Back last Spring (2019) a customer asked me why I had books by a certain author. I had always rescued books by this author since his books were astonishingly popular 100 years ago and were still highly regarded, OR SO I THOUGHT.
This customer proceeded to tell me that THIS author was .......
I asked her where she got her information and she said she had read it online.
Later that summer I saw someone's post on the Reshelving Alexandria site (which IS a great bookie site!) saying that she knew my research books had some issues and should she buy them.
I was dumbfounded. I was able to ask one of the owners of RA about this and she named two authors from my first volume of WHO SHOULD WE THEN READ? who were the culprits. One because of his own character which, one hundred years after most of the biographical information was published, was now "discovered" to be corrupt, and the other because one of the characters in her books had said something that was now considered racist.
Yikes! First of all, WSWTR was published twenty years ago. I used sources from the library. A list of the research books I used to find information about the authors I included is in the book. I found no information on either of these authors that would preclude me including them in a book of well-known and highly regarded authors. Both of these authors sold MILLIONS of books in the one hundred plus years since they wrote.
Secondly, it brings up the whole notion of what is now called CANCEL CULTURE. Are we to NOT read or discuss attitudes and words that are no longer acceptable?
And, finally, really? One hundred years later we can cast aspersions on someone's life when he/she is not around to deny it or explain it?
What perplexes me the most is that there were quite a few authors I chose not to include in my books because I did not like or agree with some of their attitudes or points of view or lifestyle choices that I discovered in the biographical information. And yet my books are now denigrated for the inclusion of two highly successful authors whose books have been republished by reputable printers for years and years and years?
So that is the author controversy