Lenore Hart Under Fire for Plagiarism
After the whole Q.R. Markham thing, I was sure this would happen again. I just didn't think it would be so soon.
Alas, within a mere few weeks of the plagiarism scandal that rocked the publishing industry, another author by the name of Lenore Hart finds herself in the eye of the proverbial storm. The big difference this time is that the publisher is standing up for their author.
So let's break this down: the book, The Raven's Bride (St. Martin's Press) is being charged with literary fraud for lifting passages from The Very Young Mrs. Poe by Cothburn O'Neal. Both novels use Virginia Clemm as the main protag. If you're not familiar, she was the first cousin and child bride of Edgar Allan Poe who inspired the poem “Annabel Lee.”
Playing the role of the accuser is spy novelist, Jeremy Duns, who has supplied citations of the two works.
From The Very Young Mrs. Poe:
Beyond Hopewell and the confluence of the Appomattox, the James grew narrower and wound in great loops around Bermuda Hundred. Further on, the current was swifter, foaming against gray boulders and lush green islands which twisted the channel torturously.
From The Raven’s Bride:
Beyond the confluence of the Appomattox, the James grew narrower and wound in great loops about Bermuda Hundred. The current ran more swiftly there, shoving its relentless force against gray rocks and lush low peninsulas which twisted the channel into a shallow treacherous serpent whose narrow back we must ride.
Looks like it's Q.R. Markham all over again, but St. Martin's maintains its stance that they are content with Hart's defense of the accusations--essentially, that herself and O'Neal drew from the same sources. They issued this statement:
St. Martin’s Press has given serious consideration to the allegations of plagiarism that have been made against Lenore Hart, the author of The Raven’s Bride. St. Martin’s Press does not condone plagiarism.
As Ms. Hart’s publisher, we have taken time to consider the allegations carefully, rather than responding prematurely to demands for immediate action made by third parties.
In April 2011, when these allegations first came to our attention, Ms. Hart supplied a detailed response, which cited her research into biographical and historical sources, and explained why her novel and Cothburn O’Neal’s The Very Young Mrs. Poe contain certain details of place, description and incident. As Ms. Hart explained in her response, of course two novels about the same historical figure necessarily reliant on the same limited historical record will have similarities. We have reviewed that response and remain satisfied with Ms. Hart’s explanation.
Keep in mind, there are plenty more passage comparisons which make it quite obvious that this is another hack job. You can check it out HERE.
St. Martin's can play the "deny, deny, deny" card all they want, but the evidence is clear as day. I wouldn't begrudge them at all for taking a leaf out of the Little, Brown playbook and cutting the chick loose.
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