The Poet and the Murderer: A True Story of Literary Crime and the Art of Forgery

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Dutton, 2002 - History - 270 pages
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In "The Poet and the Murderer," acclaimed journalist Simon Worrall takes readers into the haunting mind of Mark Hofmann, one of the most daring literary forgers and remorseless murderers of the late twentieth century.

He was a young Mormon boy who loathed what he believed to be the hypocrisy of his faith, and who devised secret ways to infiltrate and undermine the church. Mark Hofmann began his career by forging and selling rare Mormon coins, and quickly moved on to creating false, highly controversial religious documents that threw the Church of Latter-Day Saints into turmoil. But it was his infamous Emily Dickinson poem that would prove his greatest deception, stunning the art and literary worlds and earning him thousands from the most distinguished Dickinson scholars. It would also prove his ultimate undoing, when his desperation to keep his greatest forgery a secret drove him to commit ever more heinous crimes-including acts of shocking violence.

Filled with the page-turning suspense and tantalizing sleuthing techniques of a literary thriller, "The Poet and the Murderer" gives us an unforgettable portrait of a deeply irreligious man and a brilliant con artist whose greatest talent-and greatest tragedy--was his ability to conceal his mad genius behind the unique gifts and enduring celebrity of others.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - seasonsoflove - LibraryThing

A non-fiction hybrid of true crime, history, literature, and religion, The Poet and the Murderer is the fascinating tale of a forged Emily Dickinson poem, and the storied past of the forger himself ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Eye_Gee - LibraryThing

Fascinating. Thus book would be worth the read if only for the chapter on handwriting. Read full review


The Poet and the Murderer
Emily Dickinson for Sale
A Riddle in a Locked Box

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About the author (2002)

Simon Worrall lives in East Hampton, New York.

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