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Eleanor Updale
Born 1953 (age 68–69)
Occupation Writer
Nationality British
Alma mater St Anne's College, Oxford; Queen Mary, University of London
Period 2003–present
Genre Historical, mystery, suspense fiction; children's fiction
Notable works Montmorency series
Spouse James Naughtie
Children 3

Eleanor Updale (born 1953) is an English fiction writer, best known for the Victorian-era London thriller Montmorency (2003) and its sequels, the Montmorency series, which feature the namesake fictional character, Montmorency.

Personal life and education

Eleanor Updale was born in 1953 and grew up in Camberwell in South London. She studied history at St Anne's College, Oxford in the 1970s. She studied for an M.Res. degree at the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary College, University of London in 2003. Her research into early members of the Royal Society was awarded a PhD in History by the university in 2007. She is also a trustee of the charity Listening Books.

Updale is married to broadcaster James Naughtie. The couple have three children.

Career in broadcasting

Updale was a producer of television and radio current affairs programmes for the BBC from 1975 to 1990.


The novel, Montmorency was her first book, published by Scholastic Corporation in 2003. It was followed by three sequels, with a final, fifth, volume published in 2013.

  • Montmorency series, published by Scholastic Corporation in the U.K. and subsequently by its Orchard Books imprint in the U.S.
    • Montmorency: thief, liar, gentleman? (2003)
    • Montmorency on the Rocks: doctor, aristocrat, murderer? (2004)
    • Montmorency and the Assassins: master, criminal, spy? (2005) – "the final installment of the Montmorency trilogy"
    • Montmorency's Revenge: madman, actor, arsonist? (2006)
    • Montmorency's Return (2013)

She has also written books with other characters.

  • Itch, Scritch, Scratch, illustrated by Sarah Horne (Barrington Stoke, 2008), – picture book
  • Saved (Barrington Stoke, 2008)
  • Johnny Swanson (David Fickling Books, 2010) – "in 1929 England"
  • The Last Minute (David Fickling, 2013)
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