Frances Mossiker

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Frances Sanger Mossiker (April 9, 1906 – May 9, 1985) was an American author best known for her historical novels. Her works include Pocahontas: The Life and the Legend, The Queen's Necklace, and Madame de Sevigne. Mossiker did not begin writing until the age of fifty five and is one of the few writers to become a best seller in North America as well as in Europe.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Frances Mossiker was born in Dallas, Texas on April 9, 1906. She attended the Hockaday School.[2] She was then a student at Smith College but not allowed to continue as a student after eloping with her first husband at sixteen. She then went to Barnard College in New York, was Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year and graduated in 1927. She also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, becoming fluent in French.[1] Mossiker's first marriage lasted until 1929 and in October 1935 she remarried to Jake Mossiker.[3] She eventually earned a Doctorate of Letters from Southern Methodist University in 1972.[4] Frances lived in Dallas most of her life but spent much of her time traveling to Paris, London, and New York City. She remained in Texas until her death on May 9, 1985.[5]


Mossiker began her career not as a writer but as a book reviewer for the Dallas Morning News in 1933.[5] Her reviews of books were done on her own segment on KGKO Fort Worth, "Woman's World". She also did her book reviews for the Dallas Morning News.[3] It was not until later in life, at the age of fifty five that she began to write her own novels. Frances focused on historical nonfiction with a specialty in 17th and 18th century France.[1] Her choice of subject matter made it necessary for Frances to travel around the world for extensive research and her unique style, lacking personal interpretations make her books unbiased and purely fact based.[6] In her lifetime Mossiker produced five novels.


  • The Queens Necklace, 1961
  • Napoleon and Josephine, 1965
  • The Affair of the Poisons, 1969
  • More Than a Queen: The Story of Josephine Bonaparte, 1971[7]
  • Pocahontas: The Life and the Legend, 1976
  • Madame de Sevigne: A Life and Letters, 1983[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Frances Mossiker Dies; Author and Historian". The New York Times. May 12, 1985. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  2. ^ Ornish, Natalie (September 1, 2011). "The Artists". Pioneer Jewish Texans. Texas A&M University Press. p. 234. ISBN 9781603444330. Retrieved December 14, 2016 – via Google Books. 
  3. ^ a b "Frances Sanger Mossiker Family Papers 1887-1985". University of Texas at Arlington Library. Archived from the original on August 5, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  4. ^ Frances Mossiker, Pocahontas: The Life and the Legend, NY: Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1976
  5. ^ a b "Frances Sanger Mossiker Writers Study Room", Dallas Public Library
  6. ^ Delors, January 18, 2009, "The Queen's Necklace, by Frances Mossiker"
  7. ^ Frances., Mossiker, (1971). More than a queen; the story of Josephine Bonaparte. Eagle, Michael,. New York,: Knopf. ISBN 9780394920498. OCLC 148580. 
  8. ^ "Mossiker, Frances Sanger (1906–1985) – Popular History". Retrieved December 14, 2016.