(1890 - 1969)
"It occurred to William that a pretence of insanity would provide a good way out of his difficulties"

Richmal Crompton Lamburn graduated from Royal Holloway College in 1914 and took up teaching as a career, becoming the classics mistress at Bromley High School For Girls.   Whilst there she started writing short stories and, after a few false starts, she used her memories of the boyhood scrapes of her brother Jack as a basis for her most endearing and enduring character, William.  Richmal Crompton, as she is usually known, contracted polio in 1923 and lost the use of her right leg, making continuing as a teacher almost impossible, so she decided to take up writing as a full time occupation.  Although she wrote books with characters other than William, he was her mainstay and a tremendous success, being read by adults and children alike.  As her memories of her brother’s escapades faded, she used the antics of her young nephew, Tommy, to provide material for her stories.  In an interview with The Radio Times in 1945, she described William as having the  “infinite capacity of producing chaos in his immediate surroundings, with the best intentions in the world.”.  Just William was published by Newnes in 1922 and she went on to produce 38 more titles about the scruffy schoolboy who, like Peter Pan, never grew up, staying eleven years old for ever.


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Books by this author

Just William - the Book of the Film



William and the Brains Trust



William - the Good