|Title:||William--the Dictator (Just William #20)|
|Publisher:||George Newnes, Limited|
|Tags:||fiction, humour, juvenile, short stories|
Ridiculous but fun short stories. ... In “What’s in a Name?”, William flirts with politics, but only in a very childish, non-threatening way. He sees a fascist “shouting and waving his arms about” and talking about taking over the world in his town, in front of a bemused crowd so he thinks that seems like fun so he and his pals call themselves the “Greenshirts” and get themselves some armbands so they can shout and wave their arms and take over the world too. Soon, their rival gang has set up as the Blueshirts and got themselves “a col’ny” (which is just somebody’s aunt’s garden). There isn’t much more mention of it: it just sets up an unlikely plot whereby, to save face, William’s gang have to make their own “col’ny” in an unoccupied house and festoon it with cream buns, doughnuts and bananas. Having thus defeated their enemies, they get bored of the game and no more is said of fascism.—Colin @ Goodreads.com. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Lamburn, Richmal Crompton
Richmal Crompton Lamburn (November 15, 1890--January 11, 1969) of Bury, Lancashire, England was initially trained as a schoolmistress but later became a popular English writer, best known for her Just William series of books, humorous short stories, and to a lesser extent adult fiction books.
Crompton's fiction centers 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.
From 1922 to 1969, she produced 38 William titles, which were subsequently adapted into four films, and one radio and two television series. The character of William, described by Mary Cadogan as "anarchic, disheveled, obstructionist, opinionated and unbookish to the point of Philistinism," was the direct opposite of his creator. The first William stories, written for an adult audience, were Lamburn's best; the later efforts, produced exclusively for children, lost some of their wit and charm. The series was never popular in the United States, because, in the opinion of Margaret Masson, America had its own version of William in the character of Penrod Schofield, created by Booth Tarkington. But Lamburn had a different take, believing that American children developed "straight from the cradle to adolescence," thus bypassing the prepubescent period of 11-year-old William.
Lamburn also produced some 40 other titles, many of them love stories which she turned out at the rate of one a year, but none had the appeal of the William books.
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