15 JUNE 2002, Page 32

Don't be mean

From Mr James Methuen-Campbell Sir: I consider Selina Hastings's negative review of my Denton Welch book (Books, 1 June) a trifle mean. She compares it unfavourably with Michael De-la-Noy's Denton Welch: The Making of a Writer of 1984. But then her review does not give the full title of my work, which is Denton Welch: Writer and Artist, nor does she mention that it contains any reproductions of his paintings or drawings (there are 36 — De-la-Noy's has only a self-portrait of Welch on the cover). The truth is that we approached the subject from different standpoints. De-la-Noy allowed Welch to tell the story through extensive quotations from Welch's writing. On the other hand, I attempted to document his entire output. Not only did I have contact with more than 60 people who had known him, but my book contains the first published catalogue and bibliography of his work. As such it surely has some intrinsic value?

James Methuen-Campbell

Corsham, Wiltshire