A Hidden Passion: Lucia Logan. Far too close for comfort.

Report by Gehayi 

 

The novel A Hidden Passion is, nominally, by Lucia Logan. I must say “nominally,” because, if this were a just world, Charlotte Bronte would receive sole billing. I say this because A Hidden Passion has precisely the same plot as Jane Eyre. I am not speaking of generalities. I speak of a book which is identical in every detail.

 

In both books, there is a plain, impoverished orphan—Jane Eyre in the original, David Ayres in this–who is being reared by a relative who doesn’t want him/her and bullied by his/her cousins. The orphan creeps off to a window seat to read a book that’s a particular favourite; the orphan’s eldest cousin finds him/her there and hits the orphan. All are shocked when the orphan loses his/her temper, calls the bully names  and attacks him. As punishment, the orphan is shut up in the red room upstairs.  Jane is afraid of the red room because this is where her uncle Reed died; David is afraid of the red room because this is where his aunt Ware perished.  Both children have panic attacks at being imprisoned in the red room, and pass out.

 

As the books continue, arrangements are made to send both orphans away to school. Both children are catechized by unpleasant, self-righteous ministers and are sent off to charity schools run by those ministers—Jane to Lowood (the name Bronte used to describe the Cowan Bridge Clergy Daughters’ School, which she and two of her sisters attended) and David to Almsford. Almsford is identical in all particulars to Lowood save that it has been genderswitched. What was once an institution for poor or orphaned girls is now a charity school for poor or orphaned boys.  Both Jane and David are labeled liars when the miserable minister comes to visit. David’s hair is cut because it curls too much…which does NOT happen to Jane in the book (a girl named Julia is shorn of her hair), but which does befall her in the classic film. Both have noble, long-suffering friends who die of consumption during a typhus epidemic; both have kindly charitable teachers who feed the half-starved children.  The main difference between Jane Eyre and A Hidden Passion is that Jane and Helen Burns remain simply friends, and Miss Temple a compassionate teacher.  David and Jeremiah Holt, despite their youth, are both friends and lovers, while Mr. Miles Kirkham—”kirk” being the Scottish work for “church,” which is probably the closest the author could get to “temple”– becomes David’s lover after Jeremiah.

 

Two years after leaving the charity school, both orphans get hired as private teachers for the young French wards of a dark and secretive man. In Jane Eyre, the orphan is Adelé, the daughter of an dancer friend of Mr. Rochester’s and one of her former lovers; in A Hidden Passion, the orphan is Henri, the son of an actress friend of Mr. Nordson’s and one of her former lovers. In Jane Eyre, the guardian of the French orphan is Edward Rochester, master of Thornfield; in A Hidden Passion, the gentleman is Peter Frederick Nordsen, master of Wildwood.

 

Both Rochester and Nordsen resemble each other, physically and emotionally, enough to be brothers—I would say  twins. Both have the same gruff manner of speech and the same moodiness; both enjoy long conversations with the private teacher en residence; both examine the teacher’s paintings…although David’s are infinitely tamer than Jane’s.

 

Eventually, of course, both the Rochesters—pardon me, Mr. Rochester and Mr. Nordsen—fall in love with the Eyre or Ayres of their choice, scorning the wealthy local women whom everyone expects them to marry. Instead, both propose to their wards’ teachers. The fact that this is nineteenth-century England, that gay marriage is not yet dreamt of,  and that homosexuality itself is illegal does not trouble Nordsen and Ayres in the least. For this is not the based-on-fact nineteenth-century England that Charlotte Bronte knew. No, this is the world of Okay-homo, in which all the principals are gay, and all the people in what should be a historically gay-unfriendly world miraculously forget about the strictures that would create obstacles, conflict and possibly an actual story, and instead treat gayness as if everyone from the Lord Chancellor on down considers it the ultimate in coolness.  If Oscar Wilde had lived in such a fictional world, he wouldn’t have been arrested, tried and sent to Reading Gaol; he’d have been given a ticker-tape parade.

