Charles Hamilton (writer)

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Hamilton in 1912

Charles Harold St. John Hamilton (8 August 187624 December 1961) was an English writer. He is best known for his stories about Billy Bunter, written under the pseudonym Frank Richards, and initially published in the comic book "The Magnet", later as hardback novels.


  • The donefulness is terrific.
    • Mangled English by Indian prince Hurree Jamset Ram Singh; Billy Bunter Expelled, p. 8[1]

Oxford Companion to Children's Literature: "Billy Bunter" (pages 62-4)[edit]

  • A somewhat short junior, with a broad, pleasant face and an enormous pair of spectacles
    • The first mention of Bunter
  • I say you fellows, I expect to see fair play.
    • Bunter catchphrase
  • Foreigners are funny
    • Responding to George Orwell's complaint that Hamilton assumed that foreigners are comic.
  • All boys ought to be drownded at birth.
    • Gosling, the school porter.

Oxford Companion to Children's Literature: "Charles Hamilton" (pages 235-7)[edit]

  • The chief thing was to select a name totally different from those under which he had hitherto written: so that when he used the name, he would feel like a different person, and in consequence write from a somewhat different angle. I have been told - by men who do not write - that this is all fanciful. This only means that they don't understand.
    • Explaining why he used many different pseudonyms.
  • The business of a boys' author is not to consider political issues, but to entertain the readers, make them as happy as possible.
  • If there is a Tchekov among my readers, I fervently hope that the effects of the Magnet wil be to turn him into a Bob Cherry.


  • The GEM and MAGNET are sister-papers (characters out of one paper frequently appear in the other), and were both started more than thirty years ago. At that time, together with Chums and the old B[oy’s] O[wn] P[aper], they were the leading papers for boys, and they remained dominant till quite recently. Each of them carries every week a fifteen — or twenty-thousand-word school story, complete in itself, but usually more or less connected with the story of the week before. The Gem in addition to its school story carries one or more adventure serial. Otherwise the two papers are so much alike that they can be treated as one, though the MAGNET has always been the better known of the two, probably because it possesses a really first-rate character in the fat boy. Billy Bunter.


  • The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature ed. H. Carpenter & M. Pritchard (1984), ISBN 0-19-211582-0

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