In this latest volume in Mr. Croft-Cooke's autobiographical series, he writes about the uneasy world of the 1930s and of Spain before the Civil War. On a personal level, he tells about his new venture into the secondhand book trade, when through patience and determination he managed to survive brilliantly where it would have been so easy to have failed. As a creative writer he battled through more ups and downs than would seem possible, yet always emerged triumphant, if scarred, determined to live by the profession he had chosen, no matter what the difficulties. Remembering, he writes now with charm and humour of the period and the people he knew, and he has recaptured vividly the world that surrounded a young professional writer struggling to keep his head above water.
The English author Rupert Croft-Cooke (1903-1979) published 30-odd novels on a wide variety of subjects in his lifetime, as well as poetry, plays, nonfiction books on such diverse topics as Buffalo Bill, Oscar Wilde, Lord Alfred Douglas, Victorian writers, criminals, the circus, gypsies, wine, cookery, and darts. Under the pen name of Leo Bruce he also wrote more than 30 crime novels. At the age of 20, Croft-Cooke spent two years in Buenos Aires, where he founded the journal La Estrella. In 1925 he returned to London and began a career as a freelance journalist and writer. His work appeared in a variety of magazines, including New Writing, Adelphi, and the English Review.
In the late 1920s the American magazine Poetry published several of his plays. He was also a radio broadcaster on psychology. In 1940 he joined the British Army and served in Africa and India until 1946. He later wrote several books about his military experiences. From 1953 to 1968 Croft-Cooke lived in Morocco where he wrote his Sensual World series, possibly his most important contribution to English letters, written as a series of 27 autobiography-cum-travel books.