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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Early life
Crompton's best known books are the William stories, about a mischievous 11-year old schoolboy and his band of friends, known as the Outlaws. The first short story featuring William was Rice Mould published in Home Magazine in 1919, though she did write 'the outlaws' in 1917- it wasn't published until later. In 1922 came the first collection, titled Just William. She wrote 38 other William books throughout her life. The last, William the Lawless was published posthumously in 1970. The William books sold over twelve million copies in the UK alone, and were also adapted for films, stage-plays, BBC radio and television series. Illustrations by Thomas Henry contributed to their success.
Crompton also wrote adult fiction: novels as well as short stories, starting with The Innermost Room (1923). Even William was originally created for grown-up audiences. She once hinted that the success of William obstructed recognition for her other writing. Her first published tale, concerning a little boy named Thomas, a forerunner of William who reacts against authority, was published in The Girls' Own Paper in 1918. Crompton tried several times to reformulate William for other audiences. Jimmy (1949) was aimed at younger children, and Enter - Patricia (1927) at girls. Crompton wrote two more Jimmy books, but no more Patricia, and neither were as successful as William.
Crompton's fiction centres around family and social life, dwelling on the constraints that they place on individuals while also nurturing them. This is best seen in her depiction of children as puzzled onlookers of society's ways. Nevertheless, the children, particularly William and his Outlaws, almost always emerge triumphant.

Richmal CromptonRichmal Crompton Work

Mary Cadogan (1993). The Woman Behind William: A Life of Richmal Crompton. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-60038-X. 
Ian Ousby (1994). The Wordsworth Companion to Literature in English. Wordsworth Editions Ltd.. ISBN 1-85326-336-2. 
Manchester Authors, Writers and Poets Page at the Papillon Graphics' Virtual Encyclopaedia of Greater Manchester.
Biography at Just William website.
Biography at the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site. List of published works

Just William, 1922
More William, 1922
William Again, 1923
William The Fourth, 1924
Still William, 1925
William The Conqueror, 1926
William The Outlaw, 1927
William In Trouble, 1927
William The Good, 1928
William, 1929
William The Bad, 1930
William's Happy Days, 1930
William's Crowded Hours, 1931
William The Pirate, 1932
William The Rebel, 1933
William The Gangster, 1934
William The Detective, 1935
Sweet William, 1936
William The Showman, 1937
William The Dictator, 1938
William and Air Raid Precautions, 1939 (also published as William's Bad Resolution, 1956)
William and the Evacuees, 1940 (also published as William and the Film Star, 1956)
William Does His Bit, 1941
William Carries On, 1942
William and the Brains Trust, 1945
Just William's Luck, 1948
William the Bold, 1950
William and the Tramp, 1952
William and the Moon Rocket, 1954
William and the Artist's Model, 1956
William and the Space Animal, 1956
William's Television Show, 1958
William the Explorer, 1960
William's Treasure Trove, 1962
William and the Witch, 1964
William and the Pop Singers, 1965
William and the Masked Ranger, 1966
William the Superman, 1968
William the Lawless, 1970 William-like books

The Innermost Room, 1923
The Hidden Light, 1924
Anne Morrison, 1925
The Wildings, 1925
David Wilding, 1926
The House, 1926 (also published as Dread Dwelling)
Kathleen and I, and, of Course, Veronica, 1926 (short stories)
Millicent Dorrington, 1927
A Monstrous Regiment, 1927 (short stories)
Leadon Hill, 1927
The Thorn Bush, 1928
Roofs Off!, 1928
The Middle Things, 1928 (short stories)
Felicity Stands By, 1928 (short stories)
Sugar and Spice and Other Stories, 1928 (short stories)
Mist and Other Stories, 1928 (short stories)
The Four Graces, 1929
Abbot's End, 1929
Ladies First, 1929 (short stories)
Blue Flames, 1930
Naomi Godstone, 1930
The Silver Birch and Other Stories, 1931 (short stories)
Portrait of a Family, 1932
The Odyssey of Euphemia Tracy, 1932
Marriage of Hermione, 1932
The Holiday, 1933
Chedsy Place, 1934
The Old Man's Birthday, 1934
Quartet, 1935
Caroline, 1936
The First Morning, 1936 (short stories)
There Are Four Seasons, 1937
Journeying Wave, 1938
Merlin Bay, 1939
Seffan Green, 1940
Narcissa, 1941
Mrs. Frensham Describes a Circle, 1942
Weatherly Parade, 1944
Westover, 1946
The Ridleys, 1947
Family Roundabout, 1948
Frost at Morning, 1950
Linden Rise, 1952
The Gypsy's Baby, 1954
Four In Excile, 1954
Matty and the Dearingroydes, 1956
Blind Man's Buff, 1957
Wiseman's Folly, 1959
The Inheritor, 1960

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