 

I dislike anachronisms, especially those so easy to fix with a little research. But then, I do not believe that Logan was thinking in terms of anachronisms—merely of following the story as written by Bronte.

 

Plans for the wedding and a subsequent trip to London advance. Nordsen and Ayres have sex three times before the wedding day, while Rochester and Jane keep their hands to themselves. I do not protest, mind; the sex is the only original thing in the book.

 

In any case, everything falls apart when the brother-in-law of Rochester and that of Nordsen expose the fact that both men are already married. Yes, Nordsen has a mad wife in his attic.

 

And so on it goes, deviating in small details (the cousins that David finds are three brothers, not a brother and two sisters, and the minister brother wants to become a missionary to India, not China) but remaining identical overall.

 

In the preface to this book, the author calls this “an homage to Jane Eyre.”  This, to my eyes, is NOT an homage. An homage involves two works sharing some basic elements without being the exact same story. Rent could be taken as an homage to La Boheme, for example. There are similar themes—bohemians coping with love, poverty and death—but the characters and the plot differ.

 

That’s not the case here.  In scene after scene, Logan either paraphrases Bronte or her words are absolutely identical to Bronte’s. I am amazed that an editor at Dreamspinner Press didn’t notice it prior to purchasing the book, never mind publication.

 

There is a word for this: plagiarism. It’s not a pretty word, and I don’t like using it, but there is no way to copy 95% of another author’s book–and then submit it to various publishers–purely by accident. If you’re above the age of reason and of average intelligence, then you should know that you don’t take things—or take credit for things—that don’t belong to you. Copying another author’s words and then claiming to have written them definitely qualifies as both.

 

The sad thing is that the story could have been interesting if Logan had gone with Jane Eyre’s basic plotline–“orphaned governess/tutor falls in love with the master of the house”–but let the tutor and the gentleman develop their own backgrounds and problems and personalities, rather than being Homosexual Rochester and Genderswitched Jane. As it is…well, I’m sadly disappointed in the—no, I cannot call her the author.

 

In the copyist.

 

Jane Eyre

A Hidden Passion

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question.I was glad of it: I never liked long walks, especially on chilly afternoons: dreadful to me was the coming home in the raw twilight, with nipped fingers and toes, and a heart saddened by the chidings of Bessie, the nurse, and humbled by the consciousness of my physical inferiority to Eliza, John, and Georgiana Reed. THERE was no possibility of taking a walk that day. The skies had been clear enough earlier in the morning, as I sat unobtrusively in a corner of the schoolroom, listening to Mr. Nash’s lesson; but a gathering cloudiness had darkened the heavens all afternoon, and they had opened an hour or so since, with a downpour so cold and so penetrating that our usual outdoor exercise was out of the question. I was glad, for I never liked long walks, especially on cold afternoons such as this one. Try as I would, I could never keep up with my older cousins’ more robust strides, and returning home – to the manor house, I should say, for as I was constantly reminded, I had no right to consider it my home – meant only at best a scolding for my lackadaisical ways, and a keen self-awareness of my physical inferiority. At worst, I would be punished for returning with wet and muddied clothing, further proof that I had no sense of gratitude and no concept of how to care for the good things that were given to me. 
Something of daylight still lingered, and the moon was waxing bright: I could see him plainly. His figure was enveloped in a riding cloak, fur collared and steel clasped; its details were not apparent, but I traced the general points of middle height and considerable breadth of chest. He had a dark face, with stern features and a heavy brow; his eyes and gathered eyebrows looked ireful and thwarted just now; he was past youth, but had not reached middle-age; perhaps he might be thirty-five. I felt no fear of him, and but little shyness. Had he been a handsome, heroic-looking young gentleman, I should not have dared to stand thus questioning him against his will, and offering my services unasked. I had hardly ever seen a handsome youth; never in my life spoken to one. I had a theoretical reverence and homage for beauty, elegance, gallantry, fascination; but had I met those qualities incarnate in masculine shape, I should have known instinctively that they neither
had nor could have sympathy with anything in me, and should have shunned them as one would fire, lightning, or anything else that is bright but antipathetic.
If even this stranger had smiled and been good-humoured to me when I addressed him; if he had put off my offer of assistance gaily and with thanks, I should have gone on my way and not felt any vocation to renew inquiries: but the frown, the roughness of the traveller, set me at my ease: I retained my station when he waved to me to go, and announced –

“I cannot think of leaving you, sir, at so late an hour, in this solitary lane, till I see you are fit to mount your horse.”

