21 OCTOBER 1972, Page 19



Hard on the heels of a public complaint by the mother of the Kray twins, Weidenfeld and Nicolson have postponed the publication of John Pearson's book about them, The Profession of Violence. Mrs Kray claimed that Pearson had hurriedly completed the book for Weidenfeld without checking enough of his facts, and had ascribed to her sons the odd murder or two for which they were not responsible. Weidenfeld refuse to comment on the postponement except to say that it is due to "outside circumstances" which, it appears, are nothing to do with the Kray outburst, despite the fortuitous timing.

This is not the first book in recent months to have been held back for reasons unconnected with printing, binding, warehousing and so forth. The Spectator reviewer to whom The Profession of Violence was sent for notice has now been unable to file her copy on two consecutive occasions. The last book sent to her was that ill-fated Olympia I:Tess venture Inside Scientology.

Strand Literary Editions, who describe themselves as International Publishers, are another of these busily sprouting companies who accept material for publication on receipt of a cash payment. However their charity doesn't stop there. A recent circular from them announced that "As we are against the commercial exploitation of New Poets and we are for the development of fine literature, we have decided to Inaugurate an Anntial Award Scheme. This will be juged by people in the world of Fine Literature." Bookbuyer, moved by such altruism and eager to discover who these fine literary people might be, made further enquiries. But, one is tempted to say inevitably, the Baker Street office turned out to be a post-box address, and the lady who answered the 'phone knew nothing about the Annual Award Scheme and hadn't heard of the two directors. The world of Fine Literature has never seemed so far away.