Letter: 'Lace 2': Penguin apologises

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The Independent Online
ON 7 August you published an article under the heading 'Sex- and-shopping row: sequel looms' which contained a number of inaccuracies. The CV prepared by Celia Brayfield for Penguin did not claim authorship of Lace 2: this was a misunderstanding by the organisers of the Birmingham Festival, who wrongly attributed authorship to Celia Brayfield. In fact, as Shirley Conran and Celia Brayfield have agreed in their recent settlement, Celia Brayfield spent approximately four months assisting Shirley Conran in the novelisation of Lace 2 from a 409-page treatment written by Shirley Conran for a four-hour TV mini series, and Celia Brayfield does not claim to be the author of Lace 2.

Your article goes on to cite a recent article in Writing magazine reproducing part of the original CV supplied to them in April, long before we knew of any problem. As that CV was open to misinterpretation, we had indeed agreed to destroy all copies of it but, unfortunately, were not aware that Writing magazine were still in possession of a copy, let alone that they were going to reproduce it as part of their interview.

Penguin apologises to Shirley Conran for any distress that we may inadvertently have caused her.

Clare Alexander

Director, Penguin Books

London W8