Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ellen White's plagiarism of Henry melvill

I saw the recent article on Adventist Today entitled: Ellen G. White and Her English Composition Skills: A Brief Summary . Some of the comments address peoples misunderstanding of her plagiarism. A number of years ago the Ellen G. White Estate put out a book entitled: Henry Melvill and Ellen G. White: A Study in Literary and Theological Relationships.

I have uploaded this book as a PDF since it is a dramatic example of just how much she did plagiarize. It may in fact be her most dramatic and intensely plagiarized work but it is something that should be far more widely known than it is.

Click here to download the PDF. If it does not appear please email or post a comment that it is not available and I will renew the link.

Just as an added bonus I looked up an example of Ellen White's actual writing. When you see it you can understand why she needed a lot of literary assistants. It is amazing to me that they were able to decipher it. I have seen a photo copy of one of her representative pages I think it was from one of  Ron Graybill's articles, after the page of her handwriting he has a typed page of what it said, I would not have been able to read more then a few words. This is a page from her diary.



Kevin Morgan said...

Ron, as much as you have written on the subject of plagiarism, I would think that you would be more careful in spelling it correctly. By the way, did you read Graybill's statement in the White Melvill paper? It bears contemplation:

. . . to notice similarities is only the first step in the study of literary relationships. One must also catalogue the differences, and then, even more importantly, ask what use the second author made of the first author’s work. . . . (Graybill, “Henry Melvill and Ellen G. White: A Study in Literary and Theological Relationships” [May 1982], p. iii)

Ron Corson said...

Just how much have I written on the subject of plagiarism. I can't think of very much at all. Maybe you can point me to where I wrote a good bit on it...but I doubt it. I fixed the spelling error, it might help others who want to ignore the issues and pick on minutia.

By the way literary relationships is not the same as plagiarism.

Kevin Morgan said...

You have debated the subject with David Conklin at length. He has sent me links. Thanks for correcting "plagiarism" in your title. "Plagerism" is still listed as a link. I suppose that might be helpful to those who don't know how to spell it and are searching for material on the subject. The matter was a small one.

The substance of my post to you was in the second paragraph regarding the more important study of literary parallels. The more important study is to ask the questions: How is it used? And what does that mean?

By the way, I am annotating the full text of Henry Melvill's Sermons with an introduction. There is no question but that Ellen White used verbiage from Henry Melvill in her own original compositions. To that established fact I would add the open-ended question, "And ...?"