London Belongs to me
London Belongs to me

COLLINS, Norman. London Belongs to me.

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COLLINS, Norman London Belongs to me London: Collins & The Book Society Ltd., 1945.

8vo., forest green publisher's cloth, lettered in sage green to backstrip; housed in the original uncliped pictorial dustwrapper (12s. 6d. Net); pp. [iv], 5-639, [i]; a very good copy, with some bumps to corners and compression to spine tips; pages evenly toned, with light corner crease affecting a number of pages; neat ownership name in ink to ffep; in the very good dust jacket which is browned to spine and edges; nicks and chips to edges, particularly affecting the spine ends and folds; upper panel retaining much of its brightness.
First edition issued by the Book Society in association with Collins. This copy signed by the author to the title page under his crossed-out name, and inscribed underneath thus: "with all good wishes to the perfect interviewer 25.8.77"
Collins was born in Beaconsfield, London, in 1907. The son of a publisher's clerk, he left format education at the age of eighteen, choosing instead to devote himself to the world of publishing. He began his career at Oxford University Press as an editorial assistant before continuing his career with stints at the London News Chronicle and the Daily News. Later, he became deputy chairman at Victor Gollancz. It was during this early stage of his career that he wrote London Belongs to Me, a fictional romp set in his home city, which follows a series of characters in a line of terraced houses, including spiritulists and a young motor mechanic accused of murder. Three years later, the novel was made into a popular film starring Richard Attenborough.
It was around this time that Collins began to turn his attention to media. In 1935 he began to work in broadcasting as a producer for BBC Radio, and in 1946 he was appointed Controller of the Light Programme, the BBC's more populist, entertainment-based radio service which had grown out of the BBC Forces Programme first established to entertain allied troops. He is perhaps best known for initiating Women's Hour, still broadcast weekly on Radio 4 today.
Although the identity of the interviewer is unknown, it was clearly someone who Collins held in high regard.