Jane Austen couldn't get a second look by today's publishing experts!!!
I don't quite know whether to be amused or disgusted... or possibly discouraged. I ran across this article detailing how David Lassman, the head of some sort of Jane Austen society, sent sample chapters of her manuscripts to eighteen different publishers and agents. You can read the article for yourself, but they were all rejections, with only ONE of the eighteen queries spotting the plagiarism!!!
First, maybe we can give the benefit of the doubt that some of these professionals spotted the work for what it is, but didn't want to take the time to deal with a nitwit who would try to pass off Austen as their own, so just sent the standard rejection and were done with it... but, what about the number, and their must have been a few to not have to respond, that didn't recognize the work? What does that say about publishing today?
Then, it makes for a sensational story, but we writers know how important the query is to get the pages even glanced at - who's to say Mr. Lassman wrote a passable query? So there are other factors involved... but, maybe what the the experts are really saying here is that the classics are no longer saleable... brilliance is over rated.
I don't know. What do you guys make of it? On the surface it almost makes the road to publication seem like a crap shoot...