this post, I wrote about the issue of plagiarism versus coincidence.
Today, I came across another example:
Did Ursula Hourihane die in penury whilst Wilbert Awdry recklessly blew his earnings on model railway accessories?
Sadly, Miss Hourihane's book is undated, but after a little detective work it looks as if the illustrator, Rene Cloak, may have been inspired by a certain children's book about steam engines with faces, that was published a few years earlier.
The similarities with Thomas can't be a coincidence, can they?
On the other hand, it would also be fun to portray the elderly Miss Irene Mabel Cloke as a shameless plagiarist, who lived in fear of being exposed as the Railway books became increasingly popular.
Sadly, the truth is probably a lot duller.