Maiden Voyage is an account of author Denton Welch's 16th year, when he ran away from his English public school and was then sent to Shanghai to live with his father. The book was Welch's first and created a sensation upon publication in 1943. Its frank description of public schoolboy life forced publisher Herbert Read to initially seek advice from libel lawyers. Even Winston Churchill's private secretary gossiped in a letter that, 'the book was reeking with homosexuality? I think I must get it.'