I don´t know if anyone has suggested this before or even if these letters were written by JTR but here goes!
I have a good deal of experience with dyslexia as two of my four children are dyslectic and I know the frustration, hurt and anger this can cause when undiagnosed. One of my children had his IQ questioned (turned out to be above average) and the other was continually accused of not trying and being lazy. Both were compared unfavourably with siblings. Both have now taken their degrees on equal terms with other students so lack of intelligence was not the problem - (seldom is with dyslexia). (Although spell-check was a big help!) Could this throw light on the mental state of JTR?
Anyway, to the Dear Boss, Saucy Jacky and From Hell letters. Based on my experience and Sigrid Madison`s book "Hoppande bokstäver" (Jumping letters) there are signs of dyslexia in the "Dear Boss" letter, such as no fullstop after "fits", beginning a sentence with a small letter as in "you will", no apostrophe in "cant", "wouldnt" and "dont" while "knife´s" is correct.
In the "Saucy Jacky" postcard the handwriting is worse (poor handwriting is often a sign of dyslexia) and again there is a sentence beginning with a lower case letter "had no time", also running two sentences into one as in "thanks for keeping".
In the "From Hell" letter, the handwriting has deteriorated even more and there are clear signs of dyslexia, such as "dropping" the last letter of a word, as in "Kidne", "knif" and spelling mistakes in "easy" words, such as "nise" and "wate" (I noticed in my children that "easy" words were often misspelled, while they could correctly spell quite complicated ones.)
I think this would fit in with Thomas Mann´s analysis of the handwriting as being a product of finger movement. Carefully taught spelling and grammar seem to fall away as the letters progress.
Strangely enough the "Oppenshaw" letter, while badly written, shows none of the signs of dyslexia, while the threatening letter of 6th October does. "your-self", "dident", "it no use" for example.
Anyway, I will throw in my "theory" and hope not to be chewed to bits!
It might be interesting if a) all the letters were written by the same person -and I think that it is universally agreed that they weren't and b) any of them were written by 'Jack'. I think that the only question mark is over the 'from hell' letter, and I don't personally believe that even that one is genuine myself (but people will disagree with me).
No doubt the real letter writers made spelling mistakes because they had
only a few years schooling -and very likely some sought to imitate the sort of
uncouth 'ruffian' that they imagined Jack to be and were quite 'creative' !
Dunno - think you can make a case for these three as being written by the same person. Look at the long f´s, g´s and the capital B. Also if they were written by enterprising journalists I have always thought that they would have been sent to a particular newspaper. As in "read us - JTR writes to us !
Good luck with your son. Don´t know what the facilities are in France, but here in Sweden they are quite good - maybe because the Swedish king is dyslectic - and he does all right! Main thing is to let them know you are always on their side!
Its an intresting point. Myself and the little woman are dyslexic ( reading notes to each other and the shopping list is very funny at times!) but as said are they from "J" ? If one was that could be very intresting as my and Sammi's dyslexia are expressions of other disorders we have.
Last edited by PC Fitzroy-Toye : 08-10-2014 at 03:41 PM.
I think the from hell letter may have been legit, because of the kidney. The ones that were sent to the papers, I think, are fake.
If some of the fake letters were written by someone who was literate, then maybe the spelling was done deliberately. Were the writers using abbreviation? Could be another factor.
Some of the letters probably were written by people who may have been illiterate, after all the 19th century was the time when the general populace were just becoming literate.
The from hell letter has an Irish flavour about it (some have said). Could it be that someone wanted the reader to believe this?
Was it just a case of 'spell what you say' the pronunciation of words may have influenced how the letters were to be written. Not being able to read/write doesn't necessarily mean the person has dyslexia. Could just be a case of an uneducated person.
The writers might not have been good at grammar.
Handwriting: the dear boss letter looks like it was written by someone with good handwriting, maybe mistakes in that were deliberate, and as you say knife was spelt correctly.
I don't see the spelling as phonetic though. Why would a writer who knew that the word 'knife' began with a silent 'k' not know that it ended with an 'e'?
I was talking in general terms in regards to all the letters. My bad for not making that clearer.
You can use any example that I have written (apart from the one you have highlighted and the illiterate reason) and apply it to that particular letter (from hell letter). I was not talking about that one specifically when talking about pronunciation.