A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess

Illustrated by Ben Jones

Introduced by Irvine Welsh

One of the most important books of the 20th century, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange is presented as a stunning Folio edition that includes an exclusive introduction by Irvine Welsh.

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‘Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.’

So says the prison chaplain, perhaps the only voice of reason in Anthony Burgess’s most celebrated work. Both a horrific satire of youth culture and an ingenious examination of social justice and government control, A Clockwork Orange has left an indelible, boot-shaped mark on the popular and literary culture of the late 20th century. Stanley Kubrick’s notorious 1971 film — with its iconic imagery and enduring controversies — has overshadowed a work whose philosophical paradoxes and astonishing linguistic invention are some of literature’s most inspired.

Bound in Buckram and blocked with metallic foil

Set in Bembo with Shelton Slab as display

240 pages

Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations

Plain slipcase

9½˝ × 6¼˝

The Folio Society’s new edition of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, introduced by Irvine Welsh. Here illustrator Ben Jones talks about this fascinating commission and how he went about separating the text from Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1971 film adaptation.

‘My first impression of the book when taking it out of its packaging was how perfect it felt in my hands. The black alligator skin binding with its metallic orange illustration really highlights what you are about to experience while reading the book. The final production of the book has gone beyond my expectations.’
  1. Ben Jones

This edition follows the restored text of 2012, which includes the 21st chapter excluded from early US editions of the book. Also featured here is an expanded glossary, compiled with reference to Burgess’s handwritten notes and letters to his editors. Comprehensive notes from Burgess’s biographer Andrew Biswell explore allusions in the text, including references to the work of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Ben Jones’s sinister collage illustrations are reminiscent of cautionary fairy tales.

Anthony Burgess (the pseudonym of John Burgess Wilson, 1917–93), best-known for A Clockwork Orange (1962, published by The Folio Society in 2014), Earthly Powers (1981, shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and his Enderby novels (1963–84), wrote over 30 novels, including a fictional biography of Shakespeare, Nothing Like the Sun (1964), and composed many musical scores and libretti. His most prolific writing phase began when he was misdiagnosed with a brain tumour in Malaya in 1959 and given just months to live; the success he found allowed him to give up the career in education he had followed since joining the Army Educational Corps in 1940. Although he was born in Manchester and studied there, he lived much of his life abroad, claiming a warm climate was better for writing. In 1986 Burgess was made a Commandeur Des Arts et des Lettres of France.

Based in Manchester, UK, Ben Jones combines surreal ideas with a mixture of collage and printmaking to create his highly visual, graphic artwork. An admirer of Eastern European illustration and design, he is also fascinated by the surreal. Jones has collaborated with many brands and publishers, including Hermes, Penguin, The Guardian and Pushkin Press.

Born in Edinburgh in 1958, Irvine Welsh trained as an electrician before moving to London where he studied computer science. He later returned to Edinburgh and took an MBA at Heriot-Watt University. A writer, screenwriter, journalist and DJ, Welsh’s first novel, Trainspotting (1993) remains his most successful work and was adapted for the screen by Danny Boyle. Other books include Marabou Stalk Nightmares (1995), Glue (2001) and Porno (2002); a sequel to Trainspotting.


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