Richmal Crompton: The woman behind 'Just William'
Sutton (Stroud, UK), 2003
Richmal Crompton (1890-1969) initially trained as a classics teacher, but in her early 30s was stricken with polio and had to resign her post. Fortunately, she had begun writing stories in her spare time and was starting to find some success in this field.
As a result of her illness, she lost the use of her right leg and remained very lame for the rest of her life. She wrote and published nearly forty books featuring the irrepressible schoolboy William Brown ('Just William'), which have remained popular ever since but overshadowed the other novels and stories she wrote for children and adults.
This book looks at her life and times, her family relationships, and of course her books. For those who know and love the William stories, it will be a fascinating read, but it does its subject justice by going into some detail on her other largely forgotten works.
This report prepared by John Van der Kiste