So That’s Who You Are, Clara Benson

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.

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About ramblesofawriter

Writer, thinker, tea drinker.
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5 Responses to So That’s Who You Are, Clara Benson

  1. chloefb says:

    That’s really interesting. Bet she hopes she’s got away with it!

  2. Grace says:

    I felt the same way you did! This dirty trick is several years old now, and her website has conveniently expunged all references to this imaginary 1900s hobby-author who supposedly penned the books. But it rankles me that anyone would pull off such a scam. I started buying the books in part *because* of that back-story. I’m kind of surprised more readers weren’t up in arms about it.

  3. Pingback: Who Were You, Clara Benson? | Rambles of a Writer

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