Though the sun’s rays were gone, a nimbus of light still glowed in the west, and the rising moon shone brightly enough that I could now see the traveller clearly. He was dressed in a heavy black riding cloak, collared with fur and clasped with steel, which prevented me from determining more than that he was of middling height and build. His face was well-chiseled, with a broad, intelligent brow, deepset, piercing eyes, and a determined chin with a decided cleft to it. His hair was tousled, as much from his ride as from the fall, I judged, for he wore no hat. In the irregular light I could not decide whether it was blond or brown or somewhere in between. No longer a youth, I could not in fairness describe him as middle-aged; I would place him in perhaps his mid-thirties. He was not classically handsome, but even wearing a pained and wrathful expression, his face was distinctive. I would describe his looks as compelling; in any case I felt drawn to again offer him my assistance. If he had been gracious and smooth-tongued in his refusal, I might have been too nervous to continue to importune him. Had he but smiled, and thanked me graciously, I should likely have acquiesced when he waved me on my way. But his gruffness and incivility put me under no obligation, or so it seemed to me, and thus I persevered despite his protestation that he would do.”  
“You said Mr. Rochester was not strikingly peculiar, Mrs. Fairfax,” I observed, when I rejoined her in her room, after putting Adele to
bed
.
“Well, is he?”“I think so: he is very changeful and abrupt.”

“True: no doubt he may appear so to a stranger, but I am so accustomed to his manner, I never think of it; and then, if he has peculiarities of temper, allowance should be made.”

“Why?”

“Partly because it is his nature–and we can none of us help our nature; and partly because he has painful thoughts, no doubt, to harass him, and make his spirits unequal.”

“What about?”

“Family troubles, for one thing.”“But he has no family.” “Not now, but he has had–or, at least, relatives. He lost his elder brother a few years since.” 

His ELDER brother?”

“Yes. The present Mr. Rochester has not been very long in possession of the property; only about nine years.”

“Nine years is a tolerable time. Was he so very fond of his brother as to be still inconsolable for his loss?” “Why, no–perhaps not. I believe there were some misunderstandings between them. Mr. Rowland Rochester was not quite just to Mr. Edward; and perhaps he prejudiced his father against him. The old gentleman was fond of money, and anxious to keep the family estate together. He did not like to diminish the property by division, and yet he was anxious that Mr. Edward should have wealth, too, to keep up the consequence of the name; and, soon after he was of age, some steps were taken that were not quite fair, and made a great deal of
mischief
. Old Mr. Rochester and Mr. Rowland combined to bring Mr. Edward into what he considered a painful position, for the sake of
making his fortune: what the precise nature of that position was I never clearly knew, but his spirit could not brook what he had to suffer in it. He is not very forgiving: he broke with his family,  and now for many years he has led an unsettled kind of life. I don’t think he has ever been resident at Thornfield for a fortnight together, since the death of his brother without a will left him master of the estate; and, indeed, no wonder he shuns the old place.
“Why should he shun it?”“Perhaps he thinks it gloomy.”

The answer was evasive. I should have liked something clearer; but Mrs. Fairfax either could not, or would not, give me more explicit
information of the origin and nature of Mr. Rochester’s trials. She averred they were a mystery to herself, and that what she knew was
chiefly from conjecture. It was evident, indeed, that she wished me to drop the subject, which I did accordingly.

“You said that some people might think Mr. Nordsen odd,” I said to Mrs. Daultrey, as I joined her in her sitting-room after delivering Henri into Marthe’s care. “After meeting him, I would say there is no doubt of it.”  You think he is odd?” she asked. “In what way?”  

