The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

November 15, 2013

November 15, 1890

Richmal Crompton Lamburn (November 15, 1890 to January 11, 1969) wrote under the pen name, Richmal Crompton.  She is famous for her books for children which typically feature a mischievous boy, named William.

William is 11 years old  with a reputation as "wonderfully bad." He prides himself on disliking cats, and does not object when he is given the job of delivering the family cat to a local pet shop person. This retailer has agreed to euthanize their family cat who is old, mangy, and yowls in the middle of the night. The cat is named "Bunker" and after we discover William delivered the wrong cat to be put down, we find that William does have a conscience, suffering when he grasps he had a healthy pet "murdered." Not that he suffers a lot.

This plot is from a story in William the Fourth, (1924), a book of short stories.

There are over thirty volumes of William stories. The BBC broadcast them. Richmal Crompton made a lot of money from these and other books she wrote. She was in a wheel chair, in her adulthood, and it may be that William's rambunctiousness was a fantasy of freedom for the author. It is nice to think she became rich. And good to get a glimpse into attitudes toward pets in the early 20th century in Lancashire England.

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