'Jack Lynch's new book is a masterful and remorseless unraveling of the tangled web of "fakery studies". As much a review of current trends, and runaway fixations, in literary scholarship, this is a landmark contribution to eighteenth-century literary and cultural history: the intelligent scepticism of Lynch's study has important implications for all those interested in the status of literary truth, authoriality, the nature of oral transmission, and the validity of evidence.' Philip Smallwood, Birmingham City University, UK 'With admirable clarity, Lynch examines implications and aspects of fraud and credulity-from Ossian to Chatterton, Mary Toft to William Henry Ireland. He does so not so as to determine whether or not fraud occurred, but rather to historicize the questions, illuminating contemporaries' understanding of literary truth, evidence, and genre.' Allen Reddick, University of Zurich, Switzerland 'Lynch displays exceptional patience in teasing out the implications of his analysis on his textual material, and, as in the most thought-provoking works in fake studies, he takes his time over reassessing the social and cultural assumptions of a period, and indeed in repositioning the language of authenticity.' Times Literary Supplement '...a worthwhile treatment of its subject...Recommended.' Choice 'Lynch's book is of major importance because of the very specific and original angle he opts for. He rightly claims that 'this book is different', as he addresses, not the fakers themselves, but the critics who argued over the fakes... This approach results in a fascinating and convincingy argued account of some major changes in our ways of thinking about authorial authenticity, the nature of evidence, and the connection between reputation and literary values. Well-written and entirely jargon-free...' Sharp News 'Deception and Detection is engaging, consistently convincing, and ought to enliven conversations about the development of historicism. ... a memorable, erudite, and pithy study that ought to be perused by anyone interested in eighteenth-century culture or the idea of fraud.' Modern Language Review '... an impressive work of scholarship ...' Review of English Studies 'According to this author, 'Fakery matters because, at least in the eighteenth century British culture, not only the monetary worth but also the aesthetic worth of a work of art depends to a large degree on its perceived authenticity'. This interesting and thoughtful book touches the eighteenth century on one of its rawest nerves.' Notes and Queries 'Excellent... accessible and deeply impressive...' Eighteenth-Century Life
About the Author
Jack Lynch is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, The State University New Jersey, USA.