Author of hit family saga The Shell Seekers, Rosamund Pilcher, has passed away aged ninety-four.
Her son, author Robin Pilcher confirmed her passing as a result of a stroke on Sunday night.
Rosamund Pilcher was best know for The Shell Seekers, which was her fourteenth novel, written when she was sixty-three, spent no less than forty-nine weeks atop the New York Times bestseller list, and sold over ten million copies. A television adaptation starring Vanessa Redgrave was made, and in 2003, the BBC’s Big Read voted it one of Britain’s favorite novels. Author Katie Fforde, President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, notes that The Shell Seekers “changed the face of romantic fiction,” saying “Rosamunde Pilcher was groundbreaking as she was the first to bring family sagas to the wider public. Houses full of secrets, families full of lies, beautiful settings, page-turning plots.”
Image Via BBC
And not just a trailblazing author, she was also a beloved mother and grandmother. Her son Robin shared a sweet family anecdote regarding Pilcher’s family nickname with The Guardian:
“When my eldest son was young, my wife would always drop in on my mother on her way to Dundee. He thought that when she said ‘going to Dundee’, it meant seeing his grandmother, so he called her Dondie. She was called that by grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all their friends. She was Universal Dondie.”
The Guardian also notes that Pilcher has a huge following in Germany, and according to her literary agent, the German culture minister pointed to Pilcher as “the person who has managed to do more than any to mend the relationships between the German and British peoples”.
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