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They All Love Jack- what did you think of this book?

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  • spyglass
    replied
    Hi,
    Great read, well the first half anyway.
    The chapter regarding the "Double Event" is a fantastic read .

    Leave a comment:


  • Losmandris
    replied
    Yeah I have to say I rather enjoyed the book when I read it a few years back. Completely bonkers but a good read.

    Leave a comment:


  • Geddy2112
    replied
    Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post

    Perhaps the bloke is required to make sure we don't plunder the ceremonial booze or or get into the dressing up box and start trying on their funny robes?!
    Must admit it's the long gloves that took my fancy

    Leave a comment:


  • Ms Diddles
    replied
    Originally posted by Geddy2112 View Post

    Without scratching the surface the Freemason angle is a canny one. Not necessarily in connection with the Royal Family of course. Ritualistic killings, the word JUWES and the ritual of Master Mason, Hiram Abif was slain by three ruffians collectively termed The Juwes. I mean if anyone had the power to cover something up it would be that lot in Victorian times.

    Funnily enough my good lady and I visited the local lodge for an open day and apparently women are allowed under certain conditions. IIRC it's if there are at least one man present or something. The other thing he pointed out, the Freemason, was that the 'Freemasons are not a secret society, but rather a society with secrets.'

    The Freemasons being involved is a great get out clause for a lot of issues with Ripperology. Things being covered up, evidence disappearing, certain people not being allowed to tell their story. It's convenient and of course if you throw in scandal of a high level it makes for good telly... do I believe it no, would I like it to be true.. kind of
    I agree that whilst incredibly far-fetched, the masonic theories do have a certain romantic mystique.

    They make for a great story, and as you state above provide an excellent "explanation " for some of the mysteries of ripperology.

    I seem to recall it was disputed that the three ruffians were referred to as the Juwes in masonic parlance though.

    I'd thought that was pretty much refuted now, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Interesting to hear they are now deigning to allow women in "in certain circumstances " when chaperoned by a man.

    How magnanimous of 'em.

    Perhaps the bloke is required to make sure we don't plunder the ceremonial booze or or get into the dressing up box and start trying on their funny robes?!

    Strange!



    Leave a comment:


  • Geddy2112
    replied
    Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post
    That said, I always derive pleasure from anything that slags off the freemasons.

    They are weird and don't allow women!
    Without scratching the surface the Freemason angle is a canny one. Not necessarily in connection with the Royal Family of course. Ritualistic killings, the word JUWES and the ritual of Master Mason, Hiram Abif was slain by three ruffians collectively termed The Juwes. I mean if anyone had the power to cover something up it would be that lot in Victorian times.

    Funnily enough my good lady and I visited the local lodge for an open day and apparently women are allowed under certain conditions. IIRC it's if there are at least one man present or something. The other thing he pointed out, the Freemason, was that the 'Freemasons are not a secret society, but rather a society with secrets.'

    The Freemasons being involved is a great get out clause for a lot of issues with Ripperology. Things being covered up, evidence disappearing, certain people not being allowed to tell their story. It's convenient and of course if you throw in scandal of a high level it makes for good telly... do I believe it no, would I like it to be true.. kind of

    Leave a comment:


  • Ms Diddles
    replied
    Originally posted by Fantomas View Post
    'Withnail and I' is a masterpiece of a film that I love, made of disjointed sketch-like scenes and characters. 'TALJ' has an enjoyably-witty-old-soak tone but isn't masterpiece material and is far from it - but I enjoyed it - I just didn't buy any of the arguments. Like Cornwell's ludicrous assassinat de personnage on Sickert - which I enjoy reading - it is worth owning as a stylistic piece of literary folly - nay art - but serious ripperology, it ain't.
    This sums up my views on TALJ perfectly too.

    I thought it was a great read and I loved the passionate, angry tone / writing style.

    I don't agree with Bruce's conclusions, but it's a big, enjoyable tome.

    Despite me not buying the M Maybrick as ripper theory it's one of my favourites.

    I love Withnail and I, and as a rule of thumb always derive pleasure from anything that slags off the freemasons.

    They are weird and don't allow women!

    I was always going to be well disposed to this book!
    Last edited by Ms Diddles; 04-21-2024, 12:48 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Herlock Sholmes
    replied
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

    Returning the thread back to your original question -- They All Loved Jack - What did you think of this book...

