Spotlight on stylometric text analysis - The Avon Novels

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The Story of the Phantom

The Story of the Phantom is a series of 15 novels, published by Avon Publications in the U.S. from 1972 to 1975, based on Lee Falk's Phantom stories. When released the adaptor of issues 2 and 10 was not credited, and issue 15 was credited as Carson Bingham. Lee Falk did correct this using an "Author's note" in the books.

Adapted by issues note
Lee Falk 1, 6, 9, 12, 15 #15 is wrongly credited as Carson Bingham
Basil Copper 2, 3 #2 The adaptor is not credited
Frank S. Shawn (pen name of Ron Goulart) 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11 #10 The adaptor is not credited
Warren Shanahan 13
Carson Bingham (pen name of Bruce Cassiday) 14


The Corpus

The 15 novels, from chapter 1 to the end of the novel.

Analysis using R

Using a Bootstrap consensus tree analysis for the 100 MFW to 1,000 MFW (with an incremental step size of 50 words), it branches for the authors according to Lee Falk's correction in the Author's note.

The novels by Shanahan (13) and Bingham (14) branches close. But this is not uncommon if the corpus contains only one text by an author. To illustrate this I added some novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. First "Tarzan of the Apes" (fig. 2), and then "A Princess of Mars" (fig. 3) and next "At the Earth's Core" (fig. 4). When two or more novels by an author are in the corpus, the analysis branches according to the author.

Carson Bingham is credited as the author of some of the Flash Gordon novels of the same period. A further analysis should also include these.