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Books Fatal to Their Authors

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By: (1854-1930)

This is a collection of stories of authors who have lost their fortunes and sometimes their lives after writing a book. The liberty of a person's conscience was unknown in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; Why should a man be drawn and quartered for writing what we know is the truth? What must it have been like to have lived in that era. At the time it was dangerous to say that the earth went around the sun and many other theories were treated in the same way.

First Page:

BOOKS FATAL TO THEIR AUTHORS

BY P. H. DITCHFIELD

TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN WALTER, ESQ., M.A., J.P., OF BEARWOOD, BERKS, THIS VOLUME IS RESPECTFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED.

PREFACE.

TO THE BOOK LOVER.

To record the woes of authors and to discourse de libris fatalibus seems deliberately to court the displeasure of that fickle mistress who presides over the destinies of writers and their works. Fortune awaits the aspiring scribe with many wiles, and oft treats him sorely. If she enrich any, it is but to make them subject of her sport. If she raise others, it is but to pleasure herself with their ruins. What she adorned but yesterday is to day her pastime, and if we now permit her to adorn and crown us, we must to morrow suffer her to crush and tear us to pieces. To day her sovereign power is limited: she can but let loose a host of angry critics upon us; she can but scoff at us, take away our literary reputation, and turn away the eyes of a public as fickle as herself from our pages. Surely that were hard enough! Can Fortune pluck a more galling dart from her quiver, and dip the point in more envenomed bitterness? Yes, those whose hard lot is here recorded have suffered more terrible wounds than these... Continue reading book >>


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