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Monday, August 08, 2005

William The Sublime

In The Independent, Brandon Robshaw celebrates literature’s favourite schoolboy. No, not young Potter.

“Shock-headed, freckled, anarchic, determined, boastful, sarcastic, combative, swaggering, irresponsible and irrepressible, with his school cap on crooked and his socks falling down and his shorts' pockets filled with conkers, string, catapults, penknives and pea-shooters, William is the essence of boyhood. Perhaps boys are not quite like that any more; perhaps they never were. The portrait is a heightened, comically exaggerated one - but there is something about it that rings true nevertheless, and something about it that is immensely appealing.

“…in Crompton's glorious middle period, she achieved a combination of dry wit, high farce and sly characterisation which makes her oeuvre outstanding, not just in children's literature but in the English short story as a whole. And it still makes me laugh out loud.”

Me too, me too.


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