Television presenter and national treasure Stephen Fry unveiled a new Blue Plaque dedicated to one of the 20th century’s most popular British writers in Wimbledon today.

The plaque is in honour of Georgette Heyer who is best known for her romance novels set in the 18th century and English Regency period including Devil’s Club (1932) and Friday’s Child (1944).

The QI presenter unveiled the plaque at Heyer’s birthplace at 103 Woodside, near Wimbledon library, where she lived for the first four years of her life.

Fry said: “I first discovered Georgette Heyer at school and was completely hooked. She is a fabulous, witty writer who captured the life and language of Regency England superbly. I am delighted to see her honoured with an English Heritage blue plaque.”

Heyer was also renowned for her meticulous research and historical accuracy. Her description of the Battle of Waterloo in An Infamous Army (1937) was commended to recruits at Sandhurst for its vivid account.

She lived at several different addresses in Wimbledon during her lifetime and two of her novels – Pastel (1929) and Behold, Here’s Poison (1936) – were set in a fictionalised version of Wimbledon.

By the time of her death in 1974, Heyer had become a global publishing phenomenon, selling a million copies each year in Britain alone.

As well as Stephen Fry, she includes AS Byatt, Germaine Greer, Cilla Black and the Queen among her admirers.

“I ought to be shot for writing such nonsense,” Heyer once remarked, “but it’s unquestionably good escapist literature.”

Dr Jennifer Kloester, Heyer’s biographer, said: “Though often self-depreciating, Georgette Heyer actually loved writing and would have been thrilled at being accorded the honour of a blue plaque.”