O’Brien’s debut novel so inflamed the authorities that the Irish censor banned it, the family’s parish priest in Co Clare ritually burned copies of the novel and, many years later, O’Brien learned that her mother had hidden her copy in a pillow case with the offending words covered in black ink.
Ashton Rare Books of Leicester is not so shy. The dealer is bringing The Country Girls trilogy, all published from 1960-64, to the annual PBFA/ABA Bristol Premier Fair (Friday to Saturday, June 30-July 1).
This comprises The Country Girls, The Lonely Girl and Girls in their Married Bliss, with all three titles signed by the author. With the set is the first UK printing in 2011 of The Country Girls’ play adaptation, also signed by O’Brien.
The price for the trilogy plus the play is £1250.
Incidentally, O’Brien has revised her 2011 stage adaptation of The Country Girls, which is currently running at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester until July 8. Grace Molony plays Kate and Genevieve Hulme- Beaman is Baba.
The Premier Fair is held at the Passenger Shed, which adjoins Bristol Temple Meads Station. Exhibitor numbers are up to 103 from 84 in 2016.