Children's literature, if it is to be successful with children has to tread a fine line between conservatism (which is what most children are most of the time) and subtle rebelliousness (which is what their parents are most of the time). The William Brown stories, written by a true-blue Conservative, Richmal Crompton, manage to tread that line very successfully, though there is the odd exception, as Derek Turner discusses in this highly entertaining and knowledgeable article on the writer and her work. The story of the Outlaws becoming the "Nasties" and deciding to attack Mr Isaacs's sweet shop is rather unpleasant but has a happy ending, but for many modern readers the unpleasantness negates the ending. It is an odd story, for it shows that Richmal Crompton was fully aware as early as 1934 the sheer nastiness of the Nazi regime, yet decided to make something light-hearted of it. This is not quite the same as William's on-off liking for the Communists as there are no details of Stalinist policy involved.
Criminal Conversation and a Tale of Banking
2 days ago