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Scotland Yard probed racy 1935 book

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LONDON, Oct 3, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A passage in a 1935 book suggesting a British man could be seduced by a Russian woman almost led to criminal prosecution of the author.

The book by Naomi Mitchison, "We Have Been Warned," offended the wife of a magistrate in Norfolk, who contacted Scotland Yard.

A Sergeant W. Tapsell filed a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions, questioning the morality of the book, The Telegraph reported.

"(Page) 274 describes carefully the seduction of a man, hitherto moral, by a Russian woman," the sergeant wrote. "(Pages) 487-88 contain a discussion between a man and wife as to whether she can get rid of a pregnancy by an abortion."

The case for prosecution was snuffed by Home Secretary John Simon, who recalled artistic freedom.

"The book as a whole is, I dare say, a work of art and I would not prosecute," he ruled.

Mitchison died in 1999 at the age of 101.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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