25 October 2021

Very personal query only for fellow-brits

 Apparently there is a Just William story ... William and the Nasties ... from the mid-thirties, which seems unavailable for PC reasons. I have a weakness for the Thirties which inclines me to try to get behind the wall of censorship inevitably erected by the horrific events of the following decade. I have an eccentric desire to be able to see that decade as it saw and expressed itself, without the censorship that comes from hindsight.

Can anybody tell me where to find this tale (in full) on the internet?


Unknown said...

You can read the 1947 "William the Detective" at the Internet Archive. Chapter VI starts on page 116:


Atticus said...

I expect lots of other helpful Horaces will have pipped me to the post, but here it is in its entirety: https://gabrielquotes.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/william-and-the-nasties-scan-split.pdf

Now, why do I suddenly feel my name has just been put on a list?

scotchlil said...

I think this is what you're after, Father:


Fr John Hunwicke said...

Thank you very much, one and all!

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

This is superb. "Her can't be the same as him in any language." Ex ore infantibus...

And how could anyone ban it? Apart from those with no sense of irony. Which may of course include Germans and sundry foreigners - and our own 'liberals'.

And the denouement is quite charming. But like book reviewers, its critics probably did not venture beyond the first two pages.

Jhayes said...

Here’s the Guardian from 1999 discussing objections to the republication of other William stories:

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of Richmal Crompton's first Just William story, Rice Mould, the publishers Macmillan are releasing 20 books with facsimile jackets and launching a series of abridged stories for six- to eight-year-olds.

n line with the government's call to use more 'boy friendly' books, schools and libraries are expected to snap up the series in the hope of wooing male pupils turned off by romantic literature.
But the anarchic, scruffy schoolboy has blundered into a political correctness battlefield. Fears that impressionable readers might be led astray have prompted calls for William's subversion of middle-class, inter-war England, to be tamed



PDLeck said...

I am glad you had brought this to our attention, Father, because I was unaware of this censorship. I do wish I didn't live in a nanny state where I'm old what's good for me and what isn't. I'm also fed up with people apologising for the past. It seems rather ludicrous to me that we should apologise for things we did not do and for a people who had a completely different mindset. I won't be caught apologising and I don't need history being hidden from me.

Exsollertan said...

Oh for a Richmal Crompton today to write a tale about William and Climate Change!

PM said...

It seems that the story concerned is available on line. If all else fails there is always the Bod. If Bodley's Librarian starts burning books then we really will be done for.

Scribe said...

Dear Father, Mrs Siddons in the 18th century and Dame Peggy Ashcroft in the 20th were both proud to be called actresses, though I could understand some women finding it a bit demeaning to be called a waitress, or a manageress, both suggesting that they are inferior substitutes for the Real Thing. I can recall the BBC radio's 'Just William' series in the fifties, where the announcer proudly informed us that the scripts had been written 'by the authoress herself.'

With respect to bishop-and-actress jokes, we must now bear in mind that many bishops these days are women, which adds a new frisson of scandal to the genre.

John Vasc said...

If publishers have foolishly excised this harmless, satirical juvenile entertainment from 1935, when many of Crompton's English readers, untutored as most were in international politics, would probably still consider the Nazi party an eccentric and even comic German foible, then we'd better not alert offence-mongers to the contents of Saki's 'The Unrest Cure' - a short story easily found online in which a young prankster winds up a respectable bore:
"And isn't the Bishop going to have tea?" Huddle enquired.
"The Bishop is out for blood, not tea...Tonight is going to be a great night in the history of Christendom," said Clovis. "We are going to massacre every Jew in the neighbourhood. It's the Bishop's own idea. He's in there arranging all the details now."
"But - the Bishop is such a tolerant, humane man."
"That is precisely what will heighten the effect of his action. The sensation will be enormous."
Luckily, Saki has his own circle of initiates, and they are unlikely to include the woke, who are notoriously impervious to irony or farce.

vetusta ecclesia said...

“Her can't ever be the same as him in any language.“ Perhaps this, quoted from the story, is what modern censors raged against!