top of page


Cordelia Frances Biddle is an independent historian and author with a passion for history. Nonfiction: Biddle, Jackson, and a Nation in Turmoil and Saint Katharine: The Life of Katharine Drexel.

            Fiction: Sins of Commission, The Actress, Without Fear, Deception’s Daughter, and The Conjurer. The novels are set during the early Victorian era in Philadelphia and explore women’s issues, and the chasm between wealth and poverty. A prior novel, Beneath the Wind, examined colonialism during the Edwardian Age. Her newest, They Believed They Were Safe, received raves from Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly.

            She contributed to St. Peter’s Church: Faith in Action for 250 Years, and to Philadelphia Noir. She authored the one-man show: This Community of Faith: Hopes, Dreams, Trials and Resolution, performed by Sam Waterston in celebration of the 250th anniversary of St. Peter’s Church (Philadelphia).

            As a journalist, she has written for Town and Country, Hemispheres and W, and won the 1997 SATW Lowell Thomas travel-writing award for "Three Perfect Days in Philadelphia." Her interpretive tour for Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion won the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s 2013 Education and Public Programs Award. She was a contributing writer to the film Philadelphia: The Great Experiment.

            With her husband, Steve Zettler, she wrote 12 mystery novels: The Crossword Mystery Series, under the pseudonym Nero Blanc.

            Prior to her writing career, she worked as an actress in New York and on tour. She appeared on stage, directed by Jerry Zaks in Albert Innaurato’s Gemini, and on the daytime drama, One Life to Live.

            Cordelia teaches creative writing at Drexel University’s Pennoni Honors College. She won the Honors College Teaching Excellence Prize in 2012, and The Adjunct Faculty Award in 2021. Prior to Drexel, she taught creative writing classes at the University of the Arts, and at Temple University Center City, as well as one-day seminars with Mystery Writers of America.

            She is a member of the Authors Guild. Please visit her on Facebook.

cb_42 copy.jpg
bottom of page