In a pivotal moment in Mabel Wotton's short story, “The Fifth Edition” (1896), Janet Suttaby, a struggling writer unable to find a publisher for her novel, offers the rising literary star, Franklyn Leyden, her manuscript, telling him, “If you really think there is any good in it . . . it must either go back to the drawer until I have time to polish it, or . . . you must take it” (179). Miss Suttaby offers almost no explanation for her act, nor does she outline what she expects Leyden to do with the manuscript, so when Leyden accepts, re-writes, and then publishes it under his own name, he hasn't done anything that she has explicitly forbidden. Nevertheless, his appropriation of her work is clearly marked in the text as ethically compromised, especially when Miss Suttaby's subsequent death from starvation underscores her desperate need for the money that the sale of a novel would have brought. At the same time, the text offers a much more nuanced critique of Leyden's actions that reaches beyond the ethics of plagiarism and into the realm of literary invention itself; as Leyden revises the manuscript, his creative act is bound up with a parasitical translation of Miss Suttaby herself into text, and he is thus implicated as a fraud on the grounds of both literal and figurative appropriation. In this way, the appropriated manuscript becomes a metaphor for the uneasy relationship between art and life, a concern that is central to fin-de-siècle literary culture. As I will argue, the emphasis in this story, and elsewhere in Wotton's fiction, on what Susan Sontag has termed in another context the “shady commerce between art and truth” (6) makes visible concerns about the connection between inspiration and invention that emerge in the aesthetic theories of Pater, Wilde, and James, as well as in debates over plagiarism and New Woman fiction.