Karen Harper

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Karen Harper
Occupation Author
Language United States English
Nationality American
Genre Historical fiction
British monarchy
Notable awards The New York Times Best Seller list
USA Today bestseller list
2005 Mary Higgins Clark award

Karen Harper (born April 6, 1945)[1] is an historical fiction and contemporary fiction author. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author[citation needed].

Writing career

Harper published Sweet Passion's Pain in 1984, and it was later published as The First Princess of Wales in 2006 by Three Rivers Press. It tells the tale of Joan of Kent and her future husband Edward, the Black Prince. Harper remarked in an author's note that the novel reminded her of the love affair between Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles, as both shared a "less than enthusiastic endorsement" from senior royal figures.[2] Harper has stated that the Tudor era is her favorite setting for her novels, and medieval England is a close second.

Harper has been praised for her historically accurate attention to detail. She states this is because she has built up a large Tudor library over the past thirty years, has undergone frequent trips to the British Isles, has full access to the large Ohio State University library, and has interviewed many people familiar with her chosen historical topics.[3]

Personal life

Harper was born in Toledo, Ohio, and obtained her undergraduate degree from Ohio University in Athens, and her graduate degree from Ohio State University in Columbus.[4] She met her husband Don in Columbus, and has lived there for thirty-five years, though they spend some time in Naples, Florida (as she considers that state her "second home").[4][5]

Harper previously taught English at Ohio State University.

List of works

The Maplecreek series

  1. Dark Road Home (1996)
  2. Dark Harvest (2004)
  3. Dark Angel (2007)

The Home Valley series

  1. Fall From Pride (2011)
  2. Return to Grace (2012)
  3. Finding Mercy (November 2012)
  4. Upon a Winter's Night (2013)

Cold Creek series

  1. Shattered Secrets (2014)
  2. Forbidden Ground (2014)
  3. Broken Bonds (2014)

The Queen Elisabeth I series

  1. The Poyson Garden (1999)
  2. The Tidal Poole (2000)
  3. The Twylight Tower (2001)
  4. The Queene's Cure (2002)
  5. The Thorne Maze (2003)
  6. The Queen's Christmas (2003)
  7. The Fyre Mirror (2005)
  8. The Fatal Fashione (2005)
  9. The Hooded Hawke (2007)

Stand alone novels

  • Down to the Bone
  • The Baby Farm
  • Shaker Run
  • The Stone Forest
  • The Falls
  • Inferno
  • Hurricane
  • Below The Surface
  • The Hiding Place
  • Deep Down
  • Down River
  • Mistress of Mourning/The Queen's Confidante (UK edition)
  • The Last Boleyn
  • The First Princess of Wales (originally published as Sweet Passion's Pain in 1984)
  • Mistress Shakespeare
  • The Queen's Governess
  • The Irish Princess (2011)


  1. Ohioan authors: Karen Harper. Accessed 5 October 2015
  2. Harper, Karen (2006). Author's Note, The First Princess of Wales. New York: Three Rivers Press. p. 610.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Dunn, Wendy J. "Interview with historical fiction author, Karen Harper". Onthetudortrail.com. Retrieved 13 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Buckley, Julia. "Karen Harper Chats About History, Mystery, and the Lonely Act of Writing". Retrieved 13 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Exclusive Interview with Karen Harper". RandomHouse, Inc. Retrieved 13 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>