I was delighted to see an article by Dr Sara Lodge on Richmal Crompton’s novels in the latest Persephone Biannually, published by Persephone Books. I certainly agree that she writes about frustrated women, neglected children and bad writers. Some of her characters who are writers are very funny too, especially when they feature in the Just William stories.
Frost at Morning (1950), published by Bello, is concerned with what happens to children when they have to spend time away from their parents for various reasons, such as divorce, when a parent remarries and when they are adopted. These children wonder whether they are loved at all. It is not a family saga and questions the nature of family life and what happens to these children as they grow up. How do childhood experiences have an impact on their life?
Family Roundabout (1948), published by Persephone Books, is an enjoyable family saga in which two matriarchal figures dominate. Crompton’s early Wildings trilogy is worth reading too: The Wildings (1925), David Wilding (1926) and The Thorn Bush (1928).
4 thoughts on “Persephone Books Biannually”
I have just re-read Westover – the characterisations were perfect. I shall never tire of re-reading Crompton.
I’ve just been reading a 1958 interview with Richmal and she mentions publishing in another name for ‘serious novels’. I just wondered what that name was.
I hope that your research is going well.
It is nice to hear from you. Yes, there are two 1958 interviews that refer to this. As you say, she says in them that she writes serious novels under another name. She published 40 novels and 10 collections of other short stories as Richmal Crompton, so I am not sure when she would have had time. On another occasion, she says that she wishes that she had published the novels under another name, which would have distinguished them from the William stories.
My research is going well, thanks. The plan with Palgrave is to publish the biography in 2022, which is the hundredth anniversary of the William stories. I published a chapter recently about William in Spain.
I would love to know what you are working on?
Thanks for the quick reply. I guess if there was a pen name, then it may be lost to the sands of time?
I’m glad that your book is still on track to be published next year.
My Crompton-related interests have been reading some of her adult novels and her short story book, Mist.
I’ve also just finished reading all of the Jimmy stories, which I adore. I’m planning to record a couple of short videos for my Just William YouTube channel. Nothing serious or academic, just to share some information about the Jimmy books and the recent Jimmy Returns collection from the Just William Society.
Best wishes for your continued research.