Published by Bloodaxe, 1985, Hardback in Dust Wrapper. 1st Ed.
Condition: Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the head of the spine and top corners with commensurate ruffling to the dust wrapper. Top edge of the text block lightly spotted. Previous owners’ inscription to the first blank. Text complete, clean and tight.
From the cover: Davies became famous briefly in 1911 when Home Secretary Winston Churchill raised his case in the House of Commons. But who was Davies? In this fictionalised account of a lifelong petty criminal. David Constantine explores the mystery of a shadowy loner caught in a vicious circle of self-perpetuating crime.
David Davies (1849-1929) was known in his day as the Dartmoor Shepherd. He spent half a century in prison for a succession of minor offences, mostly for stealing coppers from the poor-boxes of local churches. In Constantines novel three characters reflect on Davies life, and understand him as best they can. But Davies remains uncomprehended and in isolation.
Davies came from Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire, and Constantine has set his novel in the counties ot the Welsh Marches, in Flint and Montgomery, Denbigh, Shropshire and Cheshire, as well as on Dartmoor. He has made much use of documentary material Hansard, newspaper reports and a biography and aims in his novel to seek a truth behind established facts. Although historically based, Davies is a novel whose concerns are very much relevant to the present day. particularly in its portrait of the habitual offender and of vagrancy.
This first novel by a young award-winning Bloodaxe poet marks the emergence of an exciting new talent in British fiction.