Evelyn Anthony

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Evelyn Anthony (born 3 July 1928, London) is the pen name of Evelyn Ward-Thomas (Evelyn Bridgett Patricia Ward-Thomas), a British female writer.

Life and work[edit]

In her youth, during the Second World War, she was educated largely at home, rather than at school. While she was evacuated to the West Country, her father, Henry Christian Stephens, re-entered the Royal Navy to develop his Dome Trainer, one of the first inventions to cover anti-aircraft gunnery training, later exported all over the world. The new museum in Norfolk to re-create his invention opened on 19 July 2014, and the Journal of her father has been donated to the Imperial War Museum. https://langhamdome.org/

She started writing in 1949, following her marriage. Her pen name comes from Evelyn as a man's profile, as women were often not published during the years after the Second World War, and Saint Anthony, the Catholic patron of Lost Causes. First writing short stories for periodicals, she gained fame and success with her well-researched historical novels, being especially noted for her original treatment of Anne Boleyn – a historical character dealt with by numerous other writers. Two of them became US Literary Guild Choices. Her historical novels "Far Flies The Eagle" and "Valentina" were both set during Napoleon's invasion of Russia. The later novels had a theme of espionage.[1][2]

Later, Anthony switched to writing contemporary thrillers and spy novels, featuring strong female leads such as Davina Graham (Head of British spy services) with well-developed characterisation of protagonists and twist endings, which her readers came to expect. Her 1971 The Tamarind Seed was adapted for film in 1974, starring Julie Andrews as Judith Farrow, a British Home Office functionary and Omar Sharif as Feodor, a Soviet air attaché- lovers involved in Cold War intrigue.[3] She adapted well to the end of the Cold War and continued writing thrillers set in the post-1990 reality.

Her books were translated into nineteen languages and frequently compared to the writings of Ted Allbeury, Colin Forbes and Clare Francis.

In 1994, in her own name of Evelyn Bridgett Patricia Ward-Thomas, she was appointed the first female High Sheriff of Essex serving until 1995.


She was married to Michael Ward-Thomas, former director of a mining company, who died in 2004 due to a stroke, soon after the birth of their.[clarification needed] They had six children – four sons and two daughters, one of whom, Kitty, died in 1995. She has fifteen grandchildren spread around the globe, including sisters Catherine and Lizzy in the country music duo Ward Thomas who topped charts with their album "Cartwheels".

She lives in a sixteenth-century manor in Essex, Horham Hall. Earlier, they lived in Kildare in Ireland. Her hobbies are reported to be her dogs (Roly and Jamie), socialising when her situation allows, reading and some comedy. She has an interest in current affairs. She is notably interested in the Trump Presidential campaign and his policies as his Presidential term begins and voted to leave in the "Brexit" referendum as she felt that "we are beginning to lose our sense of what the British, as a nation, are. I have no problem with people coming into this country in search of a better life but because of it our national identity, the thing that separates us from the rest of the world, is becoming confused and lost amoung the cultures of those who have moved here."

Brought up before the wearing of fur became controversial, Evelyn Anthony has been known to wear a large red fox fur hat, a present which her husband obtained during a business trip in Russia (though has more recently declined from using it due to her understanding of the public view on fur clothes.)

(Partial) Bibliography[edit]

The following bibliography includes both historical novels and thrillers.

  • 1953 : Rebel Princess (later reissued as Imperial Highness)
  • 1954 : Curse Not the King
  • 1955 : Far Flies The Eagle
  • 1957 : Anne Boleyn
  • 1958 : Victoria and Albert
  • 1960 : Elizabeth
  • 1960 : All the Queen's Men
  • 1961 : Charles the King
  • 1963 : Clandara
  • 1964 : The French Bride
  • 1964 : The Heiress
  • 1966 : Valentina
  • 1967 : The Rendezvous
  • 1969 : The Legend
  • 1970 : The Assassin
  • 1971 : The Tamarind Seed
  • 1972 : The Poellenberg Inheritance
  • 1973 : The Occupying Power aka Stranger at the Gates
  • 1974 : The Malaspiga Exit also called Mission to Malaspiga
  • 1975 : The Persian Ransom
  • 1977 : The Silver Falcon
  • 1978 : The Return
  • 1979 : The Grave of Truth
  • 1980 : The Defector
  • 1981 : The Avenue of the Dead
  • 1982 : Albatross
  • 1983 : The Company of Saints
  • 1985 : Voices in the Wind
  • 1987 : No Enemy But Time
  • 1988 : The House of Vandekar
  • 1989 : The Scarlet Thread
  • 1991 : The Relic
  • 1992 : The Doll's House
  • 1994 : Exposure
  • 1994 : The Heiress
  • 1995 : Bloodstones
  • 2002 : A Dubious Legacy
  • 2002 : Codeword Janus
  • 2003 : Sleeping with the Enemy
  • 2004 : Betrayal
  • 2004 : No Resistance
  • 2005 : Mind Games
  • 2015 : The Defector
  • 2015 : The Avenue of the Dead
  • 2015 : The Company of the Saints
  • 2015 : Rebel prince


External links[edit]