Books by A. C. H. Smith, Author of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal


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Orghast at Persepolis | Paper Voices | Dickens of London | WordSmith: A Memoir

Orghast at Persepolis

Non-fiction, Eyre Methuen, 1972. ISBN 0-413-28830-7 and 1973, ISBN 0-670-52835-8 (hardback), ISBN 0-413-32770-1 (paperback)

Book cover of Orghast at Persepolis by ACH Smith

An account of the experiment in theatre directed by Peter Brook and written by Ted Hughes.

Smith's book is one of the most important and thought-provoking documents in the history of the modern theatre, and an absolute joy to read, opening the unprejudiced mind in a hundred different ways.
— Alan Seymour, London Magazine

See review of Orghast at Persepolis by the Complete Review >

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Paper Voices

With Elizabeth Immirzi and Trevor Blackwell. Non-fiction, Chatto & Windus, 1975. ISBN 0-7011-2062-2

Book cover of Paper Voices by ACH Smith

A study of the popular press and social change in the UK, 1935-65, the outcome of four years' research I did with Richard Hoggart and Stuart Hall at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham.

An indispensable item of social history
— Neal Ascherson, The New Statesman

— Phillip Whitehead, The Listener

A very solid and distinctive piece of research, which should keep its value for many years
— Raymond Williams, The Guardian

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Dickens of London

Biography, ghosted for Wolf Mankowitz. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1976. ISBN 0-297-77159-0

Book cover of Dickens of London by ACH Smith

From my forthcoming memoir.
As soon as I had delivered Treatment to Weidenfelds, my agent at that time, Jackie Baldick, told me that they were looking for someone to write a biography of Dickens, to accompany a new tv series, Dickens of London. The series was scripted by Wolf Mankowitz, and he had said he would write the accompanying book too, but now had run out of time. I knew little about Dickens's life, and told Jackie I did not fancy the job. Not my kind of thing. "They're offering a thousand pounds," she said in her engaging Baltimore voice.
"That's not much, for a biography."
"It is for five weeks’ work."
"They want it in five weeks?"
"Ant'ny, you're always telling me you're broke. How often can you make a thousand pounds in five weeks?" She had a way with her, Jackie. "Oh, and when it comes out it will be by Wolf Mankowitz. Okay? You don't tell anyone that you wrote it."
On p.82 of the UK edition is a sentence that starts: Bentley yielded again, controlling his sullen mood in the hope (not one that was obviously ludicrous for... which, read acronymically, reveals: By A C H Smith not Wolf. Mankowitz was beyond acronymising.

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WordSmith: A Memoir

Non-fiction, Redcliffe Press, May 2012. ISBN 978-1-908326-20-1

Book cover of WordSmith, A Memoir by ACH Smith

From the pre-publication press release:
WordSmith is a memoir by Bristol writer A C H Smith of something that was never easy but which must seem almost impossibly difficult to an aspiring young writer today. How to spend one's life exclusively as a writer and yet manage to pay the gas bills. From fiction, theatre, television, screenplays, poetry, novelising and journalism he has pieced together a literary living for more than half a century... Read more >

Read an excerpt >

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