Help wanted for a list of forgotten books by well-loved authors.

A few months ago I discovered detective novel The Red House Mystery by A.A.Milne (who is better known of course for his Winnie the Pooh stories), and lately I’ve been reading The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden) and Saplings by Noel Streatfield (Ballet Shoes) which I wouldn’t have known about had it not been for Persephone Books.

I’m sure that there must be lots of relatively unknown books by authors known for one particular book and it is interesting that the above authors are all better known for well-loved children’s books.

I can’t help but wonder if there are any particular gems that other book-lovers might know of. There is the Lost Man Booker Prize of course, but perhaps that’s a slightly different kettle of fish.

I’d love to compile a list of forgotten gems by authors OKF (otherwise known for…) on Novel Insights – so if you have any ideas please do comment!

16 responses to “Help wanted for a list of forgotten books by well-loved authors.

  1. Ooooh thats a good question. One I can’t really answer (though E.F Benson is one hahaha) but I can help as I will wing people over to this post on Saturday and see if a few other bloggers will too and we can have an excessive list of wonderful books to look out for.

    Bloomsbury are always good for this since they started their Bloomsbury Group series.

    • Ooh, good pointer about the Bloomsbury Group series. T’would be wonderful if you can signpost, as I think it would be a really interesting list!

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  4. After visiting Orchard House (home to Louisa May Alcott for 20 years, and where she wrote Little Women) in Concord, MA, I’m interested in trying some of Louisa May Alcott’s adult work.

    • What a wonderful bookish place to have visited! Great suggestion, I shall have to do a bit of looking into her adult books – thanks for popping by Sara!

  5. I know everyone has been making a big noise about Richmal Crompton’s adult books like ‘The Family Roundabout’ recently. Dodie Smith’s sequel to ‘101 Dalmaltions’, ‘The Starlight Barking’ gets my vote (rather odder than her other books, sort of fantasy and almost sci-fi). I also think ‘Bodily Harm’ by Margaret Atwood gets almost no attention despite being very good (much better than the book that came before it ‘Life Before Man’).

    • I hadn’t even thought about Richmal Crompton. I loved the Just William books when I was a kid. I also didn’t realise that 101 Dalmations was by Dodie Smith. I recently read I capture the castle which was beautifully written. The sequel to 101 sounds a bit mad and different!

      I’m starting to think that a recurring theme here is adult books by childrens authors…

      Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. Sara – I visited Orchard House some while back, isn’t it lovely? Try Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom, Work, the Chase and she also wrote lots of blood and thunder mysteries and gothic romances hwich are great fun.

    Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote many adult books – The Making of a Marchioness as well as the Shuttle are both published by Persephone. Then there is T Temberaum, The Lost Prince, Through one Administration (very Edith Wharton’ish) and loads of others all worth chasing up. Head of the House of Combe and the sequel Robin also worth getting hold of.

    Then there is Richmal Crompton, EM Delafield, Lucy Maud Montgomery – all her books other than her Anne books – the Blue Castle being a particular favourite of mine. I could go on all night but will stop now!

  7. Oh you’re welcome to go on! What brilliant pointers. I could definitely read more Frances Hodgson Burnett adult fiction – the Shuttle was superb. I didn’t read the Green Gables books as a kid but read about The Blue Castle on Book Snob’s blog and it sounded great. You’ve given me some really good ideas thank you Elaine!

  8. Another writer best known for her children’s books, Ruby Ferguson, wrote a delightful novel – Apricot Sky – that is worth looking out for.

  9. I immediately think of Agatha Christie’s Mary Westmacott novels, which I like very much. My favorite is The Burden because of its insights into romantic relationships and teaching. I deem the best written novel in the series, however, to be Absent in the Spring, the first two thirds of which could hold its own alongside any modern novel. The last third degenerates somewhat.

    • Thanks for the suggestions, I’ve not read much Christie, but have heard of Poirot and Marple, while not coming across Mary Westmacott. Sounds like a good one for the list.

  10. Pingback: Forgotten Books by Well-loved Children’s Authors « Novel Insights

  11. Hi, its my first time on your blog, you asked for forgotten books…have you ever read “Demian” by Herman Hesse..its wonderful (ijust finished reading it) and sadly it seems to be least here in England

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