Jane Goodall delays new book ‘to correct any unintentional errors’

Renowned primatologist Jane Goodall and her publisher, Grand Central, announced Friday that they are postponing the release of her new book, “Seeds of Hope,” following revelations that it contains at least a dozen passages borrowed without attribution from various Web sites.

The author and the publisher decided on the postponement “so that we may have the necessary time to correct any unintentional errors,” Goodall said in a statement. “It is important to me that the proper sources are credited, and I will be working diligently with my team to address all areas of concern.”

No timetable was given for the book’s release. “We look forward to publishing ‘Seeds of Hope’ at a later date,” Sophie Cottrell, communications director of Hachette Book Group, said in a statement. Grand Central is an imprint of Hachette.

Goodall and the publisher combed selections from the book that were published in the March issue of Smithsonian magazine and satisfied themselves that no material in the excerpts was borrowed from other sources.

Goodall said her goal was to bring the book up to “the highest of standards” so that questions about sourcing would not distract from the work’s message about protecting the environment. She co-wrote “Seeds of Hope” with Gail Hudson, with whom she has worked on two other books .

Nona Gandelman, Goodall’s literary agent, said no plan was in place for tackling the revisions. “We’ll do what’s necessary,” she said.

Questions first surfaced in a Washington Post article published Wednesday that reported on several instances of copied material in the book. The borrowed language came from a range of Web sites, including Wikipedia and others on tea, tobacco, nature and astrology.

Steven Levingston is the nonfiction editor of The Washington Post. He is author of “Little Demon in the City of Light: A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Époque Paris” (Doubleday, 2014) and “The Kennedy Baby: The Loss that Transformed JFK” (Washington Post eBook, 2013).

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