Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present
Standard Name: Plaidy, Jean
Birth Name: Eleanor Alice Burford
Married Name: Eleanor Alice Hibbert
Pseudonym: Jean Plaidy
Pseudonym: Victoria Holt
Pseudonym: Philippa Carr
Pseudonym: Ellalice Tate
Pseudonym: Elbur Ford
Pseudonym: Kathleen Kellow
Twentieth-century popular writer JP
wrote over 200 novels under seven different pseudonyms: some eighty-seven historical novels as Jean Plaidy, at least thirty-one gothic romances as Victoria Holt, and another nineteen historical romances as Philippa Carr, besides short stories. Her other four writing names, Eleanor Alice Burford (her birth name), Elbur Ford, Ellalice Tate, and Kathleen Kellow, were less successful and shorter lived; under them JP
experimented with the romance and gothic genres. Her novels are usually written from the perspective of the heroine, who in her historical novels is an actual woman in some way connected to royalty, either by birth, marriage, or an illicit relationship. She deliberately follows time-hallowed plot patterns and reuses predictable characters and conclusions.
Bennett, Catherine. “The Prime of Miss Jean Plaidy”. The Guardian, pp. 23 - 4.
Her historical novels create a kind of soap opera of British history from the close of the middle ages to Queen Victoria, in which personal relations and individual passions emerge powerfully from a somewhat shallow cultural and historical context. She was particularly known for series fiction, in which closure never comes because every story leads to another.
Dozens of fictional representations of KP
inhabit the fringes of the many re-imaginings of her husband and her step-daughter; few of them pay any attention to her intellectual life or her writing. She takes centre...
Fictional portraits of MR
have flowed in a steady stream, often adopting the colouring of later ages, as Tennyson
in Dream of Fair Women, 1832, is a near-Victorian ideal, and Paula Vogel
was forced to tell her, from Hutchinson
, that her sales had slumped and that her mode of writing was considered out of date. She blamed the messenger for the news, and never forgave...
published a short story entitled Beyond the Blue Mountains (a title formerly used by Jean Plaidy
) in The Traveller.
Lively, Penelope. Beyond the Blue Mountains. Viking, 1997.
Ruby M. Ayres
published her first novel, Castles in Spain, which, like her later works, she attributed to the fact that, with a husband out at work all day and no children, she had plenty of...
In Boadicea's Chariot: The Warrior Queens, AF
engaged with modern gender analysis while also catering to the taste for books about woman rulers (a taste which has lasted from Agnes
and Elizabeth Strickland
L. T. Meade
's earlier works for children or young people, many of them school stories, included Polly, a New-fashioned Girl, 1889, and Beyond the Blue Mountains, 1893 (a title later used by both Jean Plaidy
In winter 1983 Atwood and Gibson spent six months in England. She mentions both a cobblestone ex-fisherman's cottage with cold stone floors and a rectory at Blakeney in Norfolk, reputedly haunted by nuns. She...
July 1190-March 1194
was absent from England on the Third Crusade, pitted (with other Christian monarchs) against the warrior sultan Saladin
6 July 1685
The Duke of Monmouth
's Rebellion, aimed at getting possession of the throne, ended in defeat at Sedgemoor in Somerset, with much loss of life.