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London's low life comes under the spotlight at Bethnal Green library

PUBLISHED: 12:05 04 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:20 05 October 2010

Wide Boys Never Work author Robert Westerby

Wide Boys Never Work author Robert Westerby

A SEASON of book readings celebrating London s history and murky past kicks off at Bethnal Green library tonight. It s the first of a series of events where authors and publishers will talk about their books in Tower Hamlets libraries this month. Ma

A SEASON of book readings celebrating London's history and murky past kicks off at Bethnal Green library tonight.

It's the first of a series of events where authors and publishers will talk about their books in Tower Hamlets libraries this month.

Martin Knight of publishing company London Books will be discussing three authors whose 1930s novels set in London's underworld were made into films although the books are largely forgotten now.

He is hoping to change that and has reissued the books which feature the city's fascinating low life in the London Classics series of novels.

He will be introducing them to a new audience at the free event which starts at 7pm at the library in Cambridge Heath Road.

Mr Knight said: "The books Wide Boys Never Work by Robert Westerby, They Drive By Night by James Curtis and Night and The City by Gerald Kersh were smash hits at the time. Night and The City starring Richard Widmark as Harry Fabian is considered a classic in the "noir" genre."

He added: "The books delve into the London low-life of the period with a cast of gangsters and thieves, pimps and prostitutes, boxers and bouncers and costermongers and cops. I will also explore the background of the authors and how their careers developed or not.


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