MORRISTOWN, NJ (WCBS 880) – When the curator of the Morristown National Historic Park first found out in May that their letter supposedly written by poet Lord Byron was a fake, panic set in.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney In New Jersey

“Oh my goodness, you know. What do we do now?” said Jude Pfister.

After all, the museum had the letter for over fifty years.

But then, Pfister thought, “This might not be a bad thing, taking the approach of turning lemons into lemonade.”

The museum may now put together an exhibit on forged documents. Pfister says there were lots of fakes in Byron’s time and now he gets to talk about them.

“We don’t have the real thing, but in and of itself, there’s just as much of a story,” he says.

Pfister says it’ll be an educational tool for visitors and students.

The letter is believed to have been written 50 years after Byron’s death in 1824. The author of the letter remains unknown.

The document’s authenticity came into question after Drew University planned to use the letter in a Byron exhibit. It was passed along to an expert at the New York Public Library who discovered problems with the salutation, signature and content.

Do you think forgeries are as interesting as the real thing? Let us know below…


Leave a Reply