Clifford Irving's Hoax
Clifford Michael Irving was an only child born to Jay and Dorothy Irving of
Clifford graduated in 1947 from the
The young woman whom he dated was named Nina Wilcox and within a relatively brief period of time the two were engaged. Eventually, they were married. However, the relationship was short-lived. After approximately two years Nina and Clifford were divorced.
Clifford worked at a series of odd jobs while he began writing his first novel, which would later be titled On a Darkling Plain. In 1956 Putnam eventually published the book, yet it warranted little attention. During this time, Clifford was traveling around
Claire and Clifford were married in 1958 and shortly thereafter moved back to the
Clifford was shaken by Claires untimely death and escaped from his grief by plunging into the writing of another book. The manuscript, a Western called The Valley, was completed in 1960 and captured the attention of the prestigious McGraw-Hill in
Cliffords love life was also picking up, especially after he met a young English model named Fay Brooke. It wasnt long before the couple married and together they began their ascent up
In 1962, the couple moved with their newly born son Josh to the
One of the women whom he developed a relationship with was Baroness Nina Van Pallandt, a Danish singer who lived on the island. The relationship outlasted his marriage, which ended in divorce in 1965. However, the Baroness and Clifford would never tie the knot. Clifford would marry another in 1967, a Swiss/German artist named Edith Sommer.
Edith was unabashedly in love with her husband and was determined to make the relationship a success, unlike their previous marriages. Clifford was also convinced that he had finally met the woman of his dreams. The couple bought a farmhouse on the island and began to focus on expanding their family.
Within a year of their marriage the couple welcomed the birth of their son Nedsky, who was followed by another son one half year later named Barney. Not only was Cliffords family life a success, but his literary career was also taking off. He published several more novels, one of which was called Fake! about a master art forger named De Hory who was a neighbor of the
The happy couple began to experience problems after Clifford revived his relationship with his ex-mistress Baroness Nina Van Pallandt. Edith was very jealous of Nina and Cliffords liaison and convinced the two to end the love affair. She threatened Clifford with divorce if he did not. He finally agreed but time would prove him incapable of keeping his promise. However, by the beginning of 1971, Edith and Clifford had more important things to focus their energy on apart from extramarital affairs. They were busy devising a hoax that they hoped would lead to fame for Clifford and riches for the entire family.