Deborah Moggach: Just William

Deborah Moggach, author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Heartbreak Hotel, has chosen Just William by Richmal Crompton as her Book of the Month. She writes of the book:

I read this, and the other William books, when I was around his age – 11 – and they made me realize that being funny is one of the greatest gifts a book can give us. In times of stress I still turn to William books and suddenly feel that everything will be all right. I think we can be slightly apologetic about so-called funny books – but as Wodehouse, Crompton and the great humourists show us, there’s a profound truth in laughter. I also loved the way they didn’t patronize the reader. Richmal Crompton used words like ‘testily’ and ‘unctuously’ and treated us as an equal. I loved those words, even if I had to learn what they meant, and it instilled a relish for words in me.

The sequel to the film based on Deborah’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was recently released. A film based on her book Tulip Fever will be released later this year.


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