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Last edited by Clean Up Bot
March 31, 2017 | History

Penny Jordan

24 November 1946 - 31 December 2011

Penelope "Penny" Jones was born on 24 November 1946 at about seven pounds in a nursing home in Preston, Lancashire, England. She was the first child of Anthony Winn Jones, an engineer, who died at 85, and his wife Margaret Louise Groves Jones. She has a brother, Anthony, and a sister, Prudence "Pru".

She had been a keen reader from the childhood - her mother used to leave her in the children's section of their local library whilst she changed her father's library books. She was a storyteller long before she began to write romantic fiction. At the age of eight, she was creating serialised bedtime stories, featuring make-believe adventures, for her younger sister Prue, who was always the heroine. At eleven, she fell in love with Mills & Boon, and with their heroes. In those days the books could only be obtained via private lending libraries, and she quickly became a devoted fan, and was thrilled to bits when the books went on full sale, in shops and she could have them for keeps.

Penny left grammar school in Rochdale with O-Levels in English Language, English Literature and Geography. She first discovered Mills & Boon books, via a girl she worked with. She married Steve Halsall, an accountant and a "lovely man", who smoked and drank too heavily, suffered oral cancer with bravery and dignity. Out of his own money, and at a time when he could ill afford it, her late husband bought her the small electric typewriter on which she typed her first novels. Her husband died at the beginning of the 21st century.

She has earned a living as a writer since the 1970s when, as a shorthand typist, she entered a competition run by the Romantic Novelists' Association. Although she didn't win, Penny found an agent who was looking for a new Georgette Heyer. She published four regency novels as Caroline Courtney, before changing her nom de plume to Melinda Wright for threebair-hostess romps and then she wrote two thrillers as Lydia Hitchcock. Soon after that, Mills and Boon accepted her first novel for them, Falcon's Prey as Penny Jordan. However, for her present historical romance novels, she has adopted her mother's maiden-name to become Annie Groves. Almost 70m of her 167 Mills and Boon novels have been sold worldwide.

As a widow, Penny Halsall lived in a neo-Georgian house in Nantwich, Cheshire, with her Alsatian Sheba and cat Posh. She worked from home, in her kitchen, surrounded by her pets, and welcomed interruptions from her friends and family. She passed away on 31 December 2011.

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History Created April 1, 2008 · 12 revisions Download catalog record: RDF / JSON

March 31, 2017 Edited by Clean Up Bot add VIAF and wikidata ID
February 3, 2016 Edited by Mark Gardiner fixed some awkward/incorrect language in the third and fifth paragraphs.
April 11, 2013 Edited by CGN Edited without comment.
May 6, 2012 Edited by CGN Edited without comment.
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import