Tag Archives: Paul Simpson

Eating my words

When I Google something, I occasionally come across links to myself. It’s not always immediately obvious, because it can be a quote someone else has used from Bookwitch, so won’t be a link to this blog. But it’s amazing how quickly you recognise your own words, even if it’s been a while.

I didn’t write The Elements of His Dark Materials, nor did I write the revised version called  Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials: The Definitive Guide. Laurie Frost did. That will be why I didn’t recognise the wordings in The Rough Guide to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Laurie Frost did. She wrote many of them, before they turned up in the Rough Guide, either a little ‘revised’ by Paul Simpson, or not altered at all.

So my cheeks burn as I think back to the praise I gave  the Rough Guide here last winter. I take it back. It could be that the reason it was so good, in my eyes, was that Laurie had written an excellent book about HDM. It’s still good as the Rough Guide, if they were to acknowledge that much of it originated with Laurie. Some things that didn’t, have turned out to be factual inaccuracies. Like Laurie, I had always wondered how people writing several guides on varying subjects could be good at many things. Seems they can’t.

Whereas you can fail your exams at whatever academic level you are, if you copy someone else’s work, ‘luckily’ for Paul Simpson it doesn’t matter at all. Nobody is embarrassed or apologetic or losing out. So Laurie is blogging about it, which is a good method, because she can prove page by page, if necessary, how the two books overlap.

Considering the amount of work Laurie put into her guide, it would be nice if the Rough Guide compensated her with an acknowledgement, and with a share of the money. I wish Laurie success both with her new blog, and with bringing this out into the open in the blog. It needs to be mentioned somewhere.