Bibliotheca Fictiva: A Collection of Books & Manuscripts Relating to Literary Forgery 400 BC – AD 2000.

London, Bernard Quaritch Ltd, 2024.

8vo, pp. xvi, 566, [2 (picture acknowledgements, blank)], with colour frontispiece and 4 black-and-white illustrations in text and a further 40 pp. of colour plates; blue cloth, blocked in bold on spine, printed dust-jacket.


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This fully revised and enlarged edition of Bibliotheca Fictiva – the descriptive inventory of a collection of books and manuscripts relating to literary forgery in the Western world over the last twenty-four centuries, now housed in the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University – adds more than six hundred new entries that introduce some sixty entirely new impostors or subjects of imposture. Individual descriptions have been substantially corrected and updated, and the original ‘Overview’ correspondingly amplified.

Praise for the first edition:
‘A major contribution to the study of [literary forgery] … an essential and splendidly detailed atlas of the subject’. – Henry Woudhuysen, in The Times Literary Supplement

‘Bibliotheca Fictiva is and will remain the definitive account of literary forgers and forgeries from antiquity to the present day. … It is hard to imagine a better approach to a notoriously complicated subject.’ – Nicolas Barker, in The Book Collector

‘An immense and fascinating compendium of literary frauds and spuriosities covering more than two millennia. … An ambitious achievement in bibliographical compilation, [it] affords textual scholars and book historians an invaluable resource for future research into this complicated, venerable, and culturally significant field of literary activity.’ – Gregory Mackie, in SHARP News

‘This wonderful catalogue introduces the reader to fake texts of every imaginable kind – ancient and modern, lurid and lively, stunningly skillful, and sublimely stupid – as well as the scholar detectives who exposed them.’ – Anthony Grafton, Princeton University

Arthur Freeman is the author of many bio-bibliographical studies in the English Renaissance and later, including Thomas Kyd: Facts and Problems (1966) and Elizabeth’s Misfits (1978), as well as Bibliotheca Fictiva (2014) and three supplementary ‘footnotes’ on Catullus, Robert Ware, and the legendary Julia Alpinula (2015–2021), various editions and facsimile reprint series, a pseudonymous novel, and ten books of verse. With his wife Janet Ing Freeman he has also published Anatomy of an Auction (1990), John Payne Collier: Scholarship and Forgery in the Nineteenth Century (2004), and Courtship, Slander, and Treason: Studies of Mary Queen of Scots, the Fourth Duke of Norfolk, and a Few of their Contemporaries, 1568–87 (2019).

ISBN 978-0-9955192-5-1

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