(1876 - 1961)
"I say you fellows!" 

A pseudonym for Charles Harold St John Hamilton, who, under a number of different names, wrote long-running school stories for a series of weekly magazines, primarily The Gem and The Magnet, published by Amalgamated Press.  The best known of these stories was centred on Greyfriars School and featured one of fiction’s most famous schoolboys, Billy Bunter.  The first Greyfriars School story appeared in The Magnet in 1908 and continued until the magazine closed in 1940, by which time Billy Bunter, the anti-hero schoolboy, had become the central character.  Reading an article about Frank Richards in 1946, Charles Skilton, early in his career as a publisher,  arranged to produce the Bunter stories in book format.  The first, Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School, was published in September 1947, and was an instant success, selling  25,000 copies within weeks - all that was allowed as post war paper shortages were still a reality. However the success caused problems, as Skilton had difficulties accessing enough paper and after only nine titles, he sold the rights to Cassell, who went on to publish a further twenty nine books in the series. The books remained best sellers throughout the 38 book series.  Cassell's had taken the decision to continue with the instantly identifiable bright yellow pictorial dustwrappers created by Skilton's and in 1954, when the illustrator, R.J. MacDonald died, they hired C.H. Chapman - a rather nice touch as Chapman was the artist who had first put Bunter in his famous check trouser when illustrating the stories for The Magnet.

Using the name Frank Richards, Hamilton also wrote about Bessie Bunter and Tom Merry, but it is for the greedy and slothful Bunter -  The Owl of the Remove - that he is best remembered.

Hamilton died in Kent in 1961, having continued to write his Bunter stories until shortly before his death.

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