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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Letters and Communications > From Hell (Lusk) Letter

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  #21  
Old 04-05-2008, 06:57 PM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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20 years ago, didn't we have a graphologist who claimed that Cream (or his double) wrote "Dear Boss"? Where'd that go? Didn't that last about a month?
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  #22  
Old 04-05-2008, 08:46 PM
Doctor X Doctor X is offline
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It was thrown for a loop.


BWA!HA!HA!HA!HAHAHaha . . . ha . . . heh?

*Storms off decrying the lack of appreciation of fine wit*

Yours truly,

--J.D.
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  #23  
Old 04-05-2008, 09:03 PM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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Correction, I think it was more like 30 years ago.
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  #24  
Old 04-05-2008, 10:14 PM
JSchmidt JSchmidt is offline
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Graphology is indeed a reeking pile of manure.
It ranks next to phrenology regarding the quality of the analysis.
What bothers me most is that it's actually by some big corporations to check the psyche of potential employees.
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  #25  
Old 04-06-2008, 12:38 AM
Dan Norder Dan Norder is offline
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Well, if corporations are using graphology to try to test employee psychology, at least they end up with ones with pleasant handwriting. Most of the aspects in graphology that point to a supposed bad character are really just poor penmanship... well, assuming the practitioner uses any semi-consistent rules at all. In cases such as the one the thread was created to discuss, it's clearly an example of someone who already picks an answer they think sounds most reasonable and then picks through to try to find anything to justify that conclusion.
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  #26  
Old 04-06-2008, 12:40 AM
Celesta Celesta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdreid View Post
Correction, I think it was more like 30 years ago.


Hi Stan,

So, I wasn't wrong about that. I thought I had seen at least one thread on here about Tumblety's writing being compared to some of the letters.

Hi JSchmidt, That part about corporations using it to pigeon hole people is too believable. Those people are out of control and jerking everybody around.
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  #27  
Old 04-06-2008, 01:05 AM
Christine Christine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celesta View Post
Hi Christine, People of that era did have fine handwriting, didn't they? On top of which they knew how to use words exquisitely, almost a discarded art now. Gee, I guess you could say they knew how to write.

Sorry. Dumb joke.

Do you have to be artistically talented to do calligraphy? I used to draw and paint, but never calligraphy.
You don't have to have much talent to learn calligraphy. Some of the calligraphic scripts are easier to learn than the cursive I was taught in grade school, which is actually a watered-down version of the decorative scripts that the Victorians liked.

If you just want to write letters and such in a nice hand, you can learn that in a few classes. The hardest part is getting all your strokes to line up neatly. The Lusk letter is typical of someone who has learned a fancy hand but hasn't been able to practice it for hours on end, or maybe just lacks the coordination to write neatly. Like so many other things, it was a sign of class in Victorian times to be able to practice a fancy script for hours and hours.

Of course if you want to get into fun stuff like signs and wedding invitations, you need some artistic talents for your compositions.
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  #28  
Old 04-06-2008, 06:54 PM
Celesta Celesta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine View Post
You don't have to have much talent to learn calligraphy. Some of the calligraphic scripts are easier to learn than the cursive I was taught in grade school, which is actually a watered-down version of the decorative scripts that the Victorians liked.

If you just want to write letters and such in a nice hand, you can learn that in a few classes. The hardest part is getting all your strokes to line up neatly. The Lusk letter is typical of someone who has learned a fancy hand but hasn't been able to practice it for hours on end, or maybe just lacks the coordination to write neatly. Like so many other things, it was a sign of class in Victorian times to be able to practice a fancy script for hours and hours.

Of course if you want to get into fun stuff like signs and wedding invitations, you need some artistic talents for your compositions.


HI Christine,

Some months ago, I commented that the writing in the From Hell letter looked as though the writer had some, for lack of a better term, artistic-ness to it. Perhaps what you describe is what I was seeing. As someone who once studied art, I had to copy Old Masters' drawing, and I quickly learned that the simplest appearing pieces were actually the most difficult to copy. Looking at the From Hell letter, I imagined that it would be difficult to copy by hand, and didn't buy into the argument that the letter was written by someone who had little schooling. Those loopy de loops are too artsy-looking, to me.

Can I learn this from a book?
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  #29  
Old 04-06-2008, 08:27 PM
Christine Christine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celesta View Post
HI Christine,

Some months ago, I commented that the writing in the From Hell letter looked as though the writer had some, for lack of a better term, artistic-ness to it. Perhaps what you describe is what I was seeing. As someone who once studied art, I had to copy Old Masters' drawing, and I quickly learned that the simplest appearing pieces were actually the most difficult to copy. Looking at the From Hell letter, I imagined that it would be difficult to copy by hand, and didn't buy into the argument that the letter was written by someone who had little schooling. Those loopy de loops are too artsy-looking, to me.

Can I learn this from a book?
You can definitely learn this sort of writing from a book. Here's an excellent resource:

http://www.iampeth.com/lessons.htm

They also have many reproductions from Victorian-era penmanship manuals. The modern penmanship manual wasn't really invented until Victorian times. You'll find a whole bunch of reproductions of manuals of what's called "Spencerian Script." (The best known example of Spencerian is "Coca-Cola" on the soda can.) This script really took off because of the superior manuals you could buy for it.

The author of the Lusk letter would have learned penmanship before Spencer came out with his manuals. Look at the entries for Copperplate/Engrossers script to see examples typical of what this person learned. If you actually want to learn it, you'd probably be better off with a modern manual, but these will give you an idea of what was out there. There are also classes. Most people don't start with Copperplate, as it's not the easiest way to write.

It actually doesn't take that long to learn the letterforms and pen use. What's hard is making all your lines fall at the right angle and making everything the right thickness. Upper class Victorian children practiced this for hours and hours. Spencer recommended drawing 1000 circles a day.

So while the author learned an attractive script, that was typical of Victorian times. He does seem to have a sort of flair in his writing, but the lack of neatness would have been looked down upon.

As to what the background would be of a person who would learn a decorative script, but still write in a messy hand, I really have no idea.
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  #30  
Old 04-06-2008, 08:59 PM
Cap'n Jack Cap'n Jack is offline
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Christine
I'd put my money on a drunken middle class clerk who was high on mercury poisoning.
He should have used Tumblety's pimple banisher.
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