Richmal Crompton Lamburn (1890 – 1969) was educated at Royal Holloway College, London, where she read Classics. She had to abandon her first career as a school mistress after polio left her with a paralysed right leg. She had already had some writing success with short stories in women’s magazines (Girls’ Own Paper, Woman at Home, Home Notes) and had had a couple of novels published, including Just – William, so her new career path was clear to her.
She never intended to write for children; with their intricate plots and satirical wit, the first William stories were most definitely written for adults, and despite having written 41 more serious literary novels with equally satisfyingly involved plots and sharply observed characters, it is for these 38 William books that she is now remembered. Leadon Hill, Matty and the Dearingroydes and Mrs. Frensham Describes a Circle are three of the few of her novels to be in print today.