When Richard Beaton inherits Chedsy Place, he feels nostalgic as he returns to his beloved family home. For him it is locked in the past - a place of warm childhood memories - and he cannot afford to keep it. But for his wife, Celia, walking round the grand house sparks the kernel of an idea: to restore it to its former glory by opening its doors once more for Christmas - only this time, to paying guests.
Horrified by the idea, Robert watches as the guests arrive from far and wide: the domineering Judith Kimball with her shy secretary Sidney Lattimer, and the chauffeur, who takes a shine to Sidney; the Paynter family with their excitable twin daughters, Cicely and Angela; Miss Nettleton, who travels indomitably about the British Isles seeing the sights; Mrs Stephenson-Pollitt, who retires 'into the silence' each afternoon to seek communion with the spirits, and her nephew, Brian, who is destined for the clergy but must battle with his conscience when he meets Angela. As the guests settle in for Christmas, Robert knows that Chedsy Place will never be the same again . . .
Bringing together a memorable cast of characters, Chedsy Place is a warm and witty novel, filled with the humour, piercing observation and remarkable characterization that makes Richmal Crompton one of the world's best-loved writers.
Richmal Crompton (1890-1969) is best known for her thirty-eight books featuring William Brown, which were published between 1922 and 1970. Born in Lancashire, Crompton won a scholarship to Royal Holloway in London, where she trained as a schoolteacher, graduating in 1914, before turning to writing full-time in 1923. Alongside the William novels, Crompton wrote forty-one novels for adults, as well as nine collections of short stories.