I am sure that I must be missing something here, and I'm prepared for the bullets to start flying in my direction, but I'm still uncertain what the "Battlecrease Evidence" actually is.
As I understand it, the "evidence" is that the diary was discovered hidden under the floorboards by two electricians re-wiring the house. The two electricians concerned have categorically refuted any suggestion that they found anything under the floorboards.
If they had admitted to finding it, then that would open up a raft of questions eg did they read / look at the material? Did they recognise it was an old document and potentially valuable? And perhaps most importantly, what motivated them to hand it over to an alcoholic in the local boozer?
But they haven't.
Maybe the book provides an explanation of why the electricians denied finding the diary. I can think of no motivation for the denial if they did find it.
So the new evidence is something that has been known for years? That some electricians supposedly found it under the floorboards in Battlecrease. Well worth the book-price, imo, for info that I knew in the early 90's.
But capable of dreaming up and completing a diary that was shown in London on 13 April 1992, which had come out of the 'right' house on 9 March? That would have been truly amazing.
But even Mike had to obey the laws of physics, Abby.
Or are people verging on paranormal explanations now - anything just to keep Mike in the frame?
True, but unless there's some concrete evidence that the diary did indeed come out of the house on the 9th, then that's all a load of conjecture and speculation. I'm assuming the book clears all of this up without doubt?
I am. Well, Robert Smith is to be exact. Christie's archive is in Wyoming, and according to the new book it hadn't been accessed prior to Keith Skinner's visit there in June 1993. To quote Robert Smith;
Neither "Sir Jim" nor "Sir James" appear anywhere in Etched in Arsenic, nor any other publication or record.
And yet the author of the Diary uses "Sir Jim" no less than thirty-three times. Strange, huh?
His first use of "Sir Jim" happens well into the diary (pp 24-25 of the facsimile), when the diarist is fantasising about getting a knighthood. It's likely that the writer coined the nickname "Sir Jim" there and then, rather than using a nickname that Maybrick might have used.
Before I am finished all of England will know the name I have given myself. It is indeed a name to remember. It shall be, before long, on every persons lips within the land. Perhaps her gracious Majesty will become acquainted with it. I wonder if she will honour me with a knighthood.
Abberline says, he was never amazed,
I did my work with such honour.
For his decree
he had to agree,
I deserve at least an honour so all for a whim,
I can now rise Sir Jim
By p55, he's changed his nickname to "Sir Jack" for no apparent reason - for all the rhyming scheme is worth, he could have left it at "Sir Jim" and it wouldn't have made a ha'porth of difference.
The queen of them all.
When it comes to Sir Jack,
She knows nothing at all.
Who knows, perhaps one day
I will give her a call
...There follow various riffs on the "Sir Jack" idea, repetitiously and with crossings-out, for three pages. Indeed, "Sir Jack" has the last word (p57), as neither it nor "Sir Jim" seem to appear in the diary ever again. It would be reasonable to conclude from all this that "Sir Jim" had no personal significance to the writer, but was instead a convenient bit of whimsy inspired by his imagining Maybrick's musing about a knighthood, to which purpose "Sir Jack" served him equally well.
A quick question to all those who believe that the diary was written by James Maybrick, and that he is in fact Jack the Ripper.
Can you honestly hold those opinions if you look at all the questions relating to the diary and at the same time embrace the principle of Occam's Razor?
I think when you have people who say stuff like "those coincidences can be explained away," and "I'm using facts to come up with a plausible explanation," that kind of tells you how little Occam's Razor has come into play.
It may be of interest to quote from "The Inside Story", Page 251, hardback, in which Paul Dodd, the-then owner of Battlecrease, expresses his doubts about the Diary having a Battlecrease provenance. He also says that the floorboards had been lifted a number of times since 1946 (when his father bought the house) and nothing was found. To this he adds that very few floorboards were lifted at the time work was being carried out by electricians in March 1992. He also says, somewhat mysteriously, that he had heard, but didn't identify his source, that the Diary was not found at Battlecrease at that time.
Obviously, this doesn't rule out a possibility that the Diary could never have been found at Battlecrease; but likewise it reduces I think the possibility that it was.
PS: before anyone says I ought to read Smith's book before speculating any further, I was just too late when I tried to place an order.
Interesting stuff, Graham. I suspect it'll fall on blind eyes and deaf ears, though.
Besides, an insane, megalomaniacal character dubbing himself "Sir" or "Lord" is hardly difficult to imagine. Neither is a sickly two-year old child.
Your comment about the change from Jim to Jack made me think of an intentional shift between personalities, the likes of which we see in fiction all the time to depict a change in the dominant side of the character. We see that in Psycho, in which Bates flits between himself and his mother, and ultimately becomes his mother, the more dominant of the two.