Those anecdotes brought a tear to my eye. I'm probably about the same age as those two, and read the books as a child, then bought them for my own daughter. They are wonderful, in the way that only the very best children's books can be.
(p.s. the comments link goes to the bbs front page, not this thread, BTW)
Really, really fine books in their own right, up there with Philip Pullman in terms of slyly influencing the young into a ways of critical thinking. I still think of the hideous -and real - 'Special Police Group' as the SBG, and we'll remember my first glimpse of the famed Wandle...
Great work, and a lovely memoir of an author father!
Sorry, the gibberish editor imposed some nonsense: well, not we'll, and there's an extra 'a' before ways. Sigh.
Unsurprised that Collins pulled the books in the mid-80s. So much of the UK children's book market was dominated by the school prize market, and books deemed subversive or unimproving would quickly lose favour.
The same happened to J.P. Martin's Uncle books, which also deal with class struggle. These are only just back in print as The Complete Uncle after some sterling work by Marcus Gipps in getting the publication rights together.
Thanks for posting this. Michael was a good friend of my father's and he used to visit us occasionally as I was growing up - he always seemed like an exciting sort of fellow and there was a burst of energy in the room every time he walked into it. I loved The Borribles books, and have since read a few of his other books, which are all worth your time. He led a fascinating life which is barely touched on in his Wikepedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_de_Larrabeiti
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