Loyal readers may remember a post I did a couple of years ago about a crime novel I read supposedly by a Clara Benson, a Victorian women whose manuscripts were discovered and published after her death. The story didn’t add up to me, and for some reason I remembered the affair today and did some poking around to see if she had been exposed yet.
In a sense she has, in that she is now publishing the books as the modern young woman she actually is, but there is no mention of the duplicity on her Facebook page or website that I can find, other than comments from fans saying they are glad she isn’t dead. Hmmm…
Maybe she would prefer that everyone quietly forgot it ever happened. She seems to have become quite successful, so she obviously had to come clean. In order to capitalise on her success she had to write more books, and the idea of a never-ending supply line of ‘rediscovered’ manuscripts would have become increasingly preposterous.
It was cleverly done but it was a con, and as I said at the time I felt defrauded in that I believed I had been sold something under false pretences. It’s one thing to write a book in the style of a past era and even as if the author is from that era. I enjoy that sort of book. But it’s quite another to create blurb and publicity material maintaining and perpetuating the hoax with the intention of gulling the general public.
I normally put up links and pictures up of books and authors I write about, but in this case I would be helping to promote the perpetrator of a deceitful bit of marketing, so instead here’s a picture of a cute chimp.