An unashamed populist writer, Rosamunde Pilcher cut her bones in the 1940s and 50s writing Mills & Boon romances under the pseudonym Jane Fraser (including the intriguingly/problematically titled Dangerous Intruder). She had a career as a writer of quantity rather than quality of sales until her 14th work, The Shell Seekers became a surprise success in the US. Coming in at around 500 pages, it was a sensation across the globe, introducing readers to Pilcher’s main concerns (Cornwall, strong female characters, understated sexual tension) and selling some 10 million copies worldwide. It topped the New York Times Best Seller list for 30 weeks.
Pilcher was also wildly popular in Germany, and German tourists still pile into Cornwall year after year on “Pilcher Tours”. It’s estimated that over 100 Pilcher novels, short stories or other works have been adapted for German television audiences.