I did say this was audio week round here, didn’t I? Well the Richmal Crompton project More William that Barbara and I collaborated to read has appeared. It had a somewhat checkered history, a victim of house sales and buying, and B’s new job in Tauranga, but over Easter we finished the reading and now it’s all available.
“It was on Christmas Day that the centipede appeared on Aunt Evangeline’s plate, the library clock was found mysteriously dismantled, and the conjuring trick with the egg went disastrously wrong. But as William’s Aunt Lucy told him, A Busy Day is a Happy Day – and William is always eager to please adults.
The terror of the Brown family is back, leaving a trail of havoc behind him – with the very best of intentions.” (More William book jacket)
Lovers of British family sitcoms are either already William fans, or are likely to become avid followers of the dogged and imaginative child and his not always patient family.
Richmal Crompton’s William series of books tells the relationship between adults and children from a child’s perspective hilariously highlighting the different viewpoints. Most of us have been William (e.g. children who cannot understand the strange and arbitrary or contradictory rules the adult world imposes) or have dealt with a William (never sure whether he is the little boy pointing out the emperor’s lack of clothes or a nuisance defending his crimes with infuriating [il]logic. Although the world of middle class homes with cooks and gardeners has long vanished generations of adults and children alike laugh at William’s explotis, and often sympathise with either the hero or his long-suffering family.
Somehow Crompton’s William is so real, though somewhat larger than life, that he reduces the other characters to bit-players, and her female leads seem restricted to mere supporting roles. Despite (or perhaps because of) this her stories are enjoyed by girls as much as boys.
More William is the second book in the series and was published in 1922. It contains fourteen hilarious family comedies.