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Chapters of Accidents
Chapters of Accidents

Chapters of Accidents

A Writer’s Memoir

Edited by Colin Holmes, By Alexander Baron, Edited by Nick Baron



330 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $24.95 (CA $33.95) (US $24.95)

Publication Date: September 2022

ISBN 9781803710297

Rights: US, CA, AU & ZA

Vallentine Mitchell (Sep 2022)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: September 2022


'We have waited a long time for this war's All Quiet on the Western Front,' wrote the critic V.S. Pritchett. 'Here It is.' He was reviewing the 1948 novel From the City From the Plough by Alexander Baron (1917-1999). With its success, Baron became a full-time writer. His best-known later novels include The Human Kind (1953), The Lowlife (1963), and King Dido (1969). Between the 1950s and 1980s he also wrote many film and television scripts. Here Baron recounts the experiences of his childhood and youth that shaped him as a writer and provided subject matter for his novels. He evokes the sights, sounds, and aromas surrounding him growing up in a Jewish family in Hackney, East London, in the 1920s. Later, aware of the rising fascist threat, Baron was drawn to left-wing politics, becoming a leader of Labour's youth organisation. Although not formally a member, he also worked secretly for the Communist Party as an organiser and propagandist. With World War Two his life changed again. A keen solider, he fought with the Pioneer Corps in Sicily, Italy, and northern France. After a hard transition to post-war life, he worked at Unity Theatre in London while writing his breakthrough novel.


"Alexander Baron ... was the greatest British novelist of [World War II] and among the finest, most underrated, of the postwar period." —John Williams, The Guardian

Author Biography

Colin Holmes is Emeritus Professor of History in the University of Sheffield. His publications include Anti-Semitism in British Society (1979), John Bull's Island (1988), and Searching for Lord Haw-Haw (2016). Alexander Baron (1917-1999) was a commanding author of post-war London, renowned above all for The Lowlife, and also one of the most compelling novelists of the infantry man's experience of the Second World War, based on his own war service. Nick Baron is a historian specialising in twentieth-century Russia and Eastern Europe. He has also curated and acted as consultant to several major exhibitions and a feature-length film.