Meet the author

Stinking rotter John C. Biggins, from a brutal, working-class background in northern England, has written a book which has finally blown the lid on Faysgarth and other minor public schools – like Rainingham and St Hugh’s College – in the county of Monktonshire.

Biggins was born in Leeds in 1958. At 10, a keen footballer and enthusiastic writer, he used his lofty position as editor of the school newspaper to name himself ‘Man of the Match’ when reporting on a vital victory against a rival house, captained by the boy who had previously knocked his front teeth out. A Skimpton Compendium is his act of revenge.

Biggins’s subsequent professional work in the creative arts has, over the decades, helped with the not inconsiderable dental bills.

Having trained as a graphic artist, Biggins then studied theatre arts and embarked on a career treading the boards.

Over the last 35 years, while appearing on television, radio and film, and at the National Theatre and other theatrical venues around the country, he has maintained an interest in graphic design, and – since 1999 – has run a web design business with clients drawn mainly from the literary world.

As a writer, he has worked in the theatre, for BBC television and radio, and on various children’s television projects. In the early 2000s he enjoyed a stint as a theatre critic.

A keen collector of boys’ annuals from the 1930s and 40s, in writing A Skimpton Compendium, Biggins was as much inspired by the line illustrations and cover designs as he was by the extraordinary stories themselves.

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