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  • 1910. Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles

    baron has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
    This thread is located at http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=5589
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    Hello,

    Does anyone know any more about this from March 1910 in the Jewish Chronicles:

    "Before the Ripper crimes took place there came into my hands a book which had been sent to me by the author, whom I had known since he was a little child. The book, if I remember aright, was printed by a provincial printer and was issued anonymously. The young man, whose first effort it was, had always been a strange, weird, dreamy sort of an individual. I confess that when I received it I merely glanced through its pages and wrote the writer something complimentary. I recollect that the story the book told appeared to me then to be mere extravagancies of a highly imaginative character, and seemed to have resulted from the author having dived deeper into the "Gehenna" of modern Babylon than was good for one of his years, especially as the "Gehenna" district he chose to explore was the most sordid and filthy it was possible to find. I put the book aside and though no more of it till the Ripper crimes were setting the town in panic. Then I recollected that its author had prophesied that such crimes would take place and gave details of happenings, in local, in method and in manner, which convinced me could not be accounted to the long arm of coincidence when they actually took place.
    The very streets in which the murders took place, the exact class of victim are all set down with weird accuracy. I read the book carefully, I re-read it, and the more I studied it the more did the horrible conviction grow upon me that it was possible the young man who had written it - a young Jew - had become mad and that the author of the book might be the author of the Ripper crimes. I consulted a literary friend of mine of great experience and he said it was "impossible" - I remember his repeating the word three times, each with growing emphasis - "impossible" that anyone, especially a raw youth, should so accurately have forecasted such outrages by someone else. The home of my young acquaintance was in a northern town, and enquiries I set on foot elicited the fact that while the Ripper crimes were in progress he was away from his house - in London. Enquiry at his hotel brought me the news that he invariably went out late at night, and did not return till the small hours. I am afraid I had little doubt that my "theory" about the Whitechapel crimes was correct. I am happy to think I was quite wrong. I communicated to the Scotland Yard authorities all I knew - although I was a Jew and the one I suspected was a Jew too. I sent them the book. I took care to tell them that the youth had always been strange in manner. After some days the authorities assured me there was nothing in my "theory," and that they had convinced themselves that all that was in the book was purely imaginary and coincidental! I was naturally much relieved, though to this day my suspicion, formed I am bound to say upon some apparent substance, is a really painful memory. My only complaint against Scotland Yard in the matter was that they kept the book, and I could never get it from them or - from anyone else! But I believe a copy exists in one of our public libraries."

    If Scotland Yard has a copy, it may have been filed not with anything about the murders, but maybe in some general Jewish-related file. Even if the name and author of the book were jotted down, it seems as if there might be another copy in a library. Or, is this just journalistic lies?

    Mike
    ***************
    dag has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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    Hi Baron

    About a year ago I looked into the possibility (suggested by Tom Wescott) that the book mentioned by Mentor may in fact have been ‘Holy of Holies: Confessions of an Anarchist’ by Ripper suspect John Barlas. Barlas studied Marxism before going up to Oxford as a commoner, and the bulk of his political writings were published in William Morris's 'The Commonweal' magazine. The evolution of Barlas’s radical thought isn’t too well documented: On the surface he comes across (to me) more as a polemicist or an old-fashioned Chartist than as an original thinker, but it also seems clear that he was involved to some degree with anarchist and terrorist groups active in England at that time. He formed a Socialist Society in Chelmsford, and was sent up to Dundee to act as an organiser for the SDF, where he may have come under the influence of Bruce Glasier. Barlas was certainly conversant with Hebrew (although he wasn’t Jewish) and there are some provocative parallels between the life of Barlas and the biographical sketch provided by Mentor. He WAS living in London round about the time of the Ripper murders, he DID hail from the North (his family home was in Crieff in Scotland) and he DID publish 'Holy of Holies' in 1887. ‘Holy of Holies' WASpublished anonymously and by a provincial press (JH Clarke, Cheltenham), and it's also true that this publication WAS difficult to obtain even back in the 1880s. On the other hand, 'Holy of Holies' is actually a slim (48 page) volume of verse, and it was the fifth publication by Barlas rather than the first stated by Mentor. I visited the British Library to re-read this publication to see if contained covert references to the Ripper murders – but it doesn’t! It contains a few exhortatory passages but nothing remotely close to the material mentioned by Mentor. Therefore, I feel certain that 'Holy of Holies' wasn’t the publication mentioned by Mentor.