    I'm interested in how people approach this subject and one interesting aspect of his study is that while other students of the case, when confronted with conflicting accounts from different sources, invariably go with the police version as preferable and 'official' (you can find this warning voiced hundreds of times on this forum--'don't trust the newspaper version'), Bruce, in contrast, has such a profound distrust of the police that he turns this equation on its head, and very often sides with the journalists. Agree with this or disagree with it, he challenges the general methodology.

    Far more noticeably, and since you read the book, you'll be aware of this, it's 800 pages in length because his main focus is the political landscape, the opium trade, the horrors of child labour, etc. etc. One of his major themes is that while the Victorians were obsessed with morality, they showed little of it. Instinctively, he believes the Ripper is connected to all of this--that he's a man very much of his time, a product of his age.

    Again, he has distanced himself from the usual attitude. While most 'Ripper' books dedicate a few obligatory pages to the Victorian era, it's clear that the authors don't really believe it is relevant. Their approach is profoundly ahistorical--the Ripper is simply a sexual fiend who could have operated in the 8th Century, the 14th Century, or the 21st Century. Except for the state of street lighting or the lack of forensic evidence, that 'Jack' is a Victorian is barely important. Indeed, theorists who accuse George Hutchinson, or David Cohen, or Charles Allen Crossmere often compare him to late 20th or early 21st examples of murderers as if it doesn't matter--as if he's a man-out-of-time. Robinson, for good or bad, makes his 'Jack' a Victorian--he insists that he needs to be seen as part of the Victorian age. Ironically (for those of us who don't believe his solution) this is the attitude of a historian--to see one's subject as the product of the 19th Century forces that shaped him. I get the sense that it's visceral for Bruce; it's instinctive. He knows that, on some level, this must be the case.


    Good points as usual Roger.

    Leave a comment:


  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Tracland View Post
    I personally have always leaned strongly toward Koz as Jack, but just finished reading They All Love Jack by Bruce Robinson and while some of his theories stretch credulity, some of his other information, especially about the purposeful ineptitude of the police and about the Florence Maybrick trial is compelling. I’d love to hear what you mostly more knowledgeable folks than I thought of this book. I’ve read more JTR books than I can count but a lot of this book appeared to be well researched. Although a lot, well most, of the Freemason stuff is difficult if not impossible to swallow. And his constant bashing of anyone else with a different perspective on JTR became beyond annoying. But definitely worth reading.
    Returning the thread back to your original question -- They All Loved Jack - What did you think of this book...

    I'm interested in how people approach this subject and one interesting aspect of his study is that while other students of the case, when confronted with conflicting accounts from different sources, invariably go with the police version as preferable and 'official' (you can find this warning voiced hundreds of times on this forum--'don't trust the newspaper version'), Bruce, in contrast, has such a profound distrust of the police that he turns this equation on its head, and very often sides with the journalists. Agree with this or disagree with it, he challenges the general methodology.

    Far more noticeably, and since you read the book, you'll be aware of this, it's 800 pages in length because his main focus is the political landscape, the opium trade, the horrors of child labour, etc. etc. One of his major themes is that while the Victorians were obsessed with morality, they showed little of it. Instinctively, he believes the Ripper is connected to all of this--that he's a man very much of his time, a product of his age.

    Again, he has distanced himself from the usual attitude. While most 'Ripper' books dedicate a few obligatory pages to the Victorian era, it's clear that the authors don't really believe it is relevant. Their approach is profoundly ahistorical--the Ripper is simply a sexual fiend who could have operated in the 8th Century, the 14th Century, or the 21st Century. Except for the state of street lighting or the lack of forensic evidence, that 'Jack' is a Victorian is barely important. Indeed, theorists who accuse George Hutchinson, or David Cohen, or Charles Allen Crossmere often compare him to late 20th or early 21st examples of murderers as if it doesn't matter--as if he's a man-out-of-time. Robinson, for good or bad, makes his 'Jack' a Victorian--he insists that he needs to be seen as part of the Victorian age. Ironically (for those of us who don't believe his solution) this is the attitude of a historian--to see one's subject as the product of the 19th Century forces that shaped him. I get the sense that it's visceral for Bruce; it's instinctive. He knows that, on some level, this must be the case.



    Leave a comment:


  • erobitha
    replied
    Originally posted by Tracland View Post
    I’ve read several of his books and enjoyed them. It just dawned on me that he and Robinson both acted in the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, so they go back a ways! I remember watching it at the drive-in and how controversial it was to see Romeo’s bare butt up on the big screen! Lol I’m really showing my age!
    I understand Bruce and Keith go back a long way.

