First edition, first printing. Publisher's original grey cloth with red titles to the spine, in dustwrapper. Top edge red. A very good copy, the binding firm with a slight lean to the spine, the cloth with light rubbing and discolouration to the extremities and very slight bumping to the corners. The contents, with a previous owner's inscription to the front free endpaper and moderate to heavy spotting to the text block edge which occasionally reaches into the margins, are otherwise clean throughout. Complete with the lightly rubbed, creased and spotted dustwrapper which is a little toned to the spine and flap folds with some minor chipping to the head of the spine and a few short closed tears to the edges. Not price-clipped (12s. 6d. to the front flap). Scarce in the dustwrapper.

A memoir of the eccentric Irish writer and vagabond Jim Phelan's (1895-1966) time in prison. Phelan served thirteen years of a life sentence for involvement in a robbery in which a man was shot dead by Phelan's companion Sean McAteer, who escaped capture. After release from prison Phelan's yearning for freedom led him to spend long periods living as a 'tramp'; he would travel up and down England on foot, using tramp 'glyphs' to exchange information with other nomads, and corresponding with his publisher at post offices along the way. He wrote several books, mostly concerning his experiences in prison and the tramp lifestyle, though he also wrote fiction, poetry and plays and worked in radio and television broadcasting. In 1944 he met and married Kathleen Newton who shared his passion for the open road and they tramped together for the remaining 22 years of Phelan's life, often wintering in a caravan. Kathleen continued tramping all over the world after Phelan's death. Her memoirs, documenting her time with Phelan and her own solo journeys, were published posthumously after her death in 2014 at the age of 96.

Stock code: 23907


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London: Secker and Warburg.


Modern First Editions
Politics / Philosophy
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