Just William: ‘the most popular boy in fiction’ by David Buckingham
This article has been published on the David Buckingham blogsite. It begins:
Between 1920 and her death in 1969, Richmal Crompton published almost forty collections of stories featuring her anarchic schoolboy hero, William Brown. William enjoyed massive success: he was the Harry Potter of his day. In this essay, I try to account for the popularity of the William books, and the gendered aspects of their appeal. I look at the political messages they contained, how William adapted to the changing environment of the 1950s and 1960s, and how the books have been translated across different media.