Rosamunde Pilcher, Author Of ‘the Shell Seekers,’ Dies At 94
Rosamunde Scott was born on Sept. 22, 1924, in Lelant, a village on the southwestern tip of Cornwall. Her father, Charles, worked for the India Civil Service and was posted overseas for much of her childhood. (“He came home every four years when he got a leave,” Ms. Pilcher told The Times in 1995, “but that time went very quickly.”) Her mother, Helen, raised her in Cornwall.
When World War II broke out, Rosamunde left school, learned shorthand and went to work for the Foreign Office. She spent two years working in Portsmouth, England, and in 1944, after D-Day, joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service, known as the Wrens. She was stationed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) when the war ended.
“While in Ceylon I wrote a short story, and my father submitted it to Woman and Home magazine,” she told The Western Morning News of Plymouth, England, in 2013. “The day he sent me a cable to say it had been published for 15 guineas really was the best moment of my life. It was the moment I knew that I could do it.”
She married a veteran, Graham Pilcher, in 1946, and they moved to Scotland, settling in Dundee. She then began writing in earnest, producing more short stories.
“Because I had spent a long time meeting with and living with so many young people in Portsmouth and Ceylon, I’d seen countless love affairs starting, blossoming, crashing and ending,” she said. “So off I went. There were dozens of different characters stored in my memory, and these formed the basis of these stories.”