Rosamunde Pilcher OBE (maiden name Scott, born 22 September 1924) is a British author of romance novels and mainstream women's fiction. Early in her career she was also published under the pen name Jane Fraser. Pilcher retired from writing in 2000.
Rosamunde Pilcher was born in Lelant, Cornwall on September 22, 1924. She attended St. Clare's Polwithen and Howell's School Llandaff before going on to Miss Kerr-Sanders' Secretarial College. She began writing for herself when she was seven, and published her first short story when she was only 18.
From 1943 through 1946, Pilcher served with the Women's Naval Service. On December 7, 1946 she married Graham Hope Pilcher, a war hero and jute industry executive who died in March 2009. They moved to Dundee, Scotland, where she still lives today. They had four children.
In 1949, Pilcher's first book, a romance novel, was published by Mills and Boon, under the pseudonym Jane Fraser. She published an additional ten novels under that name. In 1955 she also began writing under her real name with Secret to Tell. By 1965 she had dropped the pseudonym and was signing her own name to all of her novels.
At the beginning writing was a refuge from her daily life. She claims that writing saved her marriage. The real breakthrough in Pilcher's career came in 1987, when she wrote the family saga, The Shell Seekers. Since then her books have made her one of the more successful contemporary female authors.
One of her most famous works, The Shell Seekers, focuses on Penelope Stern Keeling, an elderly British woman who relives her life in flashbacks, and on her relationship with her adult children. Keeling's life was not extraordinary, but it spans "a time of huge importance and change in the world." The novel describes the everyday details of what life during World War II was like for some of those who lived in Britain. The Shell Seekers sold more than five million copies worldwide and was adapted for the stage by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham.
Her books are especially popular in Germany owing to the fact that the national TV station ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) has produced more than 70 of her stories for TV. These TV films are some of the most popular programmes on ZDF. Both Pilcher and ZDF programme director Dr. Claus Beling were awarded the British Tourism Award in 2002 for the positive effect the books and the TV versions had on tourism.