Eleanor Hibbert: Biography

Eleanor Hibbert

01 sep 1906

Eleanor Hibbert was a British author of romantic historical fiction. She was a prolific writer, releasing many different books in a year, spanning several different literary genres. She had different pen names that she used for each genre of books she wrote: her novels about European monarchs were written under then name Jean Plaidy, gothic romance stories were published under Victoria Holt and a number of crime novels and thrillers under names such as Eleanor Burford, Kathleen Kellow, Ellalice Tate and several others. Most of her pen names had a personal meaning for Hibbert as she used the names of deceased family members and important places she had lived or stayed during her lifetime.

Over her lifetime she wrote more than 200 books and sold a total of over 100 million copies. Her works have been translated into more than 20 languages and have been bestsellers all over the world.

A trip to Hampton Court Palace when Hibbert was still a teenager sparked an interest in history, which became the inspiration for her fictionalised accounts of British and European history. During the 1940s, Hibbert and her family lived in Cornwall, whose long beaches and dramatic cliffs provided the inspiration for the backdrop of her Victoria Holt novel series. Later in her life, Eleanor Hibbert developed a love of travelling, especially by cruise, and the places created more exotic settings for her later novels.

Eleanor Hibbert died in 1993, aboard the cruise ship Sea Princess. She is said to have died whilst the ship was in open water somewhere between Greece and Egypt.