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Famous Like Me > Writer > C > Richmal Crompton

Profile of Richmal Crompton on Famous Like Me

Name: Richmal Crompton  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 15th November 1890
Place of Birth: Bury, Lancashire, England, UK
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Richmal Crompton Lamburn (1890–1969)

Richmal Crompton Lamburn (November 15, 1890–January 11, 1969) was a British writer, most famous for her Just William short stories.

Early life

She was born at Bury in Lancashire, the second child of Reverend Edward John Sewell Lamburn, a teacher at the Bury Grammer School and his wife Clara (née Crompton). Her brother, John Battersby Crompton Lamburn also became a writer, under the name John Lambourne and is remembered for his fantasy novel The Kingdom That Was (1931).

Crompton attended schools in Lancashire and Derbyshire, including St Elphin’s, a boarding school for daughters of the clergy in Warrington, Lancashire, and later won a scholarship to study at the Royal Holloway College in London, receiving a BA Honours degree in Classics. She also took part in the Women's Suffrage movement at the time. She returned to St Elphin’s as the Classics mistress in 1914, and later, at age 27, moved to Bromley High School in southeast London where she began her writing in earnest. Having contracted poliomyelitis, she was left without the use of her right leg in 1923. She gave up her teaching career and began to write full-time. She died in 1969 at her home in Farnborough in Kent. She was a close contemporary of Enid Blyton.


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. 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 nine million copies, and were also adapted for films, stage-plays, BBC radio and television series.

Crompton also wrote adult fiction - both 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 came in the way of recognition for her other writing - the novels. 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, as neither was successful as William.

Crompton's fiction is largely centred 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 and helpless (not always, though) victims of grown-up concern with societal mores.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Richmal Crompton