(1883 – 1963 ... or possibly 1959 – 1963)
Dorcas Bagby was the imaginary author of The Moswell Plan (1905), a classic of fictional fiction.
Sometime around 1958 or ’59, in his fanzine Vinegar Worm 4, Bob Leman raved about the “forgotten” writer Bagby, touting her book as "the greatest novel of the supernatural ever written." He also published two issues of the Bulletin of the Dorcas Bagby Society in the early 1960s.
Various other fans either fell for it or took up the cause. Cry of the Nameless 125 (March 1959) published a “counter-review” of The Moswell Plan by “Ella G. Grey” (F. M. Busby). Two issues later, a loc from “Dorcas Bagby Whittier” (Ellis Mills) claimed her grandmother had never written such a book. To which, of course, the response was that she was a different Dorcas Bagby.
Debate about the existence of Bagby and the quality of her prose ensued. The Cry lettercol was fraught with Bagbyism. The fad continued in FAPA and other fanzines.
In 1961, George Scithers carried on with the Bulletin of the Dorcas Bagby Society, Terminus, Owlswick, & Ft. Mudge Electrick Railway Timetable (also referencing another infamous hoax, the Steam mock feud).
And in Horizons 95 (August 1963), Harry Warner, Jr., complained:
The date of Dorcas Bagby’s reputed death is so close to April 1 that I suspect a hoax in the worst of taste. If fans are going to try to invent hoaxes, they should do something more imaginative than to spread a false rumor of the death of a person who cannot very well speak up and throw the lie back into their teeth.
However, Warner attended the meeting of the Dorcas Bagby Society at Discon.
|This is a fanhistory page. Please add more detail.|
|This is a biography page. Please extend it by adding more information about the person, such as fanzines and apazines published, awards, clubs, conventions worked on, GoHships, impact on fandom, external links, anecdotes, etc. See Standards for People and The Naming of Names.|