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Paul Willetts is the author of Fear And Loathing In Fitzrovia (Dewi Lewis Publishing), a biography of the writer and Soho dandy, Julian Maclaren-Ross. On publication, the book was nominated as one of the 'Books Of The Year' in five national newspapers. In the wake of its success, Paul has edited three collections of Maclaren-Ross's work. These comprise the Selected Stories (Dewi Lewis Publishing), the Collected Memoirs (Black Spring Press), and Bitten By The Tarantula And Other Writing (Black Spring Press). A fourth collection, the Selected Letters (Black Spring Press), is due for release in January 2007. He was also instrumental in getting Maclaren-Ross's great 1947 novel, Of Love And Hunger (Penguin Classics) back into print.

The release of these books has triggered a major revival of interest in Maclaren-Ross, whose work has been acclaimed by leading critics such as DJ Taylor and Philip Hensher. More information about Fear And Loathing In Fitzrovia and Maclaren-Ross can be found by visiting the Official Julian Maclaren-Ross Website at

'My interest in his work dates back to the early 1980s,' says Paul. 'Quite by chance (just the type of happy accident it's tempting to attribute to the machinations of Fate), I came across one of his stories while I was leafing through a battered edition of The Saturday Book, a long since defunct miscellany of fiction, journalism, and photos. I found it in the back room of a decrepit secondhand bookshop, run by a wheezing ex-teddy boy, the smell of whose chain-smoked cigarettes had impregnated the stock.

'When I first got the book home, I read Maclaren-Ross's story, set in the Soho world he immortalised. And when I reached the end, I read it again. I'd never read anything like it. At least nothing from that era. I felt as if I'd been buttonholed in a wartime pub by a deft raconteur, itching to tell me about his inexplicably failed romance with a captivating but capricious girl, his obvious distress camouflaged by a stoical manner.

'I suppose I was also attracted by its setting, an interest in Soho having been planted by my mother who, when I was a child, had regaled me with tales of her own bohemian high-jinks there...'
Paul's journalism has appeared in many publications, among them The Times, The Independent and The Independent On Sunday. He is currently completing a second non-fiction book. Entitled North Soho 9-9-9, it tells the story of teenage gangsterism and gun-crime in bomb-scarred 1947 London.