Linguist, lexicographer, writer, editor, broadcaster

The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins, by John Pearson. 1995, Harpe

“Before long The Double R was bringing in a steady income and it was clear he had hit on the formula for success—the orderly raucousness, the sentimental cockney songs of Queenie Watts, the villains mixing with celebrities and the presence of several large but well-behaved old boxers[…] Sometimes the gipsies came, and Reggie, remembering his Romany blood, stood them drinks and told them they could stay. He now had real celebrities among The Double R’s visitors[…]: he called them by their first names and drew a certain glamour from their presence. He looked like turning into something of a playboy, dressing well, enjoying an evening in a West End nightclub and, for the first time in his life, taking an interest in women. “This was the biggest break of all from Ronnie, who had always managed to keep him away from women. Bound by the ties that link a homosexual with his identical twin, Ronnie had always seen any show of interest in a girl by Reggie as a sign of rebellion—which it was—and treated it accordingly. “‘What you thinking of, goin’ with a bloody woman? You’re gettin’ soft. Don’t you know women smell and give you diseases?”

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Grant Barrett