Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958

By Laurence G. Avery; Maxwell Anderson | Go to book overview

published, and could easily have come to Hackett's attention. It seems very likely that he took this essential act from "Mary of Scotland," though the plagiarism must have been unconscious, for the similarity would be too obvious to pass the most casual inspection. It appears to me that, in his own confession, Mr. Hackett has lifted a pivotal, original and effective scene from my early work. He points to his last act as his best. And this theft may be the reason for its excellence. 13

1.
Wharton was defending Anderson in a plagiarism suit brought by Francis Hackett on May 17, 1949. Hackett, associated with Anderson on the World in the early twenties, claimed that Anderson's current play Anne of the Thousand Days plagiarized three of his own works: a biography, Henry the Eighth ( 1929); a novel, Queen Anne Boleyn ( 1939); and a play, Anne Boleyn, completed in 1942 but not produced or published.
2.
Broadway actor and director. H. C. Potter replaced Windust as director of Anne of the Thousand Days before the play came to New York.
3.
Three of the collaborations were with Laurence Stallings: What Price Glory ( 1924), First Flight ( 1925), and The Buccaneer ( 1925). The fourth was with Harold Hickerson on Gods of the Lightning ( 1928).
4.
Beggars of Life ( 1924).
5.
Martin Andrew Sharp Hume ( 1847-1910), The Wives of Henry the Eighth, and the Parts they Played in History (n.d.)
6.
The three biographies noted in the 1946 diary are: Frederick S. Boas, Christopher Marlowe: A Biographical and Critical Study ( 1940); Leslie Hotson, The Death of Christopher Marlowe ( 1925) (the book reread); and Charles Norman, The Muses' Darling ( 1946).
7.
The Pictorial History of England was also published in America ( 4 vols., 1846). In the American edition vol. 2, book 6, covers the period of Marlowe's life.
8.
From April 23 until August 9, 1947, Anderson was in California at work on the script of Joan of Arc.
9.
Bullen is given as an alternate spelling for Boleyn in the Knight (that is, the Craik and MacFarlane) Pictorial History of England.
10.
Margaret E. Irwin, Young Bess ( 1945).
11.
Milton Waldman, Elizabeth and Leicester ( 1945).
12.
Love Life, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Weill, produced October 8, 1948.
13.
The countersuit suggested here was brought by Anderson against Hackett on May 20, 1949, though for libel rather than plagiarism.

-238-

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