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Posted October 23, 2008
Pitifully full of errors.
First, I wish to quote some remarks made by Bob Gutowski upon reviewing this book:<BR/><BR/>"June 13, 2006<BR/>¿The first error is on the copyright page, which states that the cover photo, the Newport, R.I. vacation shot of Lizzie taken in 1893, was taken prior to the murders - which took place in 1892! The author later identifies a three-quarter portrait of Lizzie as a ¿profile¿ view. Again and again, Ms. Chaney does not take the time that Rick Geary, for one, does (in his graphic novel of the case) to state that many of the events of the murder morning are in dispute. Rather, she forges ahead, proclaiming without any doubt that Lizzie ¿walked downstairs dressed in a blue Bengalese (sic - the word is ¿Bengaline¿) silk skirt and blouse¿ and that ¿Abby told Lizzie that she had gotten a note from a sick friend that morning and was going out to visit her.¿ This last is, of course, one of the most questioned and speculated-upon issues of the case.<BR/>This book is, unfortunately, as inventive as Victoria Lincoln¿s well-written but ultimately semi-fictional epic, A PRIVATE DISGRACE. One photo caption reads, ¿Lizzie as a young woman. She loved the theater, but rejected it for a higher calling to the church, primarily because she wanted to feel useful and accepted.¿ And your references, Ms. Chaney? In thirty-five years of researching the case I have never read anywhere that the young Miss Borden was smitten with the theater. It¿s a romantic notion, and it bookends nicely with the actual older Lizzie¿s embrace of the stage, but it seem entirely to be an invention on the author¿s part. And where, pray tell, are Lizzie¿s motives so definitely set down for all to see? Perhaps the book ought to be titled LIZZIE BORDEN, AS I IMAGINE HER.¿<BR/><BR/>I concur 100% with Mr. Gutowski. I myself was shocked by the number of obvious errors in her book. Suffice to say my endeavor to highlight in yellow all her errors was an incomplete effort. Too soon my highlighter went dry from all the citations of inaccuracies. I would be less harsh if she were not a Harvard professor, previously published. One should know better. One should at least know that when writing a book on a topic that attracts an enlightened audience one should get all their facts straight. Bordenia experts can spot the errors at 20 paces. Or at least longer than the life span of a yellow highlighter. I might add that if Karen was under constraints to finish quickly due to time-certain publishing dates relative to this ¿New England Remembers¿ series, she should have insisted with the publisher for more time or foregone the exercise. Instead, the unfortunate result ill serves the author, the publisher, and the reading public. I can state this unequivocably because I had a personal experience with another Lizzie book that was ¿rushed to publish¿ and the subsequent editing errors were abysmal. However, no errors of editing are at issue here - only the factual content. Tsk, tsk, Ms. Chaney, for tis greater the crime.<BR/><BR/>A more detailed review from the above can be found at this link:<BR/><BR/>http://phayemuss.wordpress.com/2007/09/18/karen-cheneys-book-a-review-response-reply/<BR/><BR/>Faye Musselman<BR/>Payson, AZ<BR/>www.phayemuss.wordpress.com
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