Fake Translation

Way back in 2004, I contributed The Son of Clemenceau by Alexandre Dumas fils to Project Gutenberg. However, PG just forwarded me a letter they received from someone who consulted the Academie Fran├žaise’s bibliography of Dumas’s work, and couldn’t find any text that could possibly be the source of this translation. The PG cataloger who contacted me thinks that the publisher may simply have appropriated Dumas’s name for a novel someone else wrote, and I have to admit I find the theory convincing. I’ve tried using Google Books to search for any work by Dumas containing some of the proper names or French or Latin phrases in the text, and come up blank.

The publisher printed the author’s name as “Alexander Dumas”. I wonder if that was deliberate weaseling. (“Oh, no, it’s not by the French author Alexandre Dumas. We just chose that name as an homage. There was absolutely no fraud intended, I assure you.”)

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