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  #11  
Old 12-31-2016, 10:48 AM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Instructive to occasionally read outside the website - especially when annoyed by claims of great discoveries that never get anywhere.

Recently I took advantage of one of the other threads to discuss a curious situation concerning Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, and possibly Melville MacNaughten. Served me right that it was basically ignored - it just touched on some other matters on the thread, but I was holding back for some time on the subjects.

One of my failings (an admitted one) is an interest in Victorian literature and it's connections to actual events of the day - something that happens in all literature when you think about it. When I wrote that piece in the book "Who Was Jack the Ripper" about the GSG and a possible link to Conan Doyle's use of a similar clue in the 1887 novella "A Study in Scarlet" I was showing my hand a bit on this. The explosion I mentioned in the last paragraph was of a similar nature (as Conan Doyle was involved) but it was part of a grander plan to discuss Conan Doyle and true crime influences in his works.

Well, today I am not talking about ACD. Instead I am going to talk about his contemporary, RLS - Robert Louis Stevenson. For years it has been a kind of side footnote to the Whitechapel Murders that Stevenson's great novella, "Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde" happens to have a relationship (of sorts) with the killings. This is because, in 1887, a dramatization of that story was made that soon was packing the West End theatres in London, starring the great actor Richard Mansfield. With it's tale of a killer who is a respectable doctor to most people, and who prowls the slums for fun, it was soon afterwards associated with the Whitechapel Case of the next year, and Mansfield (whose performance must have been staged remarkably) suspected by some of being the actual killer. In fact, in the 1988 television film with Michael Caine, Armont Assante is Mansfield, and is regarding with some suspicion.

I was looking up "Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde" today on "Wikipedia", and was surprised to find that the source of the story is more complex than I always thought. It seems I had been brought up hearing that Stevenson was deeply impressed by the career of the 18th Century Town Counselman (or Edinburgh) and master carpenter, Deacon William Brodie, who was also a highly successful burglar at night, because his job as a carpenter enabled him to case the homes of many of his well-to-do neighbors, and discover how to avoid their burglar traps. Brodie was usually considered the model for Dr. Jeckyll, and (aside from Brodie never killing anybody - like Hyde kills Sir Danvers Carew in the story) that seemed to be the basis for the background. Still Brodie's story fascinated Stevenson, and in 1882 he and W.E. Henley collaborated on a play called "Deacon Brodie".

The only attempt I ever found of another possible source for Jeckyll's turning into Hyde was the career (in the 1870s) of the notorious burglar and murderer Charles Peace, who in the daytime hours lived as a retired merchant named Mr. Thompson in Peckham. The latter idea was voiced by Richard Altick in his book "Victorian Studies in Scarlet".

I could see that Peace's career would somehow gell nicely with Brodie (they are both successful burglars, after all) with Stevenson. But while Brodie was a craftsman who served in a public office, and turned to crime for fun and to pay gambling debts, Peace pretended to be a gentleman, but was actually a career criminal from the start. Still when a writer wishes he/she picks and chooses what elements he finds similar in his sources to create his/her fiction.

So the Wikipedia surprised me a bit. The psychic researcher, Frederick W. H. Myers, wrote to Stevenson after he had read the published story. Myers was aware of a recently discussed case of one Louis Vivet, a man with one of the earliest discussed cases of multiple personality disorder. He asked if the Vivet case had influenced the writing of "Dr. Jeckyll" Stevenson politely said it did not.

The circumstances for the writing of the story were somewhat melodramatic. While ill from a bad hemorrhage he had suffered, Stevenson had a nightmare that his wife Fanny Osborne interrupted. Stevenson claimed the nightmare was giving him the plot of a story. Later he would write down his dream, and read it to Fanny, but she said it was an allegory. He supposedly (there is some question of this) destroyed the original version and rewrote it as we now have it.

The Wikipedia information also led to a feature I never knew of before. In the 1870s Stevenson, when visiting his former French teacher Victor Richon, had met a well-regarded French teacher (and author on the subject of French grammar) named Eugene Marie Chantrelle. Apparently they got to know each other a bit. Chantrelle would eventually be tried and convicted (in 1878) for the murder of his wife Mary Cullen Dyer Chantrelle, with opium poisoning, that he tried to disguise as death by misadventure with an open gas tap in her room. Chantrelle's trial was attended by Stevenson, who would learn from the Proscurator Fiscal that Chantrelle was suspected of several similar murders in France and England. The trial is of interest too because the government used as a forensic witness Dr. Joseph Bell, teacher of Arthur Conan Doyle and model for Sherlock Holmes. Chantrelle was convicted, and was executed on May 31, 1878.

The connection of Stevenson and Chantrelle is in a biography about Stevenson by Jeremy Hodge. It gives another potential source for the model of Jeckyll/Hyde that was even closer to Stevenson than his knowledge of Deacon Brodie's career. Also Chantrelle's legal disaster is parallel in time to the rise and fall (1876 - 1879) of Peace. So one can imagine the three strands joining together at this point in time. And eventually creating the central pair of figures, representing good and evil in one human being, in the novella.

Of course, the same issue that I wondered about dealing with the GSG and the "Rache" clue in "A Study in Scarlet" holds true here as well. Did the Whitechapel killer have any awareness of Stevenson's creation(s) from the novella or the play with Mansfield, as I asked regarding Conan Doyle's published first "Sherlock Holmes" story. Certainly it is something to ponder. If we dismiss a well educated and read Ripper from our minds, considering only a lower class working man who has no interest outside of his work and lifestyle, than the issue is not important. But if the Ripper was well read, one wonders if he was building up a private reading list for ideas or inspiration. However, one thing is certain. As of now we have never linked the Ripper to the murder of any benevolent Members of Parliament like Sir Danvers Carew. Possibly our unknown killer was too sharp to go that far with any attempts at imitation.
Hi,

I have no reason to think that the killer had any strong literary interests ruling his thinking and acting. He knew of course about literature and was educated in it. But I think that he used a few literary references, and here I also include purely linguistic expressions, for the purely practical reason of getting what he wanted through his communication with a reciever of his messages.

