Does anyone remember Catherine Cookson and her books set in the north of England? Her books were first published in the 50s and she went on to write more than a hundred novels that sold over 100 million copies. The first book of hers that I read was Our Kate supposedly a story about her mother. (Catherine had grown up not knowing that the woman she had considered her sister was actually her mother.) Despite her success, the literary world considered her writing to be not of historical novels but low-life romances - they did not treat her kindly. Regardless of how her novels were depicted, they were popular and she became a well recognized author. Catherine was awarded an OBE and became Dame of the British Empire. Her characters, like those of Charles Dickens', have struggles to overcome, usually of poverty or mistreatment by the upper classes.
Catherine Cookson died in 1998 at the age of 91.
Her books have been adapted for stage, film and television. (I've found many of her made for television DVDs at the library). She also wrote several children's books.
The estate of Catherine Cookson has chosen to publish her books digitally and many of Catherine Cookson's books are available on Amazon and free for Amazon Prime Members.
You can see a full list of her books here.
Note: Some of the novels that were first published in England, were later published under different titles and alternate covers in other countries which can be confusing.