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Saturday 13 February 2021

Saturday Rave: Just William's Luck by Richmal Crompton.

 People often ask where I get my ideas from.

Answer: absolutely everywhere. In fact, quite often this question inspires writers to invent a murder mystery involving someone who asks too many questions.

As you may have noticed, there have been a lot of those. 

But, as it happens, the novel Just William's Luck did have an unusual inspiration. It was originally a 1947 feature film written and directed by Val Guest, and it pleased the creator of the William books, Richmal Crompton, so much that she wrote it up as a novel, the only full-length novel in the whole William series.

The result is really brilliant. The focus is on the grown ups quite as much as William and the Outlaws, and they prove to be easily as much fun as the boys (not to mention Elizabeth Violet Bott). There are some glorious set-pieces: the two warring couples sitting at neighbouring tables at a restaurant is a scene of great technical beauty and exquisite joy. 

In fact Richmal Crompton takes such assured and glorious control of the extra space a novel provides that I wish she'd written more novels. Perhaps she did. I must do some research and let you know.

So if you want something to cheer you up, then Just William's Luck is very well worth a try.

Word To Use Today: luck. This word came into English from Middle Dutch luc in the 1400s. 

By the way, the book Just William's Luck has its own Wikipedia entry; but I think the person who wrote it must have read some other book. Never mind.

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