Summer (1984)
- The Shell Seekers (1988)
- September (1990)
- Snow in April (1991)
- Coming Home (1995)
- The Audio Seekers (1996)
- The Key (1996)
- Shadows (1999)
- Flowers (1999)
- Winter Solstice (2000)
- Tea with the Professor Gilbert (2004)