Box 18: The Unpublished Spike Milligan

By Spike Milligan, Edited by Norma Farnes

This third wonderful anthology from the Spike Milligan archives uncovers a wealth of previously unpublished material from one of Britain’s best loved comedians.

The two previous anthologies, ‘The Essential Spike Milligan’ and ‘The Compulsive Spike Milligan’, brought together the very best of his stories, cartoons, poems and correspondence, and reminded his fans how deserved his reputation was as a wildly inventive and original comedian.

‘The Unpublished Spike Milligan’ – chosen and edited by Norma Farnes, Milligan’s manager, biographer and close friend – is yet more essential and compulsive than these first two collections. It consists of the contents of ‘Box 18’, a file into which the highly prolific Spike would put his writing and drawings as they came to him, but which never came to be published. The book also draws on previously unseen diaries and letters. As both an original anthology and a personal legacy from a long-gone era, this is absolutely unmissable.

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 16 Oct 2006
Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-0-00-721427-3
Spike Milligan was born in 1918. In the 1950s he wrote and performed in The Goon Show with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe, and in the 1960s he had success as a stage and film actor. Active into his eighties, his one-man shows were always sell-out events. Milligan received lifetime achievement awards for writing and for comedy in 2000 and 2001. He died in 2002.

'The volume does have a peculiar fascination, its tone set by the initial photograph of an elderly Milligan gripping the famous red This Is Your Life book in front of him as if it might afford some kind of defence. Much of the volume reproduces actual pages of handwriting, or handtyping. Naked script and unedited work generate a strange intimacy as one of Britain's most famously depressed and mercurial human beings bounces from mood to mood, some of them apocalyptic. It's hard not to love the ones who make us laugh. And it's hard to get enough of what we love.' A.L.Kennedy, Guardian -

”'This book gives us the feeling of looking over Spike’s shoulder as he worked and is the nearest we are ever likely to get to the real Spike Milligan. It most certainly complements Norma’s earlier 'Spike: An Intimate Memoir.' Most definitely a book for all lovers of Spike’s work.” - Mike Brown, Chairman of the Goon Show Preservation Society

”'This is a book which any Spike Milligan fan pore over for hours.” - The Oldie

'For lovers of vintage British comedy.' The Gloss Magazine -