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How a 19th Century nine-year-old got me thinking about self publishing

Sally Xerri-Brooks

old book on a stand


I am doing the annual activity known as ‘trying to get a literary agent’. So far no big progress, however there is an exhibition going on at the Muirhead Tower at the University of Birmingham courtesy of the Cadbury Research Library. It looks at children as writers – a fascinating topic.

This book, the Young Visiters, was written by a nine-year-old girl called Daisy Ashford and published by Chatto and Windus in 1919, preserving her childhood punctuation and spelling – hence ‘visiters’. It is a novella about upper class society in the late 19th Century. It got me to thinking how this book came to be published. It seems somewhat unlikely. I wonder if Daisy had a literary agent? Did she rely on family connections? Was she well connected?

In submitting Four Movements to agents, I find myself time and again explaining why they should represent me. However…

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