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Children of the Sun - Morris West

Heinemann, 1957, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with tanning to the reverse. Price Clipped.

3rd Reprint. [First: Same Year] Includes a laid-in publishers inclusion of two letters relating to the work undertaken at The House of Urchins. From the Times coverage of the book: “This is a book to shame those who, like myself, tend to think of Naples and its surroundings as a sun-laden gulf of pleasure, a miracle ground for the senses. Mr. Morris West, an Australian novelist with a social conscience, is concerned entirely with the horrors of the life in the bassi, the slum area many of whose alley walls still bear the fading legend ‘Off Limits’, ironical words that can stand as a symbol of official Italian and Neapolitan indifference to gross overcrowding, nonexistent sanitation, malnutrition, illiteracy, organised vice, and the other offshoots of unemployment in the Italian South.

Mr. West’s main purpose in writing this book was to do something immediately for the delinquent boys, thescugnizzi, only a very few of them can be reclaimed by the remarkable Padre Mario Borelli who, with no help from the State, and very little from the Church, is trying to raise the boys from the degradation they have sunk into. A great deal of Mr. West’s information clearly comes from Padre Borelli, and should be of interest to the social anthropologist, though much of it we, in our ordered Welfare State, must find almost incomprehensible.

Mr. West does not write as a sentimental do-gooder, or with primarily political motives. He is a humanitarian and a Catholic who sympathises with much of the growing anti-clericalism in modern Italy… He does not spare those responsible for building an expensive wall along the Via Marittima to hide the slums from the bourgeois view, and he has made some excellent suggestions for immediate mitigations.

Mr. West has something vital to say, and he says it most movingly.”


Jacket designed by Susanna Bott. Size: 8" x 5¼". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XIV] 215 pages.
£6.50

This one has already found a new owner.