    David

    Let all Oz be agreed;
    I'm Wicked through and through.

  • #2
    chris has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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    Hi Mike
    IN the Jewish Chronicle, is the name of the author of this article given please? (not the author of the book, but the article mentioning it)
    Chris
    ***************

    baron has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
    This thread is located at http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=5589
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    Chris,
    If I understand your question correctly, the author seems to be an editorialist with the pen name, Mentor. No other information was given, but I will sift through the other issues to see if there's a mention of his real name.
    Mike
    ***************

    chris has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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    There is one very significant phrase in this article in the light of WHEN it was published.
    This was published in March 1910, at the very time when Anderson's "the Lighter Side of my Official Life" was being serialised.
    In this book is the well known passage:
    "I will only add that when the individual whom we suspected was caged in an asylum, the only person who had ever had a good view of the murderer at once identified him, but when he learned that the suspect was a fellow Jew he declined to swear to him."
    The passage in the Jewish Chronicle article that caught my attention was:
    "I communicated to the Scotland Yard authorities all I knew - although I was a Jew and the one I suspected was a Jew too. I sent them the book."
    It seems likely this is in answer to Anderson's assertion, the author saying that a Jew would not per se be unwilling to testify against a co-religionist in this case.
    Chris
    baron has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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    Chris,
    and it is that very line that makes me wonder if this wasn't editorialist gamesmanship. At any rate, I emailed the Jewish Chronicles to ask about the author called 'Mentor' and about any outside periodicals or materials that he might have published. I think I will email them every other day until I hear something.
    Mike

    chris has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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    The identity of "Mentor"
    From "The Jewish Chronicle and Anglo Jewry" by David Cesarani:
    "On 28 March and 4 April 1919, wrinting as Mentor, he tried to express his views..." The writer referred to is Leopold Greenberg, co owner of the paper from 1907 to 1931.
    ***************

    Let all Oz be agreed;
    I'm Wicked through and through.

    Comment


    • #3
      cgp100 has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
      This thread is located at http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=5589
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      ---Quote (Originally by chris)---
      The passage in the Jewish Chronicle article that caught my attention was:
      "I communicated to the Scotland Yard authorities all I knew - although I was a Jew and the one I suspected was a Jew too. I sent them the book."
      It seems likely this is in answer to Anderson's assertion, the author saying that a Jew would not per se be unwilling to testify against a co-religionist in this case.
      ---End Quote---

      Yes, what's quoted above is actually the second half of one of the Mentor columns written in response to Anderson's claims.

      The column was written by the Chronicle's then editor, Leopold Jacob Greenberg (1861–1931). There's a reasonably long article on him in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He was born in Birmingham, and the article says that he retained close links with his native city after moving to London.
      Chris Phillips
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      chris has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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      1891:
      123 Oxford Street, London
      Head: Leopold Jacob Greenberg aged 29 born Birmingham - Advertisement contractor
      Wife: Marion Greenberg aged 29 boprn Orpington, Kent
      Children:
      Geoffrey Robert Simon aged 1 born West Hampstead
      Charles leopold aged 4 months born Soho
      Servants:
      Margaret Vidler aged 25 born Peckham - Nurse
      Margaret Andrews aged 20 born Colchester
      Mary Nock aged 39 born Fulham
      1881:
      6 Frederick Street, Birmingham
      Head: Matilda Greenberg (Widow) aged 50 born London - Jeweller's factor
      Children:
      Alfred aged 23 born London - Factor
      Leopold aged 19 born Birmingham
      Florence aged 16 born Birmingham
      Albert aged 13 born Birmingham
      Servants:
      Mary Pace aged 22 born Kenilworth
      Lizzie Bennett aged 25 born Waterford, Ireland
      1871:
      School, 16 Northwick Terrace, Marylebone
      Head: Abraham P Mendes aged 46 born Kingston, Jamaica - Schoolmaster
      Among pupils is listed:
      Leopold Greenberg aged 9 born Birmingham
      Birth:
      1861 Quarter 4
      Birmingham
      Leopold Jacob Greenberg
      Marriage:
      1888 Quarter 4
      Marylebone
      Lepold Jacob Greenberg
      His wife is listed in census returns as Marion, but the two women with the same marriage reference in 1881 are Florence Belinda Davis and Naaitje (sic) N C D Abrahamson

      cgp100 has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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      ---Quote (Originally by chris)---
      Marriage:
      1888 Quarter 4
      Marylebone
      Lepold Jacob Greenberg
      His wife is listed in census returns as Marion, but the two women with the same marriage reference in 1881 are Florence Belinda Davis and Naaitje (sic) N C D Abrahamson
      ---End Quote---

