Another book bought for its cover - from the most rewarding of Oxfam Books stores, in Bloomsbury (and it was under a tenner). A first edition of Brendan Behan's autobiography, about how at the age of 16 and a member of the IRA he came over to Liverpool to blow up the docks. He was caught in possession of explosives and sentenced to three years in a borstal.
The cover design of this 1958 first edition is by B.S. Biro, (Val Biro), a Budapest-born writer, artist and illustrator who died just four years ago. Behan didn't last anything like as long. He died of drink in 1964 when aged just 41 - there as a IRA guard of honour at his funeral.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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