12 Best Eleanor Hibbert Books – All Her Pen Names 

Are you a fan of historical fiction with a touch of romance? If yes, then you might want to add Eleanor Hibbert to your list of must-read authors. Under various pen names, including Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt, and Philippa Carr, she penned over 200 novels that captured the hearts of readers worldwide. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at her life and legacy, as well as explore the best books under each of her pseudonyms.

12 Best Eleanor Hibbert Books - All Her Pen Names 

The Life and Legacy of Eleanor Hibbert

Beyond the Blue Mountains

Eleanor Hibbert was a prolific author who left an indelible mark on the historical fiction genre. Her life was filled with struggles and challenges, but she persevered and became one of the most beloved writers of her time.

Born on September 1, 1906, in Kensington, London, England, Hibbert grew up in a family that was beset by difficulties. Her mother was a British music hall singer, and her father was a successful leather goods manufacturer. However, their marriage was unhappy, and they eventually divorced when Hibbert was a teenager.

Despite these challenges, Hibbert found solace in books and began writing stories at an early age. She attended the prestigious St. Joseph’s Convent School in Kensington and later studied at the University of London. However, she had to leave the university before completing her degree due to the financial constraints of her family.

Undeterred, Hibbert continued writing and submitting her stories to different publishers. Her first published novel, “Beyond the Blue Mountains,” came out in 1948 under the pen name Eleanor Burford. However, it was when she adopted the pseudonym Jean Plaidy that her career truly took off.

A Prolific Author Under Various Pen Names

Under the name Jean Plaidy, Hibbert wrote over ninety historical fiction novels, spanning from ancient times to the early 20th century. Her books often focused on European royalty and their dramas, particularly those of the Tudor and Plantagenet dynasties. Readers were drawn to her vivid descriptions of court life, political machinations, and romantic intrigue.

Another of Hibbert’s pen names was Victoria Holt. She used this to write gothic romance and suspense novels, usually set in Victorian or Edwardian times. Chilling mysteries, star-crossed lovers, and grand estates were recurring themes that made her bestsellers among fans of the genre.

Finally, under the name Philippa Carr, she wrote a series of multi-generational novels that followed the lives of a fictional family, the Linnetts. These books combined historical fiction with elements of romance, mystery, and the supernatural, and were particularly successful in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Impact of Eleanor Hibbert’s Work on Historical Fiction

Eleanor Hibbert’s novels remain popular to this day and have influenced numerous authors in the historical fiction genre. Her portrayal of historical figures as multidimensional characters, rather than mere caricatures, was groundbreaking and paved the way for writers like Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir.

Hibbert’s books were also significant in bringing history to a wider audience. Her meticulous research and attention to detail made the past come alive in a way that textbooks never could. By weaving romance and intrigue into her stories, she created a bridge between the academic world of history and the popular realm of entertainment.

Throughout her life, Hibbert faced many challenges, including financial difficulties, health problems, and personal struggles. However, she never gave up on her passion for writing, and her legacy lives on through her many beloved novels. Her impact on the historical fiction genre cannot be overstated, and her influence will continue to be felt for generations to come.

Top Eleanor Hibbert Books Under the Pen Name Jean Plaidy

Now that we’ve explored Eleanor Hibbert’s life and work, let’s take a closer look at her best books under the name Jean Plaidy. This list includes both standalone novels and series, so you can choose what appeals to you the most.

The Plantagenet Saga Series

The Plantagenet Prelude

The Plantagenet Saga is a series of fifteen books that follow the lives of the Plantagenet family, who ruled England from 1154 to 1485. Hibbert begins with “The Plantagenet Prelude,” which covers the reign of Henry II, and ends with “The Rival Queens,” which tells the story of Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I. Along the way, she delves into the lives of notable monarchs such as Richard the Lionheart, Edward II, and Richard III. The series is a must-read for any fan of English history, as well as those who enjoy a good epic.

In “The Plantagenet Princess,” we see the life of Elizabeth of York, who was the wife of Henry VII and mother to Henry VIII. Elizabeth was known for her beauty and her kindness, and her marriage to Henry VII helped to unite the houses of York and Lancaster after the Wars of the Roses. However, her life was not without its challenges, as she had to navigate the dangerous political landscape of the Tudor court.

The Revolt of the Eaglets” is another standout book in the series, which tells the story of Henry II’s sons, who rebelled against him in a bid for power. The book explores the complex relationships between family members and the political intrigue that surrounded them.

The Tudor Saga Series

Tudor Saga

The Tudor Saga is another long-running series by Jean Plaidy, consisting of fourteen books that revolve around the Tudor family. Similar to the Plantagenets, the Tudors were a fascinating dynasty, full of scandal, romance, and political upheaval. The series begins with “Murder Most Royal,” which covers the reign of Henry VII, and ends with “The Queen’s Favourites,” which focuses on the court of James I. In between, readers can immerse themselves in the lives of Henry VIII, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, among others.

The Sixth Wife” is a standout book in the Tudor Saga, which tells the story of Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII. Katherine was a scholar and a writer, and she helped to promote the Protestant Reformation in England. However, her marriage to Henry VIII was not without its challenges, as she had to navigate his temper and his other wives.

