Author(s): Colin Stanley
'I became acquainted with gipsies, with show people, with buskers, with people who entertained the public by performing in the city, on fair grounds and market places'��and with a variety of 'fiddles'?'that is, some dubious methods of obtaining the means of life. I became a member of this fraternity.'?'from The Surrender of SilenceEscape artist, fortune-teller, author, and raconteur 'Ironfoot Jack,'? aka Jack Rudolph Neave (1881'��1959), the self-styled 'King of the Bohemians,'? was a well-known Soho character in pre- and postwar London. His rich and enthralling story of a lifestyle now gone forever was dictated as his portrait was being painted by the artist Timothy Whidborne in 1956. It was then entrusted to a Soho acquaintance, the author Colin Wilson whose first book The Outsider, had been a success in the same year. Despite his efforts, Wilson failed to find a publisher and, after his death, the manuscript was discovered among his papers by his bibliographer Colin Stanley, who assembled the text, which is accompanied by a contextual introduction by cultural historian Phil Baker.Jack wrote that The Surrender of Silence was 'the outcome of years of struggle to survive; of solving the problem of existence by various and curious methods'�� Most of the people I am talking about led a precarious life and obtained their livelihood from day to day'��. They worked to live; they did not live to work.'?This Strange Attractor Press edition is the first publication of this legendary work.