Search - List of Books by Susan Howatch
Susan Howatch (born 14 July 1940) is an author. Her writing career has been distinguished by family saga-type novels which describe the lives of related characters for long periods of time. Her later books have also become known for their religious and philosophical themes.
Born Susan Elizabeth Sturt in Leatherhead, Surrey, England, she was the daughter of a stockbroker, and went to school at Sutton High School. An only child, her father was killed during World War II, but she has described her childhood as a happy one.
She obtained a degree in law from the King's College London in 1961. During 1964, she emigrated to the United States, where she worked as a secretary in New York City. She married Joseph Howatch, a sculptor and writer, that year and began her career as a writer, finding success almost immediately with her intricately detailed gothic novels.A daughter was born to the couple in 1971. Upon separating from her husband in 1975, Howatch returned to England, then lived in the Republic of Ireland from 1976-80 before moving back to England permanently during 1980.
Her first novel was The Dark Shore, published during 1965.She published several other "gothic" novels before she published the first of her family sagas Penmarric (1971), which details the fortunes and disputes of the Penmar family in Cornwall during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. An important theme of the story is how the mansion of Penmarric becomes controlled by various branches of the family. The family fortune was made in the Cornish tin mining industry, which is discussed throughout one of the six parts, each with a different character as narrator. As made clear by the chapter headings, the fortunes of the family closely parallel the Plantagenet family, including Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, with the mansion representing the throne.Howatch followed a similar theme in her vast saga, The Wheel of Fortune, where the story of the Godwin family of Oxmoon in Gower, South Wales is in fact a re-creation in a modern form of the story of the Plantagenet family of Edward III of England, the modern characters created from those of his eldest son Edward of Woodstock (The Black Prince) and his wife Joan of Kent, John of Gaunt and his mistress and then wife, Katherine Swynford, Richard II (son of Edward of Woodstock), Henry IV (son of John of Gaunt) and Henry IV's eldest son King Henry V. Again the mansion represents the throne.She also wrote three other family sagas, Cashelmara(which focuses on the family of Edward I (Edward DeSalis), his son, Edward II (Patrick De Salis) and others. and The Rich Are Different followed by its sequel, The Sins of the Fathers, both of which combine to tell the story, in America' s financial industry, of Caesar, Cleopatra, Mark Antony, and Octavian.
After her return to England in 1980, Howatch found herself "rich, successful, and living exactly where I wanted to live," but feeling a spiritual emptiness which she ascribed to "trying to hold my divided self together" and questioning her life and what she should do with it.She had settled in Salisbury out of love for the beauty of the town, but found herself increasingly drawn to Salisbury Cathedral; eventually she began to study Anglican Christianity in earnest. She experienced a spiritual epiphany, and concluded that she should continue to write novels, but to "set forth my discoveries in the light of faith, no matter how feeble and inadequate my beginner's faith was." This personal turning point culminated in Howatch's most successful and popular works, the Starbridge series.
The Starbridge Series more
Total Books: 239
The St. Benet's Trilogy more