How Embarrassing for Penguin Books

July 20, 2007 at 2:06 PM | Posted in Books | 1 Comment
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You would think that a big publishing company that publishes classic novels would instantly spot a plagiarized work of one of the world’s best known English authors. But apparently, this was not the case.

Penguin Books and several other publishers failed to recognize that the manuscript recently submitted to them by a certain David Lassman contained Jane Austen’s most famous line in her classic novel, Pride and Prejudice: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

The Guardian newspaper reported that Lassman, who is the chief of the Bath-based
Jane Austen Festival, intentionally submitted the manuscript to check if the famous author could have landed a book deal nowadays. The said manuscript contained thinly disguised portions of Jane Austen’s three famous works including the famous line from Pride and Prejudice (Read the full story here.).

How could the major publishing houses missed this? The editors who reviewed the manuscript must have been so embarrassed by this error. It is laughable indeed! Austen’s most famous line was blatantly plagiarized and they didn’t even notice it! And I’m amazed that even J.K. Rowling’s literary agents were not able to recognize the plagiarized work!

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