Ambrose: Pants On Fire, Again

An article in the New Yorker revealing further deceptions on the part of the late and popular historian Stephen Ambrose is making the rounds. Quite a number of comments question the importance of Ambrose' lies and plagiarism, seeing the greater good in his popularizing of history. Perhaps they are on the defensive because it is so difficult to make an honest living or speak the truth these days. Though, really, there's nothing new about fabrication and theft as tools of the history trade. Not to say that all who write history avail themselves of those tools of course.


The Diary of a Public Man

Another scholar has attempted to solve the mysteries surrounding The Diary of a Public Man, a high level window on Washington life during the Civil War era. The controversy regarding efforts to identify the Public Man is fascinating. I look forward to seeing this new book.


Mark Twain, Literary Critic

A list of two hundred books from Mark Twain's library. And a story on Twain's marginalia -- his written comments in various of the books.

At the moment the links don't seem to be coming up in the post, here they are:


"Kidnapped" Tale Based on True Story

Robert Louis Stevenson's exciting tale had a basis in fact.


Strangers on a Train

This isn't literary mischief, just plain old murder, but it hooked me so I'll pass it along. ABE Books sends around theme-based ideas for collectors and this time it was mysteries involving trains. Somehow a train traveling across an exotic landscape in the middle of the night just seems the perfect setting for mystery. Here's the link.


The Master Thief

He stole thousands of books and manuscripts. They are still turning up, 150 years later. He was also a forger, and a respected scholar.

Jane Austen's Head is Missing

A bit of statuary really, missing from the Jane Austen Garden.