He is very abrupt and changeful.”  

I suppose he may seem so to a stranger, but I am so used to his manner that I scarcely notice it any longer. And I try to make allowance for any eccentricities of temperament he may display.”  

Why?” I asked, wondering that she felt it necessary to excuse his peculiarity of manner.

For one thing, it is simply his nature, and he means no real harm by it; for another, he has painful memories, no doubt, that trouble his spirit.”  

As this was the first I had heard of my employer’s history, I was naturally curious. “What type of painful memories?” 

Family troubles, for one thing. He lost both his father and his elder brother some years ago, though I believe they were never especially close.”  

His elder brother?”  

Yes, Mr. Nordsen – the present Mr. Nordsen, that is – has only been in possession of the property for about a dozen years. Mr. Gregor, his brother, was not a very cordial man, and their father was from what I hear very harsh and exacting. He was also very fond of money, and did not wish to split up the family holdings to provide for Mr. Peter; and yet he did not wish his younger son to lack the wealth and consequence he felt due to the family name. Some provisions were undertaken, to secure Mr. Peter’s fortune, which were not quite fair to him, and caused him a great deal of unhappiness. What those provisions were, I never knew exactly, but he broke with his father and brother over them, and for many years since he has led a wandering, unsettled life. I do not believe he has been home more than a fortnight at a time since coming into possession of the estates. Though I suppose it is no wonder he dislikes the place.”  

 Why should he dislike it?” 

Oh, well – ” Mrs. Daultrey paused, suddenly self-conscious.

“Perhaps he thinks it gloomy.”  It was obvious this was not what she had originally meant to say. I wondered if she felt it was improper for us to gossip about our employer in this manner; but it was clear that she was no longer comfortable discussing the subject, and it would be rude to pursue it further. Accordingly, I let it drop, and the conversation turned to her plans to plant the kitchen garden once the weather grew warmer. 

   

22 Responses

  1. So the only obstacle to two men getting married in 19th century England was that one of them had a mad wife locked up in his attic? I’d say the two penises would have been a bigger barrier.

    I haven’t read this book (and obviously don’t need to as I’ve read Jane Eyre many times) but I agree that on the evidence you present, this is plagiarism. It’s one thing to update a classic, write a sequel, or revisit it from an alternative point of view. It’s another thing completely to hijack the entire plot. Plagiarism, and laziness.

  2. I have such a soft, sentimental spot for tutor-employer romances. I’d love to read more of that in historical fiction, but not like this. It’s a real shame.

  3. Thank you for posting this review.

    It leaves me disinclined to ever submit work to Dreamspinner Press, if they are this careless in reviewing manuscripts for publication.

  4. That’s awful! It’s hard to believe it could be published if it’s such a blatant rip off! And they’re getting married? My mind boggles!

    It’s a terrible shame, too, because the set-up is one that could turn out really well if it was done with a bit of originality.

    Thanks for the review! I won’t be tempted to read it then.

  5. This makes me sad – don’t people pay attention to Plagiarism 101: The Do Not’s any more? Your critique of the work doesn’t inspire me to read it, although I have a love of Jane Eyre and pastiche/homage of same – but therein lies the difference, pastiche/homage is not the same as plagiarism.

  6. *blinks* Wow. I’m…floored. Absolutely amazed that this was published.

  7. I wonder if the editor knew? It’s not like anyone could sue them or demand them to withdraw the book. And I’m sure that many if not most of the reader’s won’t have read the original. The writing doesn’t seem bad, and the plot is tried and true. No reason the book wouldn’t sell.

  8. I’ve been told that the editor has a background in non-fictional historical works, so it’s unlikely that she couldn’t have known what she was doing.

    And really? Are there that many people who like historical fiction who haven’t read Jane Eyre…?

    No – I’m all for re-using plots, themes, mores, blah blah but how would you feel if you found a book that had large paragraphs of text copied from your book? What about if someone took the plot and actual text from your violinists and made a book from it?

