Jean Plaidy was one of seventeen pseudonyms of Eleanor Hibbert, who produced over 200 books. As Plaidy she attempted ‘authentic history in the form of the novel’, from the Normans to the Victorians. Spanish, French, and Italian history are also covered. Steeped in intrigue and romance, the Catherine de’ Medici trilogy gives the full flavour. Madame Serpent (1951) deals with Catherine's marriage at the age of 14 to Henry II of France; The Italian Woman (1952), with her growing twistedness; and Queen Jezebel (1953) shows her murderously wielding power. From the Tudor series, try Murder Most Royal (1949), about the executions of Henry VIII's wives Anne Boleyn and Catharine Howard, then dip into the Plantagenet saga for The Plantagenet Prelude (1976) about Eleanor of Aquitaine's stormy union with Henry Plantagenet, and the story of Thomas à Becket. Or simply choose the period that interests you and take it from there. Hibbert also wrote Gothic romance under the name Victoria Holt.
Rosalind Laker, Norah Lofts.
See HISTORICAL CB