St. Martin’s Press defended novelist Lenore Hart against plagiarism charges this week. A blogger who runs a Edgar Allen Poe fan website initially denounced The Raven’s Bride as “a virtual cut-and-paste job” from Cothburn O’Neal‘s 1956 novel, The Very Young Mrs. Poe.
Since then, members of the literary community (including spy novelist Jeremy Duns and Melville House co-publisher Dennis Johnson) have supported the allegations. The New York Times reported on the debate, including a statement from St. Martin’s Press in response to the accusations.
Here’s more from the statement: “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.”
The Raven’s Bride was originally titled Nevermore. In the past, Hart has published several novels including Becky (2009), Ordinary Springs (2005) and Waterwoman (2003). She has also worked as a college lecturer and a writing professor. Readers can access an excerpt of The Raven’s Bride on Hart’s website.