The Wire


England's Hidden Reverse by David Keenan

England's Hidden Reverse by David Keenan

Published by Strange Attractor, 2016 (464 pages; paperback)

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A new revised and expanded edition of David Keenan’s seminal secret history of the UK’s esoteric underground, England’s Hidden Reverse.

Based around hundreds of hours of interviews with members of Coil, Nurse With Wound and Current 93 as well as contemporaries, friends and associates, England's Hidden Reverse illuminates a shadowy English underground scene whose work accented peculiarities of Englishness through the links and affinities they forged with earlier generations of the island’s marginals and outsiders, such as playwright Joe Orton, writers like death decadent Eric, Count Stenbock, ecstatic mystic novelist Arthur Machen and occult figures like Austin Osman Spare and Aleister Crowley.

Long out of print and with the first edition demanding serious money from collectors, this much-anticipated expanded edition comes completely redesigned, with many new and previously unseen photographs and ephemera. It also comes with two new chapters, a final summing up of how the Reverse has changed gear since the book was first published and a new chapter zero entitled Crime Calls For Night where Keenan presents a daring argument that traces the transgressive urge that animates industrial culture all the way from Palaeolithic cave art through rock n roll and punk rock and up to contemporary noise music

Read an extract from Furfur, an additional, limited edition publication accompanying the book online here