This is the true story of a brilliantly forged Emily Dickinson poem sold at Sotheby's in 1997. The author's detective work led him across America, to a prison cell in Salt Lake City, where the world's greatest literary forger, Mark Hofmann, is serving a life sentence for double-murder. Mark Hofmann is no ordinary murderer. Until he was incarcerated he was the world's greatest literary forger: a man who combined meticulous historical research with craftsmanship and forensic science. In 1997, one of his most accomplished forgeries, a poem by the much-loved 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson, turned up at a Sotheby's and was sold for USD21,000 to the library in Dickinson's home town, Amherst In this text Simon Worrall reveals the psychology of a master forger and a ruthless killer, a man whose love for books developed into an uncontrollable compulsion. Desperate to acquire some of the rarest manuscripts on the market, Hofmann resorted to ever more elaborate schemes to raise money, and spun a web of deceit which stretched right across America.
Simon Worrall was born in Wellington, England in 1951, and spent his childhood in East Africa and SIngapore. He has written for magazines and newspapers all over the world, including the Sunday Times, the Independent, the Guardian and the New Yorker. He lives in East Hampton with his wife and son.