This, the best known of all L P Hartley's novels, set in Norfolk at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries, presents a critical view of society at the end of the Victorian era through the eyes of a naïve schoolboy outsider. It has been dramatised for stage and screen several times - most notably in the film of 1971.
Leslie Poles Hartley CBE (1895–1972) was a British novelist and short story writer. Although his first fiction was published in 1924, his writing took time to develop. His best-known novels are the "Eustace and Hilda" trilogy (1944–47) and "The Go-Between" (1953). The latter was made into a film in 1971, as was his 1957 novel "The Hireling", in 1973. He wrote about social codes, moral responsibility, and family relationships. In total, Hartley published 17 novels, 6 volumes of short stories, and a book of criticism.
Ours is a first edition copy with original jacket (clipped) designed by Val Biro. Front inner flap of jacket states "Book Society Choice". Jacket has suffered loss and damage, with several tears and some areas of loss, but remains bright and relatively clean. The book itself is bound in red cloth with title etc in gilt on the spine, and shows few external signs of wear apart from some bumping of corners (with no frank damage). Page tops coloured red. Foxing on long and bottom edges of textblock - but none inside. Inside, the binding is firm with no loose pages; all pages clean & bright. Colophon states 'This edition issued on the first publication by the Book Society Ltd, in association with Hamish Hamilton Ltd ... 1953'. A previous owner has written "Christmas 1953" neatly in ink on the front fep. A slip of paper with a Christmas greeting is included - presumably of the same date as the inscription.