      According to the ODNB, he married, on 28 November 1888 at the West London Synagogue, Upper Berkeley Square, Marion, the daughter of Robert Gates (a Gentile who had converted before the marriage).

      The page reference appears to have been mistranscribed by FreeBMD (giving three men and two women on the same page).

      Chris Phillips
      ***************

      Let all Oz be agreed;
      I'm Wicked through and through.

      Comment


      • #4
        chris has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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        Mentor Article - Timeline

        The sentence in Greenberg's article which gives us some indication of timing is this:
        Before the Ripper crimes took place there came into my hands a book which had been sent to me by the author, whom I had known since he was a little child.
        At the time of the Whitechapel murders, Greenberg himself would have been 27 years of age (he was born in very late 1861.)
        For the writer of the book to have been considered a possibilty as the killer, as regards to his age, he could not have been significantly younger than Greenberg (both in terms of being of sufficient maturity to both write the book mentioned and also to carry out the murder.)
        The only other clue he gives is:
        The home of my young acquaintance was in a northern town
        The fact that Greenberg had known the young man in question since a young child, and they were probably of similar age, suggests he may have known him from school.
        The only glimpse we have of Greenberg's school days is the 1871, when he was a 9 year old pupil at a school in Marylebone.
        The full listing for the school in 1871 is as follows:
        16 Northwick Terrace, Marylebone
        Head: Abraham P Mendes aged 46 born Kingston, Jamaica - Schoolmaster
        Wife: Eliza P Mendes aged 39 born London
        Children:
        Henry P aged 18 born Birmingham
        Stella P aged 16 born Birmingham
        Rosetta P aged 12 born London
        David A aged 10 born London
        Leonard P aged 8 born London
        Maria P aged 6 born London
        Rica D S (Female) aged 4 born London
        Edith P aged 1 born London
        Assistants:
        Joseph Schendler aged 32 born Dumbarton - Assistant master
        Montz Biel aged 27 born East Prussia - Assistant master
        Servants:
        Anna Rohmer aged 33 born Germany
        Fanny Knott aged 27 born London
        Mary Mariner aged 24 born Worcester
        Honora Carrol aged 27 born Cork
        Rose Hillyer aged 24 born London
        Ellen Jones aged 16 born London
        Pupils:
        Isaac P Mendes aged 18 born Kingston, Jamaica
        Frederick J Ellis aged 16 born London
        Elias J Cohen aged 15 born Lisbon, Portugal
        Samuel J Benarus aged 15 born Terceira, Azores
        Jacques Peha aged 14 born Alexandria
        Maurice Mosely aged 14 born Southampton
        Eleazar Pool aged 14 born London
        Vita Rickis aged 13 born Alexabdria
        Berthold Langner aged 12 born Surrey
        Jacob Schruston aged 12 born London
        Louis Auerhaan aged 12 born London
        Maurice Levy aged 11 born Leicester
        Michel Lamama aged 11 born Tunis
        Harry M Isaacs aged 11 born London
        Bertram Pinto aged 10 born London
        Bernard Abinger aged 9 born London
        Maurice Silverston aged 9 born London
        Leopold Greenberg aged 9 born Birmingham
        ***************

        Let all Oz be agreed;
        I'm Wicked through and through.

        Comment


        • #5
          aspallek has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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          Interesting article. I suspect there isn't much to it, however, since Greenberg says he reported his suspicions to SY and implies that he had ongoing conversation with them about it. We would expect there to be some mention in the SY files but I can recall none. I suspect, therefore, that this is a partial or total fabrication. The claim that the book is unavailable seems far too convenient. It's probably a story fabricated to counteract Anderson's claim that Jews don't testify against fellow Jews.

