My luck was in at the Oxfam bookshop in Kentish Town this morning - I came away with this fine first edition of Anthony Cronin's lively, comic account of life in Dublin and Camden Town, The Life of Riley. It's from 1964, part of the remarkable boom in novels, and especially London novels, which stretched from mid-fifties to mid-sixties. At £20, Oxfam got a decent price - but I'm very happy to have such a nice copy.
The jacket design is by Margaret Eastoe, about whom I have been able to find out very little beyond that she illustrated quite a few books in French, and about France, in the early 1960s.
The cover notes say of this ribald tale: 'Of The Life of Riley it might be said that it's as refreshing and titillating as the froth on a pint of Guinness, or perhaps as strong and inebriating as a tumblerful of the best Irish whiskey.' So as you will have gathered, there's an ample dash of the Celtic about this book.
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