Thursday, 29 October 2009

King Dido book launch

Bethnall Green Library had a pretty full house for the launch of a new edition of Alexander Baron's King Dido, the first of the Five Leaves' grand(iose) sounding New London Editions. We were pleased that Alexander Baron's widow, Dolores, was present. The evening was introduced by Nick Baron, his son (and occasionally interrupted by the author's six week old grandson, attending his first book launch) and Ken Worpole, who wrote the introduction to the book. Ken did a lot to bring attention back to Alexander Baron by writing about him in Dockers and Detectives -also now published by Five Leaves. Nick and Ken are pictured.

Ken read a short extract from King Dido, but his talk also included part of a home recording of Alexander Baron being interviewed by Ken some years back.

There is a modest renewal of interest in Baron, once one of this country's best-selling writers. Five Leaves is publishing Rosie Hogarth next year in New London Editions, with an introduction by Andrew Whitehead while Black Spring is due to republish From the City, From the Plough and The Lowlife.

Many people there were curious to see wall carvings in the library of William Morris, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and... Richard Wagner. But nobody knew why the unlikely composer was included. Maybe the chair of the then library committee was a fan?

Bethnal Green - since you ask - was the setting for King Dido, the story taking place in the criminal underworld of 1911 in "Rabbit Marsh".

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