Richmal Crompton was an author, best known for her "Just William" children's fiction books, although she also wrote adult fiction.
Richmal Crompton (also known as Richmal Crompton Lamburn) was born in Bury, Lancashire, in 1890. Her parents were Edward John Sewell Lamburn and Clara Lamburn (née Crompton). She had three siblings: Gwen (born 1889), Jack (born 1893) and Phyllis (born 1894 and died aged 14 months). In 1901, Richmal Crompton attended St Elphin's Boarding School in Warrington, Lancashire, then moved with the school to Darley Dale, Derbyshire. In 1911 she attended Royal Holloway College, Surrey, on a scholarship, where she studied Classics.
In her early life, Richmal Crompton worked as a school teacher, first going to work at St Elphin's Boarding School in 1914, then moving to Bromley High School, Kent, in c1917.
In 1917, she wrote her first William story, "The Outlaws", although this was published later. Her first story to be published was about a boy named Thomas, and was published in "The Girls’ Own Paper" in 1918. "Rice Mould Pudding" was the first William story to be published, and was published in "Home" magazine in 1919. Richmal Crompton's first adult fiction book to be published was "The Innermost Room", which was published in 1923.
After contracting polio in 1923, Richmal Crompton lost the use of her right leg; because of this, she retired from teaching, remaining in Bromley and instead focusing on her writing work.
Several William stories were published in "Home Magazine" from 1919 to 1922, and in "Happy Mag." from 1922 to 1940; William stories have also appeared in other publications. In addition, 39 William books have been published, with the last published in 1970 after Richmal Crompton's death (she died at her home in Chislehurst, Kent, in 1969). The William stories have been adapted for film, television, radio and the stage.
Other children's books written by Richmal Crompton include "Enter - Patricia" (published 1927), and three "Jimmy" books (published 1949-1965).
Richmal Crompton also published 50 books for adults, with the last published in 1960s.