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Eleanor Hibbert; Prolific Romance Novelist

January 22, 1993|From Times Wire Services

LONDON — Eleanor Hibbert, a prolific romance novelist who wrote under the pen names Victoria Holt and Jean Plaidy, has died while on vacation, her agent said Wednesday.

Mark Hamilton said Mrs. Hibbert died Monday while cruising between Athens and Port Said, Egypt.

The novelist kept her age secret, Hamilton said. Her "Who's Who" entry says she was born in London in 1910, but the Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature says it was 1906.

Mrs. Hibbert wrote nearly 100 historical novels under seven names. The most famous of her pseudonyms were Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr, under which she wrote novels at the rate of about three a year.

In the mid-1940s, she wrote the first of her novels as Jean Plaidy, fictionalizing English history with an emphasis on royalty. The novels included "The Captive Queen of Scots," "Katherine of Aragon," "The Widow of Windsor" and "Red Rose of Anjou."

She began writing Gothic novels as Victoria Holt in 1961 with "Mistress of Mellyn." Thirty more followed, including "The Bride of Pendorric" and "Menfreya."

She also wrote as Eleanor Burford, Ellalice Tate, Elbur Ford and Kathleen Kellow.

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