William Brown the tousled haired ruffian is the star of Richmal Crompton's best selling 'Just William' books. The books were a huge success from the first one published in 1922 to the last in 1970.
William Brown is a scruffy 11-year-old boy who leads a gang of his own called 'The Outlaws'. This gang consists of three rather mangy, but brave and loyal boys called Ginger, Henry and Douglas who all follow William devotedly. The 'Brown' family desperately try to keep William under control with his father being the sterner character and his mother who gave up long ago. His sister, Ethel is always having admirers around the house, much to the disapproval of William and his brother Robert is always looking for 'the perfect lady'. A little 9 year old girl called Violet Elizabeth Bott with an outrageous lisp who's favourite boast is she can 'scream and scream and scream 'till I'm sick, I can you know!' follows William everywhere and whenever William tries to send her away she bursts into floods of tears and threatens too tell her daddy, Mr Bott of Bott Hall and maker of Bott’s Digestive Sauce, the richest man in the neighbourhood that William Brown is tormenting her.
My personal favourite character is Mrs Bott who is described by Crompton as enormously fat and is always getting her 'Hubby' to exercise, while at the same time trying to maintain a high social status around the town.
The 'William' books are all hugely entertaining and the way it is written, seeing through the eyes of William with all his dispassionate views of adulthood is hilarious.