Bello to republish out of print novels by Richmal Crompton

Bello – the digital imprint of Pan Macmillan focused on republishing out of print books – is set to release eleven novels for adults by Richmal Crompton, author of the celebrated Just William series of children’s books.

Published between 1922 and Crompton’s death in 1969, with two additional titles published posthumously in 1970 and 1990, the 38 Just William titles have long overshadowed the rest of their author’s body of work in the public imagination, relegating her remaining 41 novels and nine collections of short stories to comparatively forgotten status.

Crompton, desiring to be taken more seriously as an author, went so far as to say of her creation, in 1958, ‘for many years I looked on William as “my character”. He was my puppet. I pulled the strings. But gradually the tables have been turned. I am his puppet.’

The series of reissues by Bello hopes to correct that. On 27 August, the imprint will republish: Marriage of Hermione; The Old Man’s Birthday; There Are Four Seasons; Chedsy Place; Narcissa; Merlin Bay; Caroline; The Holiday; Steffan Green; Portrait of a Family; and Journeying Wave.

Bello’s Elizabeth Campbell says of the reprinted novels: ‘Richmal Crompton’s adult works truly are a remarkable testimony to the breadth of her talent as a writer. We are delighted to have unearthed them and to be finally giving recognition to her largely forgotten adult work.’

In the 47 years that she was active as a published author, Crompton wrote 88 books in total, with her most prolific years 1928 and 1929, which alone saw the publication of thirteen titles: four Just William books, four novels for adults and five collections of short stories. Though welcome, this initial reissue series is but a drop in the ocean.

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