Richmal Crompton

Richmal Crompton 's great popularity during her lifetime and her later enduring fame rest on her extraordinary outpouring of William stories for children, published between 1922 and 1970. There were thirty-eight books of William stories in all, and sometimes two in the same year. Some of the stories were adapted for radio, television, and movies. RC also published, more importantly to herself, over forty novels and collections of stories for adults which were generally set in her own time. They focussed on the romantic, the domestic, the shaping of the personality in childhood, and on women's sometimes late development of independence.
Black-and-white portrait of Richmal Crompton, wears a dark, velvety hat and tweed blazer.
"Richmal Crompton" by Hulton Archive/Stringer, 1968-11-15. Retrieved from This image is licensed under the GETTY IMAGES CONTENT LICENCE AGREEMENT.
Richmal Crompton


15 November 1890
RC was born in Bury, Lancashire, the second eldest in a family of three surviving siblings.
Cadogan, Mary. Richmal Crompton. Sutton, 2003.
RC 's first commercially published story, Thomas: The Boy Who Would Grow Up, appeared in the Girl's Own Paper. Thomas was a less colourful precursor to William Brown.
Williams, Kay. Just Richmal. Genesis, 1986.
May 1922
Twelve previously published stories by RC were collected as the first William book, Just—William. The next month fourteen other stories appeared in More William.
Williams, Kay. Just Richmal. Genesis, 1986.
11 January 1969
RC died in hospital at Farnborough in Kent after suffering a second heart attack.
Cadogan, Mary. Richmal Crompton. Sutton, 2003.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
The last of RC 's William books, William the Lawless, was published posthumously in the year after her death.
Williams, Kay. Just Richmal. Genesis, 1986.


RC 's mother's maiden name was Crompton, and this was one of RC's two given names. Her nom de plume, formed of these two given names, therefore sounded as if she bore her mother's maiden surname.

Birth and Family