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Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

(including the other many pseudonyms of Eleanor Hibbert)
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Misfit
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Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

Post by Misfit » Sun July 19th, 2015, 11:25 pm

A friend recently read a Victoria Holt novel, and the comments on the GR review got a bit interesting - one person popped in and made the claim that JP/VH et al used a ghost writer in her later years and that's why the quality of her VH books is so hit and miss. Interesting, but myself and a couple of others have tried a bit of Googling on the topic with no luck, and the person who made that comment hasn't popped back in to list her source for this claim.

Anyone hear of this?
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SCW
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Re: Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

Post by SCW » Mon July 20th, 2015, 12:25 am

I have never heard this rumour before.

A shame if it was true. I really don't like authors series being continued by ghost writers. Although it can be profitable. Look at VC Andrews.

The Victoria Holts series did tend to follow the same formula over and over though
Naive Virginal Heroine- check
Brooding mysterious older male love interest- check
Gothic mansion/castle- check
secret to be revealed- check
Heroines life/virtue in danger -check

What Victoria Holt book was your friend reading?

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Misfit
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Re: Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

Post by Misfit » Mon July 20th, 2015, 12:39 am

I agree her books are formulaic after awhile, but the ghost writer rumor was new to me, and clearly I'm not the only one.
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Misfit
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Re: Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

Post by Misfit » Mon July 20th, 2015, 12:40 am

SCW wrote:I have never heard this rumour before.

A shame if it was true. I really don't like authors series being continued by ghost writers. Although it can be profitable. Look at VC Andrews.

The Victoria Holts series did tend to follow the same formula over and over though
Naive Virginal Heroine- check
Brooding mysterious older male love interest- check
Gothic mansion/castle- check
secret to be revealed- check
Heroines life/virtue in danger -check

What Victoria Holt book was your friend reading?
India Fan.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

SCW
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Preferred HF: Lately World Two or the time immediately before and after this period
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Re: Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

Post by SCW » Mon July 20th, 2015, 2:17 am

India Fan was one of the later books. Snare of Serpents was pretty dire from memory.
Been years since I read them, but I do admit to liking a few - My Enemy the Queen and On the Night of the Seventh Moon being my favourites.

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EvangelineH
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Re: Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

Post by EvangelineH » Mon July 20th, 2015, 6:48 am

I haven't heard of this! I would think she probably had someone take dictation like Barbara Cartland more so than a ghostwriter.

But I loove The India Fan. Her 90s gothics were dire to me, and the formula was strong on the last 5-6 Carr titles.
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SCW
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Re: Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

Post by SCW » Mon July 20th, 2015, 10:44 am

I remember reading the one where the heroine is raped by a French Baron and she ends up forgiving and marrying him by the end. That was a long time ago. I would not bother with it now.
By memory, that book gets a lot of flack on Goodreads.

What always annoyed me about the Philippa Carr stories was the calm forgiving way the heroines always dealt with their husbands infidelity (often with their best friends/cousins/sisters)

I know women had to be subservient to their husbands, but even Anne Boleyn lost her temper when she found Jane Seymour sitting on Henry's lap.

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Re: Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

Post by Misfit » Mon July 20th, 2015, 2:48 pm

I think the baron raped the heroine is The Demon Lover, and that does get bashed around a lot. Back in the days, the forced seduction trope was fairly common in romance. I realize it's a deal breaker for some readers, and understand the reasons, but it was so common in the older books, it's sad to see readers bash the books/authors in our more PC minded era.

VH's books are a mixed bag with me, some very good, some die-in-fire bad. The Shivering Sands is #1 of what I've read so far. Daughter of Deceit was so bad I wouldn't even recommend it to my worst enemy. And the blurb - it's says it's on the eve of WWI, when it was on the eve of the Franco Prussian war.
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Re: Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

Post by Misfit » Mon July 20th, 2015, 2:49 pm

EvangelineH wrote:I haven't heard of this! I would think she probably had someone take dictation like Barbara Cartland more so than a ghostwriter.

But I loove The India Fan. Her 90s gothics were dire to me, and the formula was strong on the last 5-6 Carr titles.
As for the supposed ghost writing, until I see a source outside of one comment on a GR review, I'm not buying it.
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Re: Did Victoria Holt use a ghost writer in her later years?

Post by princess garnet » Mon July 20th, 2015, 7:04 pm

The only Victoria Holt novel I read was The Queen's Confession which is an "autobiography" of Marie Antoinette. I thought Eleanor Hibbert wrote a well researched novel of the French Queen based on what was available to her.

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