Marine Pook Esquire
Jacket design by Biro
Robert Hale, London, 1978.
Hardback; 130 x 205 mm; light gold boards with gold titles on spine; 190 pages. Original clipped dust jacket.
The book is in good condition. The binding is sound though the book is very slightly cocked. The dust jacket is a little grubby generally externally and internally. But more significantly there is a stain on the back cover of the jacket that has very slightly affected the back cover of the book underneath and marked the bottom edges of the leaves. There is slight chipping to the edges of the jacket, and bumping to both ends of the spine of the book. The front paste-down endpaper is annotated in blue ink “To my dear friend. Have a good chuckle on me. All my love – Wendy xxxxx”.
John Anthony Miller (1918–1978), better known by his pseudonym Peter Pook, was a British author of humorous novels. Writing between 1960 and 1978, Peter Pook produced a series of 23 "autobiographical" novels in which the real events of his life were mingled with fanciful situations, and Pook himself is presented as an amiable dunderhead who is taken advantage of at every turn. Recurring themes in the books are Pook's obsession with physical culture and sport, his military career in the Royal Marines, overseas travels, his ambition to be an actor and his own writing career. The earlier books are totally light-hearted, though in some of the later works, particularly those depicting the war years, occasional glimpses of grim reality break in. Ironically, after 23 volumes of “autobiography”, Pook's real name and real life history remained well-kept secrets. Biro (Balint Stephen Biro, 1921–2014) was a children's author, artist and illustrator.