A London Collection

Jess ChandlerTest Centre Books

Today marks the release of our third catalogue, comprising the London collection of author and filmmaker Chris Petit – books set in London, books about London, books in which London is a central character, and books by London-based writers. Clear themes run through the whole listing – the underworld of lowlife, crime, prostitution, loucheness and drift, war, bedsitting, alienation and immigration, tramping and poverty.

Largely the product of the 1980s and 1990s school of bookdealing led by Martin Stone, the collection diverges from the usual or accepted view of the city, with a number of the titles as invisible now as they were thirty years ago. That particular world of bookdealing is the one shown in Iain Sinclair’s novel White Chappell Scarlet Tracings and in Petit and Sinclair’s film The Cardinal and the Corpse, starring Robin Cook (aka Derek Raymond), Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore, Alexander Baron and Emanuel Litvinoff. The collection carries frequent reminders of Petit’s film work.

Some of the many highlights include jacketed first edition copies of Roland Camberton’s Rain on the Pavements, Simon Blumenfeld’s Phineas Kahn (signed and inscribed) G. S. Marlowe’s Pictures on the Pavement, various Thomas Burke titles, and the Soho working library for Petit’s key novel Robinson.

Please contact Will Shutes (will[at]testcentre.org.uk) to request the catalogue now. Catalogue stock is not uploaded until a few weeks after release.