CS Lewis Web
The Lewis Legacy-Issue 61, Summer 1994
Forged Documents Review
By: Kathryn Lindskoog
The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing
June 1, 1994

Edited by Pat Bozeman

Cloth, 180 pages, 3 b&w illustrations.
OAK KNOLL BOOKS, ISBN 0-938768-22-0 * Price $25.00

In the past few years the world of rare books and manuscripts has been
severely shaken by a number of highly publicized cases of forgery. The
media has been most attracted to the Mormon document forgeries of Mark
Hofmann which ended in bombings and bloody murder. The most recent case in
America, however, has been the discovery of forged copies of the Texas
Declaration of Independence and other
important Texan historical documents. The public disclosure of these "Texas
Forgeries" in April 1988 led to a series of rumors, allegations and
questions. Did the bookdealers who were selling this material know they
were forgeries? Who was printing them? How many were there? Did certain
libraries and institutions suppress their knowledge of these forgeries?

The University of Houston, realizing there was a need for collectors,
librarians and bookdealers to collectively address the whole issue of
forgery, held a conference in November 1989. This book is the published
proceedings of that conference. Although it contains some specific
information for librarians and bookdealers, there is also plenty to
interest any reader who desires a broad introduction to forgery or needs a
specific account of one of the major literary forgeries. Nicolas Barker, in
his detailed examination of how typographical evidence can expose forgers,
provides an account of the forgeries of Mark Hofmann, Frederic Prokosch and
Thomas J. Wise. The Hitler diaries and The Horn Papers forgeries are
discussed in William L. Joyce's survey of literary forgery from ancient
times to the present day. There are also several engaging narratives of how
individuals were personally affected by the forgeries. Public discussion
was an integral part of the Houston conference and the debates between the
speakers and the audience are faithfully reproduced in this volume.

"Forged Documents is a very important work: for dealers who need to
confront a degree of laxity on the part of the trade in handling forged
material: for librarians who should be rendering more assistance in
bringing to justice forgers and those who abet forgery for the sake of
profit: and for all scholars and collectors with a healthy respect for the
truth." Bookman's Weekly.

"Each paper will appeal to some reader who desires a broad introduction to
the subject or has a specific need for information." The Library
Quarterly.