Edith Mary Pargeter

Ellis Peters


Edith Pargeter was born in Horsehay in the Shropshire on September 28, 1913 and lived there all her life. After studies in a high school of Oxford, she works as a chemist's assistant in Dawley between 1933 and 1940. It is during this period, in 1936 to be precise, that she writes her first two novels Hortensius, Friend of Nero and Iron-bound. In 1940, she joins the Women's Royal Navy Service and receives in 1944 the British Empire medal. During the war, she publishes two other novels, Ordinary people (1941) and She goes to war (1942). After the war, she publishes several other novels, but it is in 1951 that she writes for the first time a mystery novel (Fallen into the pit). In this novel, appears the police officer George Felse, that will come back in other investigations. Various novels separate her first mystery novel from the second in 1959, the Mask of death, that she publishes under the pseudonym of Ellis Peters.

The honour arrives with her fourth novel, Death and the Joyful that receives the Edgar Allan Poe award by Mystery Writers of America for the best novel. Then she is going to write twelve more novels featuring the sergeant Felse and his son Dominic.

It is in 1977, that she creates the character of Cadfael, a Welsh monk, and herbalist in an abbey. He appears in A Morbid Taste for Bone and continues his adventures during twenty passionate novels. Brother Cadafel’s Penance written in 1994, was the last novel of Edith Pargeter. She left us on October 14, 1995, at the age of 82.