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Ellis Peters, pseudonym of Edith (Mary) Pargeter Biography

(1913–95), pseudonym of Edith (Mary) Pargeter, Hortensius, Friend of Nero

British crime writer and historical novelist, born in Shropshire, served in the WRNS during the Second World War, under her own name the author of a number of historical novels (Hortensius, Friend of Nero, 1937) and a prolific translator from Czech. Her first detective story, Fallen into the Pit (1951), featured the policeman George Felse and his family, who appear in most of her novels up to Rainbow's End (1979). With A Morbid Taste for Bones: A Medieval Whodunnit (1977), she began a series of detective novels set in and around the Benedictine abbey at Shrewsbury in the twelfth century, which have enjoyed great popularity. Typically they combine a detailed portrayal of medieval life with the investigation of a crime and a romantic sub-plot: in later novels this last element has tended to gain in importance. The central figure and detective in all is the monk Cadfael, a former crusader, who tends the abbey's herb garden. Among the titles are: One Corpse Too Many (1979), Saint Peter's Fair (1981), The Virgin in the Ice (1982), The Devil's Novice (1984), The Raven in the Foregate (1987), The Confession of Brother Haluin (1988), and The Heretic's Apprentice (1989).

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Ellis’ [Edith Mary Pargeter] ‘Peters Biography to Portrait of Dora (Portrait de Dora)