William the Fourth
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There is no doubt that the very formal and adult linguistic style makes the William books material for competent readers. It is also material for the intelligent young reader. The thoroughly ruthless way in which Richmal Crompton uses William to undo the most pretentious of people requires a level of sophistication not present in all who expect to enjoy these stories. William, however, has a loyal readership, one that passes the word on to up and coming readers and this reprint has been greeted with joy by fans. As one child remarked, 'you need patience to understand William but once you have his books are a thoroughly good read'. Among other escapades William the Fourth sets out to form a Bolshevist Society, kidnap Lady Barbara d'Arcey and take his elderly aunt to the fair. Originally written in 1924 the tone and illustrations make each story a period piece but there is paradoxically a sense of timelessness which causes William to be approved of by successive generations. It is a pity that the cover does not tie in with the original illustrations by Thomas Henry which are still used within the book.