There’s no denying Auntie Robbo was rather a gay old lady, frivolous in some ways…
Hector is an 11-year old boy living near Edinburgh with his great Auntie Robbo, who is in her eighties. When a woman calling herself his step-mother arrives from England, Hector and Auntie Robbo realise that they have to run away. The chase leads all over the Highlands of Scotland. And so, they narrowly escape police and the authorities, and adopt three homeless children on the way.
Auntie Robbo was originally refused for publication in London. This was because it was deemed critical of the English and “too Scottish”. However, Viking Press decided to publish it in the United States in 1941. Ironically, the published edition displayed an apology on the jacket of the book that read, “without the slightest shadow or suspicion of a moral.” Nonetheless, after its success in print, Constable took it on in 1959. Later, the book was published in India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and Germany.
“Children’s tale reckoned ‘too Scottish’ is revived”. The Bookseller published an article on Auntie Robbo, read the whole piece here.
About the Author
Ann Scott Moncrieff was born in Orkney in 1910 and died in Nairn in 1943. During her short life she was a journalist, writer and a poet who was immortalized by Edwin Muir in his poem ‘To Ann’. This is a republication for school-age children of a neglected, talented Scottish female writer of the 1930s.