Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Tale of Laura and the Barbarian Princess

If any of you are familiar with Florence Virginia King, you are aware that she is an American novelist, essayist and columnist from Mississippi. Born in 1936, alas, she put down her pen in 2002. Almost all of her works written under her real name have been non-fiction. You may recall 1975's Southern Ladies and Gentlemen. You may also recognize her from the historical romance novel, Barbarian Princess, written under the pseudonym Laura Buchanan. Ironically, she's not the only writer of fiction with that name. Another Laura Buchanan entered the fray more recently; one who seemingly attempted to parlay her name into the bright lights of stardom, tossing good judgment to the wind. She failed miserably and turned out to be the Clifford Irving of the Casey Anthony saga. Irving, in case you don't know or remember, became famous  - infamous is more like it - for using forged handwritten letters from reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes in order to convince his publisher into accepting a counterfeit "autobiography" in the early 1970s. Hughes came out of the woodwork to prove it was nothing more than an elaborate hoax. Irving spent several years in prison, but later managed to publish some best sellers, including two aptly titled books, Final Argument and Daddy's Girl.