Fake Maupassants

In an appendix to Francis Steegmuller’s biography, titled Maupassant (1950, Collins) (aka Maupassant: A Lion in the Path) the author notes that some sixty-five stories that have been attributed to Maupassant are indeed ‘fake Maupassants’. The source of these fakes go back to a 1903 seventeen volume collection of the complete works of Maupassant that was published by M. Walter Dunne. The translations were by anonymous translators and according to Steegmuller ‘for the most part of appalling crudity’. Subsequent editions gave the publisher’s name as ‘The St. Dunstan Society’ or similar. Steegmuller notes that none of the identified fakes have ever appeared in any French edition of Maupassant’s works and for some of the stories an original author has been identified. These stories have appeared in subsequent collections and may be encountered when reading older collections of Maupassant’s stories. It looks like the collection of stories on Project Gutenberg under the heading The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volumes 1-8 contain at least some of these fake stories.

To help the reader identify which ones are genuine and which are fake I have listed Steegmuller’s original list. The list contains the English and purported French title as listed in the Dunne collection as well as a Steegmuller’s original notes:

1. Babette (Babette)
2. Mamma Stirling (Maman Stirling) (By René Maizeroy)
3. Lilie Lala (Lilie Lala) (By René Maizeroy)
4. The Bandmaster’s Sister (Lucie)
5. The Mountebanks (Les Jongleurs)
6. Ugly (Difforme)
7. The Debt (Fanny)
8. The Artist (L’ Artiste)
9. False Alarm (L’Epouvante)
10. The Venus of Braniza (La Vénus de Braniza)
11. La Morillonne (La Morillone)
12. The Sequel to a Divorce (Rencontre) (Not Maupassant’s story entitled RencontreThe Meeting)
13. The Clown (Le Scapin)
14. Mademoiselle (Mademoiselle)
15. The Man with the Dogs (L’Homme aux Chiens)
16. In Various Roles (Wanda)
17. Countess Satan (Comtesse Satan)
18. A Useful House (Finesse)
19. The Viaticum (Viaticum)
20. The Hermaphrodite (L’Hermaphrodite) (By René Maizeroy)
21. Violated (Violé)
22. Ghosts (Le Noyé) (Not Maupassant’s story entitled Le NoyéThe Drowned Man)
23. The New Sensation (Parisine)
24. Virtue (Chasteté)
25. The Thief (Le Voleur) (This story, about a girl’s lover discovered in her house at night by her parents, was written by René Maizeroy. It is not Maupassant’s Le Voleur, which concerns a group of painters and a thief discovered in a studio)
26. In Flagrante Delictu (In Flagrante Delictu)
27. On Perfumes (Les Parfums)
28. In His Sweetheart’s Livery (Irma)
29. The Confession (Confession) (Not one of Maupassant’s stories entitled La Confession)
30. An Unfortunate Likeness (Similitude)
31. A Night in Whitechapel (Une Nuit) (Not Maupassant’s story entitled La Nuit—Cauchemar, Night : A Nightmare)
32. Lost (Craque)
33. The Relics (Vieux Objets) (Not Maupassant’s story entitled Vieux ObjetsOld Objects ; nor his La RéliqueThe Relic)
34. A Rupture (Lalie Spring) (No relation to a story by René Maizeroy entitled Lalie Spring and included in Maizeroy’s collected volume bearing the same title)
35. Margot’s Tapers (Noces de Margot)
36. The Accent (L’Accent)
37. Profitable Business (Charité)
38. The Last Step (Une Ruse) (Not Maupassant’s story entitled Une Ruse A Ruse)
39. A Misalliance (Mésalliance)
40. An Honest Ideal (Désabusée)
41. Delila (Delila)
42. The Ill-Omened Groom (Zoë)
43. The Odalisque of Senichou (L’ Odalisque de Senichou)
44. The Real One and the Other (Mlle. Dardenne)
45. The Carter’s Wench (Glaizette)
46. The Carnival of Love (Carnival d’ Amour)
47. The Man with the Blue Eyes (L’Homme aux Yeux Bleus)
48. A Good Match (Angélique)
49. The Old Maid (Marie des Anges)
50. The Marquis (Le Marquis)
51. A Deer Park in the Provinces (En Campagne)
52. An Adventure (Une Aventure)
53. The Jennet (La Genêt)
54. Under the Yoke (Wanda Pulska)
55. A Fashionable Woman (Goldskind)
56. The Upstart (Le Parvenu)
57. Happiness (Le Bonheur) (Not Maupassant’s story entitled Le Bonheur)
58. The White Lady (La Dame Blanche)
59. Wife and Mistress (Imprudence) (Not Maupassant’s story entitled Imprudence)
60. Sympathy (Compassion)
61. Julot’s Opinion (Julot)
62. The Lancer’s Wife (La Revanche) (Not Maupassant’s story entitled La RevancheRevenge)
63. Caught (Valeska)
64. Jeroboam (Jeroboam)
65. Virtue in the Ballet (Henriette)