Wikipedia:List of hoaxes on Wikipedia/La Croix du Sanguine Rouge

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The Cross of Red Blood
AuthorJacques Dupont
Original titleLa Croix du Sanguine Rouge
CountryFrance
LanguageFrench, English
SubjectWorld War II
GenreHistorical Fiction, Drama

La Croix du Sanguine Rouge (English: The Cross of Red Blood) is a novel written in 1956 by French author Jacques Dupont.

Summary

It's about a young French girl named Anne, in Germany during the start of World War II. She is courted by a young man in the Nazi Youth, named Daniel, opposed to the actions of Germany. As the war intensifies, she becomes unable to leave the country, and is presumed by her family to be dead. Near the end of the war, the couple is able to flee to France, Anne under the guise of a German nurse. Upon arrival, she is shocked to find that her father and older brother were killed, and her mother and younger brother are missing in the French countryside. She never finds them again.

The story ends with the marriage of Anne and Daniel, and the book is found to be a narrative by Anne to her children, after Daniel's death.

Impact

Sales of the first edition in France were poor, with less than 1000 copies being sold nation-wide. Dupont had the book translated into English for sale in the American market. When asked why he would take the risk, he said:

The Americans have always been a compassionate people. They cared about our troubles and attempted to mend them.
I offer them a story in return. It is all I can offer.

The American sales were only slightly higher than those in France, and the book became forgotten until 1998, when Dupont died of cancer. His death brought new-found interest in the book, thanks to his better selling novel "Marie". Sales temporarily gained some momentum, but soon bigger bookstores ceased to stock it, and by 2003, it was labelled "A Rare Find".

His daughter and only living child, Sophie Gereau, donated all the royalties, now in her name, to charity and moved to Canada with her child Marie.

References