Borstal Boy. Presentation Copy (1958)

Author: Brendan Behan

Book ID: 68039

Price: 2,750.00

Borstal Boy. London: Hutchinson, 1958. First Edition. Publisher’s mauve boards, title lettered in silver to spine in pictorial dust jacket designed by B.S. Brio. A fine bright copy in bright dust jacket. Housed in collectors’ solander box.

Inscribed on the front free endpaper:” To Dorothy, but for whom we would not be selling so many, Brendan 29 X 58″

A beautifully written account of a difficult three-year stretch in a young man’s life spent in a borstal, or juvenile detention centre, in England. Behan was caught carrying a suitcase full of explosive devices in Liverpool in 1939 at age sixteen.

The book gives a good day-to-day accounting of life in these borstals, from meal times to religious services (surprisingly tailored to each prisoner’s beliefs). They also had available job opportunities. Many would work in the fields or pick fruit. Behan was able to get work as a painter because of an apprenticeship in Ireland. He became popular among many of the other worker prisoners. Inscribed copies of Borstal Boy, probably his most famous work, are rare.

Out of stock