If you’ve checked out the main part of this site you will probably already know that I consider Baron’s Court, All Change by Terry Taylor to be one of the greatest drugs and youth culture novels of all time. Therefore I’m very proud to have written the introduction to a fiftieth anniversary reissue of the book. For my old take on the importance of this novel in relation to the emergence of mod and the counterculture see the piece I posted on 14 February 2007. My introduction to the new edition starts like this:
“Many novels are forgotten and more or less disappear from circulation. The majority of books to suffer this fate more than deserve it. A handful of them are classics and eventually find their way to wide circulation. One of the most famous examples of this is Les Chants de Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont, which made little impact upon publication but became a canonical example of modernist literature after being rediscovered and championed by the surrealists. Baron’s Court, All Change by Terry Taylor is a very different type of lost classic. It created a bigger splash upon publication than Maldoror, but by the late-sixties had faded from view and most people’s memories. It provides an accurate account of the drug subculture in London at the end of the fifties. The realism and hep talk of Baron’s Court shocked many readers when it first appeared in 1961, but would have raised far fewer eyebrows in the aftermath of the summer of love. That said, it is only more recently that it has become possible to appreciate its historical significance…”
Since if you’ve any sense at all you’ll want to read Baron’s Court, there’s absolutely no point in my reproducing the whole of my introduction here! You can read it all in the reissue and you’re unlikely to lay your mits on anything else – because the original sixties hardback and paperback editions have been near impossible to get for years. The reissue is available to UK residents for £8.00 by cheque from the publisher: Ross Bradshaw, Five Leaves Publications, PO Box 8786, Nottingham, NG1 9AW: or for £9.99 by credit card at http://tinyurl.com/taylor-barons. It will soon also be in bookshops and on Amazon. If you want to order from outside the UK, you may do best to use www.bookdepository.co.uk – since they don’t charge postage. Baron’s Court, All Change was republished on 11 November 2011. It’s a stone-to-the-bone mod classic!
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!