Author Josephine Cox has died aged 82.
The Sunday Times best-seller, who is famed for her works including Rainbow Days, The Beachcomber and The Woman Who Left, ‘passed away peacefully’ on 17 July according to her publisher.
Harper Collins gave no other details surrounding Cox’s death, but shared a lengthy statement praising her legacy.
‘Josephine has left a legacy, not only through her stories that touched the hearts of millions, but as a woman who led the way for others by forging a path from humble beginnings to the top of the bestseller lists,’ it read.
‘Josephine was an utter force of nature who inspired all around her. Jo received sacks full of mail from those who felt touched by her words, and wrote back to each and every one, creating an army of readers who were as loyal to her as she was to them.’
The statement continued: ‘Josephine truly earned her place as the nation’s favourite and that is how we’ll always remember her.’
Cox wrote more than 60 books and sold over 20 million copies throughout her writing career.
Other titles of hers include Lonely Girl, The Runaway Woman and A Family Secret.
Charlie Redmayne, chief executive of HarperCollins, added: ‘Publishing is built on authors such as Josephine Cox, writers who know instinctively what their readers want and work diligently, and with the utmost dedication, to deliver it.
‘This is what Josephine Cox did for many decades, becoming one of our most beloved writers.
‘She was a joy to spend time with and will be missed by not just her countless readers, but by all of us who had the privilege of working with her.’
Cox was born in Blackburn and was one of 10 children in her family.
She married husband Ken when she was 16 years old and the couple had two sons Wayne and Spencer.
After studying at college following her children starting school, Cox earned herself a place at Cambridge University but was forced to turn it down, as she didn’t want to move away from home.
Instead, she went into teaching and began writing her first novel at the age of 43. Her first published book, Her Father’s Sins, was released in 1988.
Her last book to be published was Two Sisters that came out in February, earlier this year, and went on to become a Top Ten Sunday Times bestseller.
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