It's a Battlefield is not Graham Greene's most distinguished novel - but it is perhaps the one with the keenest sense of London. The storyline is about whether a communist bus driver, Jim Drover, should be reprieved from a death sentence awarded for stabbing a policeman at a political rally. It's set mainly in Soho and Westminster, with occasional excursions to Battersea where the Drover family live.
Wandering down Cecil Court the other day, I saw a first edition in a shop window, with a really impressive dust jacket. It showed the outline of London on a map in menacing fashion. Memorable. I popped in to enquire the price. £2,650.
It does seem that the dust jacket is much rarer than the first edition - which you can pick up at quite modest prices from second hand dealers. Indeed the dust jacket seems to be so rare, I can't find a single rendition of it on the 'net.
I have a mission - to bring you a copy of that dust jacket. Watch this space!
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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