Reform of the House of Lords, being published in June, will be my 32nd book (or the 43rd if you include new editions). My first, Dissension in the House of Commons 1945-74, was published by Macmillan in 1975. It was a 643-page volume, chronicling all occasions of intra-party dissent in the division lobbies of the House of Commons from 1945 to 1974. (It had entailed me going manually through about 3,000 division lists and about 1 million names.) It was described in The Economist as ‘a veritable blockbuster of a book’.
It was published in hardback. What I didn’t realise was that it has since been reprinted in paperback. I looked recently at what books of mine were available on Amazon and saw the book was listed. I thought it would be useful to have a spare copy and ordered it. It arrived today. It came as a really nice surprise. It was almost like reliving when it was first published.
I assumed it must have been reprinted shortly after publication of the hardback edition, but on re-checking the Amazon website it appears that it was only three years ago. That makes it even more intriguing, since it suggests there is some demand for it.
It is available, incidentally, at £40. Not bad given that a hardcover edition will set you back at least £135…
I should add that I was very young – still a postgraduate – when the book first appeared. It would have been published even sooner, in late 1974, had I not spotted an error in the proofs, which delayed publication.
Today’s delivery brought back happy memories of when I received my first copies.