First edition, first printing. Signed by the author/artist alongside a pencil self-portrait of himself working at an easel, discarded paint tubes at his feet. Publisher's original grey cloth with titles in gilt to the spine, in dustwrapper. Illustrated throughout with black and white drawings by the author. A very good copy, the binding square and firm. The contents with a little spotting to the endpapers and the textblock edge are otherwise clean throughout and remain free from any previous owners' inscriptions or stamps. Complete with the dustwrapper which has chipping and loss to the spine ends and head of the rear panel, traces of a tape repair to the verso of the head of the spine and a couple of short tears to the head of the front panel. Not price-clipped (25s net to the front flap).

Signed by the author "John Bratby / December 60." beneath a pencil self-portrait on the front free endpaper. The first novel by the British artist and founder of the 'kitchen sink realism' style of art. Particularly influential in the late 1950s, Bratby's unsentimental depictions of everyday life provided a visual arts aspect to the 'Angry Young Men' movement, epitomised by the plays of John Osborne. In 'Breakdown', Bratby explores the descent of a young artist from success to adultery, violence, madness, and eventually death, as he explains: "This is a study of a man's decline. The man is James Brady, successful artist. Behind the lurid episodes which include everything from near-rape and murder to lunacy and a bicycle-chain battle, is to be found a serious and continual explanation of the man's mental state, an exhaustive careful explanation of why James Brady enacted The Rake's Progress". Despite his assertions that it was not, the novel was, at least, semi-autobiographical, making the present copy, with its fine pencil drawing, a self portrait within a self-portrait.

Stock code: 19778


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London: Hutchinson.


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