          Nevertheless, one interesting pupil in Chris' 1871 school census listing is Michel Lamama from Tunis. He is the right age to be friends with Greenberg and there was, of course, speculation of a Ripper suspect in Tunis. But if Lamama were a Muslim (which we don't know), would he be friends with a Jewish boy?
          ***************
          baron has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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          Andy,
          There's an island off the coast of Tunis called Djerba that has been the home of Jewish merchants for thousands of years. If I remember correctly, they traded in gemstones as a specialty, though I'm not positive. My guess is that this school was a Jewish one, and that Lamama was a Jew as well.
          Cheers,
          Mike
          nicole has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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          ***************
          Hi all,

          Aspallek you state that:
          *
          ---Quote---
          one interesting pupil in Chris' 1871 school census listing is Michel Lamama from Tunis. He is the right age to be friends with Greenberg and there was, of course, speculation of a Ripper suspect in Tunis.
          ---End Quote---
          *

          It is well documented that the only connection between the Whitechapel Murders and Tunis was the arrest of Alfred Gray. Slight suspicion fell on Alfred Gray only because he had at one time lived in Spitalfields. Oh, and...the police noticed that whilst interviewing him that he had a tattoo on his arm of a...naked woman. Horror! It must've been him.

          *Croydon Advertiser
          United Kingdom*
          *Saturday January 19th 1889*
          An extraordinary report the "Jack the Ripper" has been arrested in no less a place than Tunis has just been circulated. The Paris Petit Journal publishes a telegram from that city, of Monday's date stating that the police there have captured a band of robbers and assassins, and that several suspicious circumstances give rise to the supposition that the London murderer, known as "Jack the Ripper," is among the number. The arrest caused great excitement. The British Consul demanded to see the man in custody, and immediately afterwards telegraphed to the authorities in London.
          The news, however, it would seem, is too good to be true. The particulars in the possession of the English authorities are very meagre, and are, of course, at the present, strictly private. How the hypothesis of the Petit Journal got abroad is not altogether clear, and so far the London police have heard nothing of the arrest of the long-sought murderer. The authorities in the East-end are of opinion that the author of the crimes is still in the neighbourhood of Spitalfields, but by reason of the continued increased vigilance which is maintained by requisitioning a large body of constable from other divisions, who patrol the streets in plain clothes by night, he is afraid at present to renew his attempts at any fresh crimes.

          Nicole
          ***************

          chrisg has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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          Hi Chris

          It looks as if the Maurice Levy at the school was the following man:

          "Sir Maurice Levy (1859—1933, knighted 1907) was born in Leicester, the son of Jewish immigrants. . . . In 1900 he was elected Liberal MP for Mid-Leicestershire and represented this consituency until he retired in 1918." P. 183 in Second Chance: Two Centuries of German-Speaking Jews in the United Kingdom (http://books.google.com/books?id=a-6...RtVhvxD5ohIhCw) by Werner Eugen Mosse et al. published by J. C. B. Mohr in 1991.
          Chris

          aspallek has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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          ***************
          Thanks to Mike and Nicole for filling me in on Tunis. I knew that the Tunis suspect was not the boy in school with Greenberg but I thought the connection was interesting.

          I really think this story is a fabrication. Everything is just too convenient and made to order as a response to Anderson's accusation against the Jews for their obstruction of justice. Unless someone comes up with a copy of the alleged book I think we can give it no credence. It doesn't hurt to check it out, though.
          ***************

          Hello,
          chrisg has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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          ***************
          Hi all

          As Chris Phillips notes, Greenberg was sent to school in London from his home in Birmingham. It thus seems as likely to me that the suspect that he had known since childhood was also from Birmingham as that he knew the man when they were at a London school. However, in regard to Greenberg's fellow pupils at Mr. Mendes's school, of those listed, the only one who would qualify as being "northern" apparently was Maurice Levy, aged 11, born in Leicester and thus two years older than Greenberg. I wonder if he was a writer? If so he might have written under some other name and not his own.

