Pan Macmillan's digital imprint Bello is to publish eight of Richmal Crompton's "forgotten" adult novels.
Lancashire-born Crompton is best known for her 38 Just William children’s series. According to the publisher, Crompton expressed "deep regret" over Just William dominating her work, when she had also written 41 adult novels and nine collections of short stories.
Pan Macmillan is now set to bring eight of these adult novels to a new readership via its digital imprint Bello.
Millicent Dorrington is one of the eight forgotten classics that it will be publish in 2017. The novel was first published 90 years ago in 1927 and was well received by critics with The Morning Post describing the protagonist as "a beautiful figure, realised with true art".
The blurb reads: "When we first meet Millicent Dorrington she is a young lady on the verge of womanhood in inter-war England. The daughter of a wealthy mill-owner and one of five children she is tormented by the high walls of their home, White Lodge, which hold her in. The young Millicent tells her father that she is destined for great things – that she is desperate to break free...
"But while Millicent’s siblings grow up, move on and experience life, their freedom confines her. Held back by the bonds of family, unable to leave her siblings behind, Millicent appears to miss out on the joys of life. But as time goes on, she becomes the centre that holds her family together. Perhaps Millicent’s great destiny was, after all, to remain at home; remain at one with those who love her most and see out her final days in the warmth of the White Lodge."
As well as Millicent Dorrington Bello will also be publishing Quartet, Felicity – Stands By, Leadon Hill, Weatherley Parade, Westover, Frost at Morning and Linden Rise.
Harriet Sanders, publisher of Bello and Macmillan Collector's Library said: “I’m delighted to be publishing eight more books by the wonderful Richmal Crompton. Everyone who has read them so far has expressed surprise and delight at the quality of the writing and the atmospheric stories she tells. Her many fans are in for a treat.”
Macmillan Children’s Books have published Richmal Crompton’s Just William series since 1983.