22 JULY 1972, Page 19


Bookbuyer Turnstone (Turnstile? Touchstone?) is a new publishing house formed by Alick Bartholomew, "at the immature age of forty-two," he says, to publish books providing "fresh insights into the meaning and conduct of life." This "cultural leaven" is to be supplied, for example, by Turnstone's lead book Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. "May your thoughts take wing with Jonathan!" exhorts the catalogue's blurb. "He is Turnstone's herald, breaking through into the purer air where experience and revelation meet . . " The catalogue's explanations continue "Jonathan is, well, a seagull." However, Alick Bartholomew's infectious enthusiasm is very nearly enough to persuade one to Intrust one's spiritual guidance to a bird. Turnstone's other books are equally promising, offering two new categories — (metaphysical fiction as well as the ordinary kind, and practical philosophy as well as the impracticable sort) — and, in Premonitions, a questionnaire for assessing your psi potential. Mr Bartholomew did not say what his psi potential was, but he did adthit that "One advantage I have is that I can smell sincerity and originality more easily than other people." Bookbuyer wishes that his own nose were as trustworthy. For further information, cable or despatch a dove, seagull or messenger pigeon to Perception W14,

Surely Mr Maudling could write some very memorable reflections — if not a volume of memoirs. He is, among other things, an extremely good writer, and, unlike some politicians, never uses 'ghosts.' His resignation from the Government announced on Tuesday afternoon, led Bookbuyer to imagine excitedly that Mr Maudling might now be free to express his views on various important matters, perhaps even his somewhat controversial economic opinions. But many publishers have seemed uninterested in this happy thought, and, with one exception, distressingly lethargic in fact. Their bored air was clearly due to ignorance, not to circumspection — though circumspection would be advisable in this case no doubt. As one successful literary agent pointed out, the more clued-up publishers are probably waiting — like the rest of us — to see what happens, before making enquiries or offers. After all these things are rarely cheap. Bookbuyer hears that the correct rate for a PM's memoirs is £1 million, and it is rumoured that Lord George-Brown's autobiography fetched a record-breaking

E40,000. Mr Maudling's article in Tuesday's Times might conceivably be a pointer

to some sort of agreement with Dennis sumably written well before the resignaHamilton, thsiligh the piece was pre tion. However, perhaps Bookbuyer should explain publishers' apparent apathy as a commendable failure to see a profit in Mr Maudling's misfortune.