108th Birthday: Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert

plaidyarticlesept1Each year on September 1st I endeavor to write a post, a review or some other type of remembrance for Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert’s day of birth, September 1st, however this year–though I’ve had some ideas rolling around–I’ve not had the time to execute a well-written piece. Since joining the Historical Novel Society editing team in June, I’ve had to spend most of my free time learning the ropes and committing to a schedule, which is not an easy feat with a full-time job and two kids now in school. My review schedule has also been filled as I am trying to make sure all of my books get coverage. And so, today’s post will be a simple update on my Jean Plaidy World over the past year (and Victoria Holt, Philippa Carr, Eleanor Burford, Kathleen Kellow, Elbur Ford, Anna Percival and Ellalice Tate).

Books reads since last year include The Prince and the Quakeress (Plaidy), Daughters of England (Carr), Perdita’s Prince (Plaidy), and Louis the Well-Beloved (Plaidy). I am amazed (and saddened) that I have only read four, but reading my own books has always been a challenge since I started reviewing. My goal for the next year is to read a more diverse selection of her pseudonyms, as I truly enjoyed the Carr book and I have several rare books from her early writing career I’m itching to read.

The Prince and the Quakeress
Daughters of England
Louis the Well-Beloved
Perdita’s Prince

Mistress of Mellyn, Ladies Home Journal (April 1960)
Myself My Enemy or Loyal in Love
Eleanor Hibbert: Letter About Jane Shore in The Goldsmith’s Wife
Daughters of England by Philippa Carr: The Last Book Penned Before the Author’s Death
The Italian Woman: Author’s Note

Over the past year I have found a few items for my collection, the most exciting being a copy of Book Collector magazine with a multi-page article. It can be seen in detail here. I also came across new articles and photos online, including the one posted with this article.

The best remembrance I can offer my favorite author is to continue reading, reviewing and sharing her works. There was a recent inexplicable influx of “likes” on the Royal Intrigue Facebook page and I continue to search and share rare finds and great deals on books, autographs and memorabilia. Please join us on the FB page if you’ve not done so!

On this 108th birthday, I’d like to post a few quotes from the Book Collector article:

“It’s nicer to be read than to get nice reviews.”

“I consider myself extremely lucky to have been born and raised in London, and to have had on my doorstep this most fascinating of cities with so many relics of 2,000 years of history still to be found in the streets. One of my greatest pleasures was, and still is, exploring London. Circumstances arose which brought my school life to an abrupt termination, and I went hastily to a business college where I studied shorthand, typewriting and languages. And so I had to set about the business of earning a living.

For the next two or three years I filled many posts. I have handled unique opals and pearls of great price in Hatton Garden, and was once engaged as an interpreter to French and German patrons of a city cafe, where, luckily for me, no Germans ever came, and the French who did were very gallant.”

“I found that married life gave me the necessary freedom to follow an ambition which had been with me since childhood; and so I started to write in earnest.”

“I love my work so much that nothing would stop me writing. If I take even a week’s break, I just feel miserable. It’s like a drug.”