Just William's Luck

Just William's Luck (1948) was a novel in the Just William series by Richmal Crompton. The story revolves around the attempts of William Brown and his friends, The Outlaws, to get their elder brothers married, such that they might become the recipients of possessions replaced by wedding presents. After a series of unlikely adventures, the boys serendipitously foil a gang of fur-coat smugglers, and receive a reward from the police.

Just William's Luck
First edition
AuthorRichmal Crompton
IllustratorThomas Henry
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreChildren's literature
PublisherGeorge Newnes
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback) & Audio book
Followed byWilliam the Bold 

The story came to life after the release of feature film of the same name, loosely based on the books. Crompton was so impressed with the film that she chose to turn it into the only full-length novel in the canon.[1]

Stage Adaptation

Shedload Theatre[2] produced a stage adaptation of Just William's Luck that debuted in 2017 at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe in The Iron Belly Underbelly, Cowgate. Written by Richmal Crompton's great-nephew, it saw William, The Outlaws and Violet Elizabeth enact the story themselves as a play within a play; using childlike takes on physical theatre, puppetry and music. The original cast consisted of Jonathan Massey as William, Thomas Guttridge as Ginger, Davey Lias as Douglas, Greg Arundell as Henry and Lucy Telfer as Violet Elizabeth (Later played by Louise Waller) The production was well received by critics and audiences alike who praised its imagination and energy; with many citing it captured the enthusiastic essence of the source material.[3][4] Just William's Luck subsequently toured theatres around Europe and Britain and returned again to Underbelly, Edinburgh in 2018.


  1. Collins & Ridgman p.107-108
  2. Shedload Theatre's Website
  3. The List review roundup of Just William's Luck
  4. Essential Magazine review of Just William's Luck


  • Collins, Fiona & Ridgman, Jeremy. Turning the Page: Children's Literature in Performance and the Media. Peter Lang, 2006.

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