Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bloomsbury Pulls Book Over Citation Snafu

Over at the Guardian book blog, Claire Armitstead reports on one of those cringe-worthy moments: British publisher Bloomsbury has recalled a printing of Veronica Buckley's Madame de Maintenon (scheduled for release on 5 May) because it contained two citations from Le Journal Secret de Louis XIV, a putative diary of the Sun King "reconstructed" (read "created") in 1998 by French author Francois Bluche.

Armitstead writes "The first inklings that all was not quite right came when a distinguished biographer declined to review it for us on the grounds that it was 'not up to the high standards I impose on books I review.' Shortly afterwards an erratum slip arrived, to which I paid little attention until it was followed by a fretful email saying that the book was going to be recalled and republished later in the summer. This piqued my interest: after all, what mistake could be so terrible that it warranted pulping a whole edition? It wasn't as if anyone involved with Louis XIV was in a position to sue for libel."

Citing a fake diary, that's what mistake.

After what I'm guessing will be quite a few close reads, the book is now due for release in a few months.

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