  9. I would be flattered for about two seconds…then I would be hopping mad.
    I hope Logan will find the integrity to pull her book as quickly as possible, if her publisher doesn’t do it first. I’m astonished that anyone would do such a foolish thing to begin with. The embarrassment of being found out– I just can’t imagine. And what pride of accomplishment can you take in a work of fiction that you haven’t truly written, yourself?

  10. I’ve written stories that were *based* on ideas from other books myself, but my self-respect wouldn’t allow me to simply change the names and present it as my own work. The joy of writing is in taking ideas in new directions. What a pity this writer won’t know that joy after writing this book….

  11. I don’t know if the author is a partner or not, but I do know that Dreamspinner Press is a publishing venture by a friend of the author. I imagine whether or not this could be considered plagiarism was not taken into consideration when the book was “accepted.” Right now they are merely publishing the reworked fanfiction of themselves and their friends.

  12. […] gay version of Jane Eyre? It’s not the first case that we have reported it. But according to Speak its Name, maybe this time it’s a little bit more than just a version of Charlotte Brontë’s […]

  13. I think this title is a 2007 EPPIE finalist in the GLBT category. ummmm……

  14. This is alarming! It is a GLBT finalist in the 2008 Eppies (Category K, 3rd entry of 5).
    A charge of plagiarism should be investigated immediately by the committee.

  15. I’m sorry, I’m a writer and I *hate* plagiarism, being a victim of it myself once, and I don’t think this qualifies. From what I understand the author was very up front about the fact that she used Jane Eyre as the base for this story and it was completely AU. As far as I can tell this qualifies as Bronte fanfiction. Perhaps she should have published it online in a fan site or in a zine, but I really think y’all are exaggerating the situation a bit.

    Look, I don’t know the author, but if we’re going to start shouting plagiarism then you also have to mention that she was highly clear in her notes that the work of Jane Eyre was used heavily in the creation of the story and that she never said she wrote it.

    Had she said, ‘Everything in this came from my mind alone’ you might have a point but this is just an homage in the same way Clueless was an homage to Emma.

  16. Jen? What story did she ‘create’? If what Gehayi is saying is true, the author didn’t ‘create’ anything, just rewrote using two dicks instead of a dick and a vagina.

    How is what she wrote considered an AU of Jane Eyre? It was a plot point for plot point retelling, using — LIFTING DIRECTLY AND WORD FOR WORD — dialogue and wording from Bronte’s novel and changing a few of the names around. There is no ‘creative’ in that.

    It’s called plagiarism and they called it right.

  17. Definitely plagiarism. Bad publisher, no cookie!

    However, it’s not copyright infringement, just in case anyone decides to get confused again (it happens a lot), since Jane Eyre is in the public domain.

    To clarify:

    Example 1: Writer mirrors plot of public domain work but writes a story in her own words = plagiarism (unethical), no infringement (legal), likely to get by a publisher. May be outed after publication, but serious fallout unlikely.

    Example 2: A Hidden Passion. Writer mirrors plot of public domain work AND copies text nearly verbatim = plagiarism (unethical), no infringement (legal), will probably get caught before publication and rejected or outed.

    Example 3: Writer mirrors plot of copyrighted work but writes a story in her own words = plagiarism (unethical), possible infringement (punishable civil offense), likely to get by a publisher. May be outed after publication, may be sued.

    Example 4: Writer mirrors plot of copyrighted work AND copies text nearly verbatim = plagiarism (unethical), definite infringement (punishable civil offense), will probably get caught before publication and rejected or outed, likely to be sued if work is published and discovered.

  18. “From what I understand the author was very up front about the fact that she used Jane Eyre as the base for this story and it was completely AU.”

    Jen–I read and reviewed this book. The flyleaf of it said that AHP was “inspired” by Jane Eyre. Logan did NOT say that AHP was based on Jane Eyre, nor did she say that it was AU, a pastiche, or a parody. It was marketed as a serious historical gay romance–indeed, that’s why Speak Its Name was asked to review it, and why we agreed to do so.

    Now, I regard works inspired by other works as being analogous to a dive. The diving board is the base from which the writer jumps into the story. Once he/she jumps off, what he/she does next–however simple or complex, elegant or clumsy–is yours.

