Finally, the truth of my relationship with the Princess Lamballe.
Well, right off the bat, I must admit we can’t have known each other terribly well. She was a contemporary of Marie Antoinette. She died in 1792. But I must be quite the expert on her life and death. Because, according to just about every online bookseller on the planet (unless I’ve corrected the listing and it hasn’t yet reverted) I edited her secret memoirs. Says so right there on the Amazon page. Edited by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
Now, if you look at the cover, it tells a slightly different story. It says it was edited by Catherine Hyde. I guess I should be flattered. My name is familiar enough that someone made the substitution without even realizing the little trick their brain played on them.
I would like to take a moment to point out that the original copyright on this book is dated 1901. 1901. That means I would be 110 years old. If I had edited that memoir in the year I was born. Granted, I’m pretty old. And I was a precocious child. But neither is quite such an extreme situation.
I’ve spent a lot of time making corrections. Filling out online forms for booksellers all over the world. Trouble is, they’re not making it up on their own. They’re getting it from some centralized listing, and apparently I don’t understand book distribution well enough to find my way to the roots. I definitely had it fixed on Amazon. But then yesterday I was searching through a list of my books on Amazon, and there was The Princess. In all her glory. Edited by yours truly.
I’m going to stop fighting this. I’m going to embrace it. I’ve had a more interesting life than you realized. I hold my age better than you thought possible. I am apparently an expert on the life of the Princess Lamballe. (It says here. And There. And there.) And that may as well be a source of pride.
I just hope none of my readers see those listings and think, “Ah! Catherine has a new one! Something I don’t have!” No, fortunately I have books newer than 1901.
Go ahead, ask me about The Princess. Ask me anything. Apparently, I wrote the book on that.
Sent this email this morning. We'll see how it goes. I'll keep you posted.
To whom it may concern at University of the Pacific Press,
My name is Catherine Ryan Hyde, and I am indeed an author. So I guess I can see how the mixup got started. But I wasn't even born until 1955. And I did not edit the memoirs of the Princess Lamballe. I've corrected the error at every level I can, but the error exists somewhere I'm not reaching, and it replicates. Undoubtedly you know where the original error is located. Maybe you can do better than I've done? You couldn't do much worse.
My blog post this morning should provide all the background you need:
Catherine Ryan Hyde