MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

I have published many books, and I am proud of most of them. There is little truly special about this; countless people have written more and better books than I. Yet, I think I outdo them all!

Let me explain.

I was looking on the Amazon site recently and, to my great surprise, there it was:

The book that I never wrote

Yes, I kid you not: a book published in my name that was never written by me. The publication details provided on the Amazon site were unremarkable:

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Wentworth Press (25 July 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ German
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 78 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0270059261
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0270059267
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.6 x 0.41 x 23.39 cm
  • Best Sellers Rank: 715,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • 9,695 in Encyclopaedias (Books)

The narrative description foremost told me one thing: I am not the author of this book:

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

As my name is fairly unique – I have never heard of another chap called EDZARD ERNST – this is most unusual, you must admit.

Naturally, this book fascinated me, and I decided to order a copy.

Yesterday, a hard copy of the book arrived on my doorstep. Now things became a little clearer: it is a re-edition of a German original first published in 1865. Its author is EDUARD ERNST and not Edzard Ernst. The author’s name on the book cover is thus a misprint.

What next?

Write to the publisher, of course!

I tried but had little success. It seems that two companies by the name of Wentworth Press existed, one based in Australia and one in the US. Both seem to have gone out of business some time ago – at least I could not find email addresses (if a reader happens to know more, please let me know).

So, it seems that I might be the only author of multiple books who can pride himself that, for one of them, he did not write a single line. I have been plagiarized several times but the opposite has never happened before.

7 Responses to I am the author of a book without ever writing it

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