The Queen’s Secret” is another great book in the series, which explores the life of Elizabeth I. The book delves into Elizabeth’s relationships with her advisors, her lovers, and her enemies, and it paints a vivid picture of the political landscape of the Elizabethan era.

Standalone Novels Worth Reading

If you prefer standalone novels to series, Jean Plaidy has plenty to offer as well. Some of the best include:

Madonna of the Seven Hills

Madonna of the Seven Hills: A Novel of the Borgias

Madonna of the Seven Hills” – The story of Lucrezia Borgia and her tumultuous family. The book explores the intrigue and scandal that surrounded the Borgia family, as well as Lucrezia’s own struggles to navigate her role in the family.

The Rose Without a Thorn

The Rose Without a Thorn: A Novel (Queens of England Book 11)

The Rose Without a Thorn” – The fictionalized love story of Henry VIII and his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. The book explores the passionate and tragic relationship between the two, as well as the political machinations that led to Catherine’s downfall.

The Lady in the Tower

The Lady in the Tower: A Novel (Queens of England Book 4)

The Lady in the Tower” – A retelling of the tragic downfall of Anne Boleyn. The book explores the complex relationships between Anne, Henry VIII, and the other members of the Tudor court, as well as the political and religious tensions that surrounded them.

Must-Read Victoria Holt Novels

If you’re in the mood for something darker and more suspenseful, Eleanor Hibbert’s Victoria Holt pseudonym might be what you’re looking for. Here are some of her best titles:

The Mistress of Mellyn

Mistress of Mellyn: The Classic Novel of Romantic Suspense

The Mistress of Mellyn” is a gothic romance that follows Martha Leigh, a governess hired to work in a mansion in Cornwall. The house, Mellyn, is steeped in mystery and tragedy, and Martha soon finds herself drawn to its dark secrets, as well as its owner, Connan TreMellyn. The novel is atmospheric and twisty, with a satisfying payoff at the end.

The Shivering Sands

The Shivering Sands

The Shivering Sands” is another gothic thriller, this time set on the English coast. Ellen Kershaw is hired as a companion to a wealthy family, but she soon discovers that the family has a dark past and that not everything is as it seems. The novel is eerie and full of suspense, with a touch of romance thrown in.

The Pride of the Peacock

The Pride of the Peacock (Casablanca Classics Book 0)

The Pride of the Peacock” is a historical novel set in the early 19th century. Serena, the daughter of a French marquis, travels to England to marry a man she’s never met. However, she soon discovers that her husband is not what he seems and that she’s in grave danger. The novel is a page-turner, with a well-drawn heroine and a complex plot.

Exploring the World of Philippa Carr

Last but not least, let’s dive into the multigenerational series of Philippa Carr. This series takes place in England and spans from the 16th to the 20th century, following the Linnett family through various trials and tribulations. If you love a good family saga with a touch of magic, then you won’t go wrong with these books.

The Daughters of England Series

The Daughters of England

The Daughters of England series is the heart of the Philippa Carr oeuvre, with sixteen novels in total. Each book follows a different female member of the Linnett family, as they navigate love, war, and loss throughout history. Readers can start with “The Miracle at St. Bruno’s,” which introduces the family and takes place during the reign of Elizabeth I. From there, they can pick and choose which books to read, depending on their interests.

The Miracle at St. Bruno’s

The Miracle at St. Bruno's (The Daughters of England Book 1)

The Miracle at St. Bruno’s” is the first book in the series and is a great place to start. It takes place in the mid-16th century and tells the story of Anne Lacey, a young woman who is forced to flee her home and seek refuge at the convent of St. Bruno’s. There, she meets the charismatic Mother Catherine, and together, they uncover a miraculous secret that changes their lives forever. The novel is a poignant and fantastical tale of faith, love, and friendship.

The Love Child

The Love Child (The Daughters of England Book 6)

The Love Child” is a standalone novel by Philippa Carr, but it’s worth mentioning as one of her best books. The story revolves around Honor Tregonnell, a young woman who becomes pregnant out of wedlock and is forced to give up her child. Years later, she meets her son, Richard, without realizing that he’s her own flesh and blood. The novel is a powerful exploration of motherhood, secrets, and forgiveness.

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Hibbert was a remarkable writer who created unforgettable characters and vivid worlds within her novels. Whether you’re a fan of historical fiction, gothic romance, or multigenerational sagas, there’s something for you in her vast body of work. We hope that this article has inspired you to discover or revisit her books and that you’ll find joy in reading them just as much as we have.


What is Eleanor Hibbert famous for?

Eleanor Hibbert is the pen name used by Eleanor Alice Burford, an English author who specialized in historical romance. However, she was well known for experimenting with other literary genres and used many different pseudonyms to separate her books thematically.

When did Eleanor Hibbert write?

Hibbert was born in 1906 in London and died in 1993 in Athens. She had a long literary career, spanning over 5 decades. Her works were written during the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

In what genre did Eleanor Hibbert write?

Although she is famous for historical romances, she experimented with other genres such as mystery and thriller.

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