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The Da Plagiarised Code

Author Dan Brown continues to be dogged by allegations of plagiarisation.

india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 19:03 IST

Despite having been cleared by several courts, Dan Brown, the author of the blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code, continues to be dogged by allegations that he borrowed material from other sources for the book.

Writing in an issue of Vanity Fair that hit the US newsstands on Wednesday, Seth Mnookin details the claims of Lewis Perdue, author of Daughter of God, a novel published three years before The Da Vinci Code. Perdue, whose book never approached the wild success of Brown’s novel, believes that Brown copied large portions of the plot of Daughter of God, the article says.

After Perdue hired lawyers to threaten a copyright infringement suit against Random House, the publishing company that owns Doubleday, publisher of The Da Vinci Code, Random House filed suit against Perdue in 2004 “seeking a declaratory judgment stating that no copyright infringement had taken place,” Mnookin wrote. Mr. Perdue lost that suit and an appeal earlier this year.

But Mnookin’s article suggests that Perdue might have had a valid case, if not a strong legal one. Mnookin compares the two novels, finding that the Code contained a plot, pacing and structure that were very similar to Daughter of God’s.

“In both books,” Mnookin writes, “the se cret that drives the plot is the proof of the divinity of women in early Christianity, and in both books this truth has been alternately suppressed and protected since biblical times. In both books clues hidden in artworks lead the protagonists on their frantic, dangerous searches. Both books have two story lines that unfold simultaneously, usually in alternating chapters. In both books the main story line focuses on the actionladen quest of the hero and the heroine, while the secondary story line focuses on a shadowy group within the Catholic Church that’s willing to commit murder in order to gain control of the secret.”

First Published: Jun 10, 2006 19:03 IST