16 MARCH 1991, Page 26

Spanish lesson

Sir: Ian Thomson's review of The General in his Labyrinth (Books, 12 January) men- tions that Simon Bolivar was 'cleaning his teeth with a silver-handled silk brush'. It is quite impossible to manufacture any brush from silk; may I suggest that Gabriel Garcia Marquez's translator, Edith Gross- man, has boobed. The Spanish for silk is ceda, while the Spanish for bristle is cerda. Roger Shaw

Apartado 152, S. Pedro de Alcantara, Malaga, Spain