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Rosamunde Pilcher, famed for her dramas set in Cornwall, has passed away this week

Each year, a quarter of a million Germans come to Cornwall, lured by the books of a British author largely unknown in her own country – and the gorgeous locations shown in German TV adaptations of her work

Rosamunde Pilcher who passed away this week, was born in 1924, close to the village of Lelant, in Cornwall's storm-battered, rugged west. After marrying in 1946 she left for Scotland, where she went on to become a writer. Pilcher never came back to live in Cornwall, but many of her stories are set in the rough landscape of her childhood home.

Her international breakthrough came late, in 1987, when The Shell Seekers entered the New York Times bestseller list, where it stayed for 48 weeks. She went on to sell more than 60m books and amassed a fortune thought to exceed £100m.

Although Pilcher continued to write prolifically, none of her novels and stories since has matched the huge success of that one. In the UK, she remained relatively unknown, however, in Germany, it is a different story. Pilcher is a household name because for 20 years she has been a firm fixture in the TV schedules. In Germany, Sunday night is Rosamunde Pilcher night and millions tune in to one of her dramas.

The movies feature mostly German actors, but they're filmed on location in England, usually in Cornwall, and each show typically contains long stretches of scenic footage.  Cornwall’s tourist industry owes Rosamunde Pilcher a great deal.

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Updated on January 27th, 2013

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