Plowden, Alison 1931–2007

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Plowden, Alison 1931–2007

(Alison Margaret Chichele Plowden)


See index for CA sketch: Born December 18, 1931, in Quetta, India (now Pakistan); some sources cite birthplace as Simla, India; died of a cerebral hemorrhage, August 17, 2007. Historian and writer. Plowden's subjects were the women of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. In histories and biographies she brought to life the famous and the not so famous, in a fashion that her critics called lively and enjoyable. After twenty years as a secretary-turned-scriptwriter for the British Broadcasting Corporation, during which time she produced scripts for such television series as Mistress of Hardwick, Plowden began a new career as a historian. She is best known for the ‘The Elizabethan Quartet,’ a four-volume biography of Queen Elizabeth I, published between 1971 and 1980. Other biographies of British royalty depicted the lives of Mary Stuart, Lady Jane Grey, and Henrietta Maria de Bourbon, consort of Charles I. Plowden also wrote books of a more general nature, such as Elizabethan England: Life in an Age of Adventure (1982) and The Elizabethan Secret Service (1991). One of her special interests was the English Civil War of the mid-1600s, the setting of her book Women All on Fire: The Women of the English Civil War (1998). She also wrote In a Free Republic: Life in Cromwell's England (2006). Plowden was praised for these sympathetic portraits of life in Elizabethan and Stuart England and the women who lived there, and she continued writing to the end of her life.



Times (London, England), September 18, 2007, p. 65.