    People may not realise that Keith was a child actor and continued the art into adulthood. Not sure when the lure of criminal history prompted him to switch careers, but acting’s loss is Ripperology’s gain.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tracland
    replied
    I’ve read several of his books and enjoyed them. It just dawned on me that he and Robinson both acted in the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, so they go back a ways! I remember watching it at the drive-in and how controversial it was to see Romeo’s bare butt up on the big screen! Lol I’m really showing my age!

    Leave a comment:


  • erobitha
    replied
    Originally posted by Tracland View Post
    I personally have always leaned strongly toward Koz as Jack, but just finished reading They All Love Jack by Bruce Robinson and while some of his theories stretch credulity, some of his other information, especially about the purposeful ineptitude of the police and about the Florence Maybrick trial is compelling. I’d love to hear what you mostly more knowledgeable folks than I thought of this book. I’ve read more JTR books than I can count but a lot of this book appeared to be well researched. Although a lot, well most, of the Freemason stuff is difficult if not impossible to swallow. And his constant bashing of anyone else with a different perspective on JTR became beyond annoying. But definitely worth reading.
    Knowing Keith Skinner, I can assure you the rants and raves that Bruce engages with in his book are not the opinions of Keith at all, but Keith almost certainly did most of the research used in the book. Some of that research he has been kind enough to share with me, which I have used on my own blog. You might also be interested to know that Keith was also a consultant on Patricia Cornwell's book on Walter Sickert.

    Despite insinuations from some quarters, Keith does not believe a Maybrick was JtR (I think he might even still favour MJD), but he has been interested in getting to the bottom of the mystery of the Maybrick Diary and Watch one way or another. There are many unresolved elements that need resolving. I can only assume that's why he persists in trying to find the truth when others seem happy not to go beyond the superficial. That's the mark of his ability as a researcher. You will find that every book Keith has been involved with will be seriously researched.

    Leave a comment:


  • erobitha
    replied
    Originally posted by Losmandris View Post

    You may be interested to read 'THE MAYBRICK MURDER AND THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER: THE END GAME by Chris Jones and Daniel L. Dolgin. From all accounts it is an excellent read and puts a lot of the Maybrick myths well and truly to bed.
    I've read it. Those "myths" are not tucked up as tightly in bed as you might think.

    Leave a comment:


  • Losmandris
    replied
    Originally posted by Tracland View Post
    Exactly! One thing I appreciate about the books I like best is that they don’t insist that they’ve definitely identified JTR and that any other opinion is ludicrous! That’s the part of Robinson’s book that became onerous. And he definitely was more interested in bashing the establishment, the monarchy, the Freemasons, and ripperologists especially! Although I wasn’t aware of all of the back story regarding the Florence Maybrick trial and found that interesting , I personally got the feeling that there has to be something personal driving his rage at all parts of the system. And the idea that JTR viciously murdered women (and according to him, men and children!) as some personal vendetta against freemasonry and because he hated Florence Maybrick, made no sense.
    You may be interested to read 'THE MAYBRICK MURDER AND THE DIARY OF JACK THE RIPPER: THE END GAME by Chris Jones and Daniel L. Dolgin. From all accounts it is an excellent read and puts a lot of the Maybrick myths well and truly to bed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fantomas
    replied
    'Withnail and I' is a masterpiece of a film that I love, made of disjointed sketch-like scenes and characters. 'TALJ' has an enjoyably-witty-old-soak tone but isn't masterpiece material and is far from it - but I enjoyed it - I just didn't buy any of the arguments. Like Cornwell's ludicrous assassinat de personnage on Sickert - which I enjoy reading - it is worth owning as a stylistic piece of literary folly - nay art - but serious ripperology, it ain't.

    Leave a comment:


  • barnflatwyngarde
    replied
    Originally posted by Tracland View Post
    Exactly! One thing I appreciate about the books I like best is that they don’t insist that they’ve definitely identified JTR and that any other opinion is ludicrous! That’s the part of Robinson’s book that became onerous. And he definitely was more interested in bashing the establishment, the monarchy, the Freemasons, and ripperologists especially! Although I wasn’t aware of all of the back story regarding the Florence Maybrick trial and found that interesting , I personally got the feeling that there has to be something personal driving his rage at all parts of the system. And the idea that JTR viciously murdered women (and according to him, men and children!) as some personal vendetta against freemasonry and because he hated Florence Maybrick, made no sense.
    The reason for Bruce Robinson's "rage" may well be the chronic shortage of Camberwell Carrots!

    Leave a comment:

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