          Chris
          ***************
          has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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          Northwick Pupils in 1881 and 1891
          1881
          David Mendes aged 20 - Diamond Cutter
          Leonard Mendes aged 18 - Bank clerk
          Both still living with their parents
          Eleazar S Pool aged 24 born Whitechapel
          Living at 36 Grosvenor Road, Islignton
          Cattle salesman
          Berthold D Langner aged 22 born Southwark
          Living with parents at 95 Maryland Road, Paddington
          Dealer in fancy goods
          Maurice Levy aged 21 born St Martins, Leicester
          Living with parents at Hazeldean, Londond Road, Knighton, Leicestershire
          Clothing manfacturer
          Harry Isaacs aged 22 born London
          Living with parents at 21 Belsize Park, Hampstead
          Merchant
          Maurice Silverston aged 20 born London
          Living with parents at 20 Tavistock Square, Pancras, London
          Stock broker's clerk
          1891:
          Eleazar S Pool aged 34 born Whitechpale
          38 Grosvenor Road, Islington
          Woollen draper
          Berthold D Langner aged 32 born Southwark
          148 Elgin Avenue, Paddington
          Importer french millinery
          Maurice Levy aged 31 born Leicester
          London Road, Knighton, Leicestershire
          Clothing manufacturer

          Let all Oz be agreed;
          I'm Wicked through and through.

          Comment


          • #6
            chrisg has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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            Hi Chris

            It looks as if the Maurice Levy at the school was the following man:

            "Sir Maurice Levy (1859—1933, knighted 1907) was born in Leicester, the son of Jewish immigrants. . . . In 1900 he was elected Liberal MP for Mid-Leicestershire and represented this consituency until he retired in 1918." P. 183 in Second Chance: Two Centuries of German-Speaking Jews in the United Kingdom (http://books.google.com/books?id=a-6...RtVhvxD5ohIhCw) by Werner Eugen Mosse et al. published by J. C. B. Mohr in 1991.
            Chris
            ***************



            aspallek has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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            ***************
            Thanks to Mike and Nicole for filling me in on Tunis. I knew that the Tunis suspect was not the boy in school with Greenberg but I thought the connection was interesting.

            I really think this story is a fabrication. Everything is just too convenient and made to order as a response to Anderson's accusation against the Jews for their obstruction of justice. Unless someone comes up with a copy of the alleged book I think we can give it no credence. It doesn't hurt to check it out, though.
            ***************


            chris has just posted in the Letters and Communications forum of Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Forums under the title of 1910, Mentor Article, Jewish Chronicles.
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            Hi Chris G
            many thanks for the further info - much appreciated
            Chris
            ***************

            Let all Oz be agreed;
            I'm Wicked through and through.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by aspallek
              I really think this story is a fabrication. Everything is just too convenient and made to order as a response to Anderson's accusation against the Jews for their obstruction of justice. Unless someone comes up with a copy of the alleged book I think we can give it no credence. It doesn't hurt to check it out, though.

              Hi Andy

              I might agree with you that the story that Mentor (Leopold Greenberg) told was a fabrication meant to counter Anderson's assertion that no Jew would inform on another Jew except for the curious and credible mention that he loaned the book by his Jewish friend to Scotland Yard and did not get it back. It could be that he put in this piece of information especially so that Sir Robert Anderson could check it out and verify that he had indeed alerted Scotland Yard about a possible Jewish suspect.

              You can imagine the scenario if Sir Robert had asked an old Scotland Yard associate:

              Sir Robert: Do you remember a Jew sending us a book by a supposed suspect?

              Copper: Yes I do, Gaffer. But it must have got lost in the shuffle somewhere, Guv'nor. . .

              Further to my earlier post about Greenberg's classmate from Leicester, Maurice Levy, who subsequently became an MP for Loughborough, Leicestershire, it so happens that per the same Google books reference that I gave earlier, Maurice Levy's brother, Sir Arthur Levy Lever (1860-1924) was an MP as well, for Harwich and later Central Hackney. This man, being two years younger than his elder brother Maurice, was the same age as Greenberg.

              I am not seriously proposing that either of the Levy brothers could have been the author of the book Mentor was writing about, because surely Leopold Greenberg, with his connections, would have well known that by the time he wrote, 1910, both men were Members of Parliament. The author we are looking for is a moody and aesthetic man as described by Mentor in his article. I have some confidence that the book that he describes will be found sooner or later.

              Chris
              Last edited by Chris George; 02-16-2008, 10:11 PM.
              Christopher T. George
              Editor, Ripperologist
              http://www.ripperologist.biz
              http://chrisgeorge.netpublish.net

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