    Examples of works inspired by other works: Tom Stoppard’s Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead (the telling of the adventures of two minor characters from Hamlet). Or, as you cited, Clueless, which was inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma.

    But Cher, who interferes with people’s lives every bit as much as Emma Woodhouse does, isn’t Emma. She is confident to the point of arrogance and popular and rich and she matchmakes disastrously, yes. But her personality isn’t Emma’s, her speech isn’t Emma, her behavior isn’t Emma’s. The author took the idea of a rich girl messing up the lives of those around her with her matchmaking, and then asked herself what such a girl would be like in a modern setting in the quintessentially American town of Beverly Hills, California. How would she change? What things would happen to her that Austen had never considered happening to Emma? What would she do or not do because her circumstances were different?

    Logan did not do this.

    Logan copied Jane Eyre scene by scene, speech for speech. Sometimes she copied word for word. David Ayres differs from Bronte’s Jane Eyre only in that he wears trousers instead of a gown–in style of speech, circumstances and behavior, he is identical. There’s no jumping off place where the story becomes substantially different from the tale of Jane Eyre.

    More, Logan didn’t credit the lines and paragraphs she used. Have you ever seen Stephen King’s books? When King uses lines from songs, other books, plays, TV shows, he credits them, he credits their authors, and he mentions on which pages the quotations are used–whether the work is still under copyright or is in the public domain.

    “As far as I can tell this qualifies as Bronte fanfiction. Perhaps she should have published it online in a fan site or in a zine, but I really think y’all are exaggerating the situation a bit.”

    As we’ve learned in the past couple of days, the original WAS a fanfic published online. The fandom was not one that Erastes and I have any interest in, so neither of us was aware of it. Nor do we care.

    What we object to, and will continue to object to in the future, is someone copying lines, paragraphs or every single plot point of the book/movie/etc. and not giving the original author credit for his or her work.

    And yes, we would have objected to this if we had seen it in an online archive or in a zine. Copying someone else’s words is copying someone else’s words whether it’s in allegedly professional writing or in fanfic. It’s plagiarism. And it’s WRONG.

  19. I have read the initial post and all of the commentary attached. I decided to throw in my two cents this one time only, if for no other reason than to have my words reckoned with the rest.

    In all of the reading from here (including the cited evidence by the original poster), what I fail to see here is how everyone here keeps stating that this is blatant intellectual theft. The author clearly stated that “A Hidden Passion” was derived, drawn, and “inspired” by and from Bronte’s work.

    Gender issues aside, that’s what the story is and speaking of those gender issues, for people to keep bringing it up, seems to demonstrate that there is another subtext to the negative commentary going on here (I’m not accusing, but don’t deny that this could be implied by the number of negative comments about that angle of the story).

    Somebody made a comment regarding the flyleaf text describing the book…that’s the publisher’s fault, not the authors. Levy blame where blame is due.

    Logan took a romantic story (created by Bronte) and reworked it with the intention that it be easily recognizable as being derived from the original work by those who have read the original.

    Plagiarism be damned. What did you want…a story or a research paper? I’ve read derived works and novels before. The other authors I have seen who have written in this fashion, while they have clearly acknowledged their inspiration and sources, they did not bother to “cite every line” and “italicize every sentence.” Once you knew that it was a derived work up front, you didn’t have to bother any more. I don’t understand why all of the alleged literary critics commenting here didn’t pick up on that.

    What I am seeing here is not so much an attempt to discern the veracity of this claim, as more of a witch hunt and this novel is the new victim. Remember what they say about a witch; “…if she floats, she’s a witch and if she drowns, then God will have mercy on her soul….”

    I’m done here…say what you will; it matters not any more, as I will not return to this site to further comment on this issue.

  20. Plagiarism be damned. What did you want…a story or a research paper?

    actually….I expected an original story that the author put thought, time and consideration into, and not one copied word for word, plotpoint for plotpoint.

    if she had only used bits and pieces here and there, that might have been ok but…did you read their review at all and LOOK at the side by side comparison?

