Concept

Scum of the Earth (book)

Summary
Scum of the Earth is a memoir by Anglo-Hungarian writer Arthur Koestler in which he describes his life in France during 1939-1940, the chaos that prevailed in France just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War and France’s collapse, his tribulations, internment in a concentration camp, and eventual escape to England, via North Africa and Portugal. It was first published by Jonathan Cape in 1941. Background At the outbreak of the Second World War, Koestler was living in the South of France working on Darkness at Noon. After retreating to Paris he was imprisoned by the French as an undesirable alien, even though he had been a respected anti-fascist. Koestler arrived in England in December 1940, without an entry permit, travelling with a Hungarian passport. Although he was by then widely known as an anti-fascist he was imprisoned as an enemy alien while his case was being reviewed by the Home Office. While he was in Pentonville Prison in London, his novel Darkness at Noon
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