Posted by John Nichols on September 10, 2020 at 06:46:14 user Mcneacail.
Billy Bunter has two siblings: a younger sister, Elizabeth Gertrude (Bessie), who attends the nearby Cliff House School, and a younger brother, Samuel Tuckless (Sammy), who is in the Second Form at Greyfriars School. Bessie first appears in the Magnet No. 582 The Artful Dodger (1919), before appearing as a regular character in The School Friend later that year. Bessie appears in a total of 116 Magnet stories. Sammy Bunter first appears in Magnet #144 Billy Bunter's Minor (1910) and appears in a further 291 Magnet stories.
There is little love lost between the three, as is shown in this passage from one of the earlier stories:
Bessie was, in Billy's opinion, a cat. Bessie's opinion of Billy could not be expressed so laconically. Her vocabulary on the subject was very extensive indeed. Only on one subject could Billy and Bessie agree. That was on the subject of Sammy. They heartily agreed that Sammy was a little beast.
Their father is Mr William Samuel Bunter, a portly, largely unsuccessful, stockbroker with a severe manner; although it is noted that "like many middle aged gentlemen, Mr. Bunter was better tempered after breakfast." He is perpetually complaining about income tax and school fees and has little interest in his children. Written correspondence between Billy and his father consists of continual requests from Billy to supplement his pocket money; and continual refusals from his father to accede. By contrast, Billy Bunter is particularly close to his mother, Mrs Amelia Bunter, a kindly lady who appears only briefly in seven stories.
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