So how many literary references (LR) / linguistic expressions (LE) might he have used in connection to the murders if you ask me?

1. Nichols: none.
2. Chapman: one LE.
3. Stride and Eddowes: one LE = the GSG.
4. Kelly: one LR, one LE.
5. Jackson and/or McKenzie: one LR.

Regards, Pierre
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2016, 10:59 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
Hi,

I have no reason to think that the killer had any strong literary interests ruling his thinking and acting. He knew of course about literature and was educated in it. But I think that he used a few literary references, and here I also include purely linguistic expressions, for the purely practical reason of getting what he wanted through his communication with a reciever of his messages.

So how many literary references (LR) / linguistic expressions (LE) might he have used in connection to the murders if you ask me?

1. Nichols: none.
2. Chapman: one LE.
3. Stride and Eddowes: one LE = the GSG.
4. Kelly: one LR, one LE.
5. Jackson and/or McKenzie: one LR.

Regards, Pierre
Hello,

Perhaps you are right, but I seem to recall last year your attempt to link the positioning of Kelly's arm (I think it was Kelly's) to a picture of Mary I of England ("Bloody Mary), and a reference (correct me, as you probably will) to Tennyson's play about Queen Mary. That suggests some kind of literary background may have been involved.

Also, although this is just a guess, your constant suggestion of coded messages left for the killer's adversaries may (although I can't tell of any literary models) have been based on somethings in code that appeared in some writings that the killer came upon in the past.

Thank you for taking notice anyway. Happy New Year.

Jeff
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Old 12-31-2016, 11:07 AM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Originally Posted by Mayerling View Post
Hello,

Perhaps you are right, but I seem to recall last year your attempt to link the positioning of Kelly's arm (I think it was Kelly's) to a picture of Mary I of England ("Bloody Mary), and a reference (correct me, as you probably will) to Tennyson's play about Queen Mary. That suggests some kind of literary background may have been involved.

Also, although this is just a guess, your constant suggestion of coded messages left for the killer's adversaries may (although I can't tell of any literary models) have been based on somethings in code that appeared in some writings that the killer came upon in the past.

Thank you for taking notice anyway. Happy New Year.

Jeff
Hi Jeff,

I forgot about the arm. Anyway, that was just a discussion, and I am not at all sure what I think about it right now. I will have to analyze it again. Thanks for reminding me.

Happy New Year, Jeff!

Pierre
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  #14  
Old 12-31-2016, 11:47 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayerling View Post
I seem to recall last year your attempt to link the positioning of Kelly's arm (I think it was Kelly's) to a picture of Mary I of England ("Bloody Mary), and a reference (correct me, as you probably will) to Tennyson's play about Queen Mary. That suggests some kind of literary background may have been involved.
Jeff, you give the guy way to much credit, as if there might be some consistency in his thinking.

The portrait he linked to showing the arm in the position of Kelly's arm was to one of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The subject of Tennyson's play, to which he has also referred, was Queen Mary of England.

Yes, of course, he got the two Marys confused but has tried to style it out.
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  #15  
Old 12-31-2016, 11:49 AM
Henry Flower Henry Flower is offline
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"I will have to analyze it again"
Yes. You will. Try to avoid absolutely basic errors of fact old chap.
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  #16  
Old 12-31-2016, 12:20 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Jeff, you give the guy way to much credit, as if there might be some consistency in his thinking.

The portrait he linked to showing the arm in the position of Kelly's arm was to one of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The subject of Tennyson's play, to which he has also referred, was Queen Mary of England.

Yes, of course, he got the two Marys confused but has tried to style it out.
Well Dave, it is the New Year. Let's try to be a little forbearing here - after all my own ideas can be totally wrong too.

Forgetting Pierre for the moment, what do you think of the possibility of some kind of influence by reading or (if seeing the play with Mansfield in it) on the killer?

Jeff
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:38 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Originally Posted by Mayerling View Post
Well Dave, it is the New Year. Let's try to be a little forbearing here - after all my own ideas can be totally wrong too.

Forgetting Pierre for the moment, what do you think of the possibility of some kind of influence by reading or (if seeing the play with Mansfield in it) on the killer?

Jeff
Thanks Jeff,

And David is continuing his attacks on me in his discussion with you, trying to correct you and misinterpreting me.

Mary is represented by the two queens: One for Lord Mayor´s Day in Tennysons play, one for the position of the arm in the painting.

Mary Kelly was killed on Lord Mayor´s Day and the killer positioned her arm as in the painting.


It is not "the same queen". It is one victim: one Mary with the attributes of two queens.

At least one could expect that people here were serious. But David is constantly making up lies about me and he is systematically misinterpreting everyting I write. So David is the one who is wrong.

Very sorry to bother you with it, Jeff.

Regards, Pierre
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  #18  
Old 12-31-2016, 02:55 PM
John G John G is offline
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Have you been reading Alice in Wonderland again, Pierre? Are there any other fairy tales that you also enjoy? Apart from the one about your suspect, of course.
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Old 12-31-2016, 03:01 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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It is not "the same queen". It is one victim: one Mary with the attributes of two queens.
Like I said, Pierre styling it out. The attributes of two queens indeed!
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Old 12-31-2016, 03:03 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Forgetting Pierre for the moment, what do you think of the possibility of some kind of influence by reading or (if seeing the play with Mansfield in it) on the killer?
I really have no comment to make on this Jeff.

Happy new year to you though!
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