  21. Demosthenes, I realize you’re not going to be reading this, but nevertheless I will respond for the sake of those who, like you, are so dreadfully confused. I don’t know *why* it is so hard to understand that it’s wrong to copy and paste someone else’s work, stick your name on it, and get it published under your name…but no matter, I’ll go through the explanation again.

    “The author clearly stated that “A Hidden Passion” was derived, drawn, and “inspired” by and from Bronte’s work.”

    1) See my previous comment to Jen on the difference between “inspired by” and “copy and paste.”

    2) She never said in the published version that AHP was a derivative work. Nor did she say that it was drawn from Bronte’s work.

    This, in fact, is what she DID say:

    “Author’s Note
    I first read Jane Eyre when I was thirteen years old. Its heroine’s hunger for love and rebellion against the stultifying limits of what was considered gender-appropriate behavior for the time resonated powerfully with me; it became one of the handful of books I re-read nearly every year. When, as an adult, I discovered m/m erotica and eventually began to write myself, I recognized that the tale would be equally compelling if both
    protagonists were male.

    In retelling the story, I have tried to remain as true to the tone and language of the original novel as possible. Some sentences (the opening lines of the first and last chapters in particular) are so iconic I have left them unchanged. While there are of course alterations and additions to the original plot, I hope the work as a whole will be seen as the homage I certainly intended.

    I would like to sincerely thank Antonia Stone for bringing my vision of the characters to life in her illustrations, and Mara McKennen for her tireless search for the perfect fonts and colors for the cover design. My special thanks to Pamela for ensuring
    the accuracy of my Briticisms; to Morag for her keen eye for split infinitives and for suggesting the perfect verses for Peter to quote; to Holly, for sharing my dreams and turning them into reality; and to Martha, without whom this and everything else would never have been written.”

    Now, let’s examine what she said.

    “In retelling the story, I have tried to remain as true to the tone and language of the original novel as possible.”

    That sounds like “Using my own words, I tried to make my story sound as much like Jane Eyre as possible.” It does NOT sound like “This is a derivative work” or “I copied much of this.” “As true to the original as possible” states that this is not the same as the original.

    “Some sentences (the opening lines of the first and last chapters in particular) are so iconic I have left them unchanged.”

    Her use went far beyond some iconic sentences–sentences such as “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day” and “Reader, I married him,” which would be familiar to anyone who knew Bronte. Three-quarters of the book, at least, was Bronte’s work–either copied directly or slightly paraphrased.

    Nor did she have a page of acknowledgments in which she stated which lines, paragraphs, etc. were quoted from other work. Acknowledging quotations and information from other peoples’ work is standard in published fiction.

    “While there are of course alterations and additions to the original plot,”

    Which, regrettably, there were not, save in three sex scenes and the most minor of details.

    “I hope the work as a whole will be seen as the homage I certainly intended.”

    Logan is, of course, perfectly free to hope that. However, regardless of her vaunted “intentions,” she did not create an homage. Jonathan Larson’s rock opera Rent might be seen as an homage to Puccini’s opera La Boheme; Amy Heckerling’s film Clueless, as an homage to Jane Austen’s novel Emma; Terry Pratchett’s novel Moving Pictures, an homage to the early films and early days of Hollywood, as well as to the stories and novels of H.P. Lovecraft. All new works. Not copy and paste jobs.

    You can’t create an homage to someone’s work by USING their work. You can only create an homage by taking a base element or two and then creating your own original work. And this Logan did not do.

    I cannot excuse this. Logan knew what she was doing. She copied Bronte’s words substantially throughout the book, she slightly paraphrased many others, she put her name on the manuscript, and she sold the book to a publisher intending to make money from it. Neither she nor AHP are “victims.” She did something wrong, and she got caught.

  22. […] Speak It’s Name ~ A Hidden Passion: Lucia Logan. Far too close for comfort. The novel A Hidden Passion is, nominally, by Lucia Logan. I must say “nominally,” because, if […]

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