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TO THE READER.
By a London paper of November 1841, I perceived that a work which I had written and published in America, entitled, “ The Young Maiden,” had been reprinted in this country under the title of “The English Maiden.” I had no access at the time to a copy of that book, but saw from the extracts contained in a notice of it, that certain changes had been made in the phraseology of parts of my book, and that an attempt was made to convince the reader that it was an original English work.
On reaching this country, a few weeks since, I procured a copy of the book, and, to my amazement, found that not only was my own omitted on the title page, but the initials of another name, “H.G.C.," were given at the close of an Advertisement by some unknown individual, who called himself “ the Author."
TO THE READER.
I found a Second Edition, and in that a new Advertisement, in which the writer thus unblushingly speaks of his production :
“A Second Edition of this work having been called for within four months of its publication, is a gratifying proof of the interest felt, &c.
“In this Edition some slight alterations have been made, which the Author hopes will tend to make the volume more acceptable to the maidens of England.
“H. G. C.”
It seemed to me that an act of so flagrant injustice as this ought not to pass unnoticed. I was, of course, aware of the defenceless state of authors both in this and my own country, from the want of international copyright laws, and that works were republished in both countries from which their authors derived no pecuniary benefit. But I have yet to learn of a single instance in which the true author has been not only deprived of the profits of his book, and then of the reputation of it, by his name being left off the title page, but directly supplanted by another, who claimed to be the original Author of a work written, as it proved, in a foreign land. All this has been done in the pseudo “English Maiden."
TO THE READER.
But could other examples precisely in point be quoted as authority in this case, they could not justify such a proceeding in the court of morality, or of honour, or, indeed, before any tribunal of public opinion.
The offence in question has been aggravated by the circumstance that another volume, of whose true authorship I am ignorant, entitled, “The English Wife," and "designed as a Sequel to the English Maiden,” has come forth from the same polluted source. From its Preface we extract this remarkable passage :-“In the following pages, the author has made the Morality of the Bible his standard of excellence; and he trusts that every sentence will be found to breathe the genuine spirit of practical Christianity.” What a commentary have we on this professed reverence for Christian principle in the transaction now so palpably exposed !
Expecting no personal redress from one who has thus added hypocrisy to fraud, nor, indeed, being willing to ask any, my only defence seemed to be to publish a genuine edition of “ The Young Maiden” in the same land where the spurious one had appeared. This I now do, appealing confidently to a generous public to sustain