Saturday, July 02, 2016

Not Just William - Richmal Crompton's Brood Of Boisterous Boys

I have no idea how I wandered into the world of fiction for young boys when I was a young girl. The result of my genderless upbringing? The result of parental yearning for a son? Neither theory appeals as I equally read Little Women and her sorority such as What Katy Did as well as many a tale where a Katy did not.

Little Women  (Little Women, #1)

Alongside sundry Enid Blytons I somehow found myself between the pages of William's adventures in Sahib land. Both Blyton and Crompton raised between them a whole and innumerable and vociferous generation of Indian Sahibs (my good self included). 
Oh! I say! 

Jolly good, what!

That was the latest TV version but there have been earlier ones

and others even earlier

And before that

I'm jolly sure I read all or at least most of the sequence of thirty-nine books by Richmal Crompton

The Unabridged Just William Collection (A Csa Word Classic)

Richmal Crompton Lamburn was, like many authors from the British Isles, the daughter of a clergyman. Since he was also a Classics master at a school, it is little wonder that both his children became writers. While her brother’s books are not so well known, Richmal Crompton’s William series  was quite the thing for a boy to read in certain households in India and other British ex-colonies too, I’m sure.

She was a schoolteacher and began writing at 27. It’s moving to read that not only did she have poliomyelitis which robbed her of the use of her right leg but she also had a mastectomy after breast cancer.

A spinster, though aunt and great-aunt to many, she writes enchantingly and engagingly about a bunch of freckled boys who, in all innocence, get up to all sorts of boyish antics and pranks.

The books were a huge success she made a modest fortune - not surprisingly for I’m sure they’ll still raise many a smile.

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