The Surrender of Silence: a memoir of Ironfoot Jack, King of the Bohemians

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Date(s) - Tuesday, 4th September
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Five Leaves Bookshop


Jack Rudolph Neave was a real figure,  an escape artist,  a fortune teller and raconteur, who wore an iron boot to help him walk, hence the name. He was the self-styled “King of the Bohemians” in Soho in pre- and post-war London.

“I became acquainted with gipsies [sic], with show people, with buskers, with people who entertained by performing in the city, on fair grounds and market places… and with a variety of ‘fiddles’ – that is, some dubious methods of obtaining the means of life. I became a member of their fraternity.”

His book – unpublished in his lifetime – was “the outcome of years of struggle to survive; of solving the problem of existence by various and curious methods… Most of the people I am talking about led a precarious life and obtained their livelihood from day to day… They worked to live; they did not live to work.”

Ironfoot Jack and his recently rediscovered memoir will be introduced by Colin Stanley, the editor of Colin Wilson Studies.

Admission: £3.00, including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming by emailing us at

The Surrender of Silence

3 thoughts on “The Surrender of Silence: a memoir of Ironfoot Jack, King of the Bohemians

  1. Just for the record: this is not a novel…it is ‘Ironfoot’ Jack’s autobiography which he left to the author Colin Wilson (1931-2013) in 1957 and has recently been discovered among the latter’s papers.

  2. I see there was a book on Jack published years ago, but not a single copy on Abe or Amazon. Know anything about it?

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