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Was Ernest Dowson Jack the Ripper?

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  • #16
    Morning unmasked?!

    Originally posted by SuspectZero View Post
    Hi Scott,
    That comes from a pretty old thread. Dowson was actually suggested as a suspect by a travel writer, who got a first hand story from an ex East End police officer working at the Old Bailey. While he didn't use his real name (he dubbed him Mr. Moring), he mentioned several characteristics of this certain poet, specifically phrases he would use repeatedly in conversations, which can be traced back directly to Dowson.
    Thanks for the info, Suspect Zero, very interesting to hear that "Mr. Moring" may have been the post Ernst Dowson (well, assuming the travel writer was told a true story by the police officer). I may need to research Dowson now.
    Pat D.
    ---------------
    Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
    ---------------

    Comment


    • #17
      Thompson discusses Dowson's poetry.

      I am not sure if you have read this Simon, but Francis Thompson wrote a critical review on Ernest Dowson’s poetry. Here is part of it.

      “...It may be doubted whether the most accomplished morbidity can survive the supreme test of time. In the long run Sanity endures: the finest art goes under if it be perverse and perverted art, though for a while it may create a life under the ribs of death. Yet, with this great doubt, Ernest Dowson's work makes a present and delicate appeal to a generation itself sick of many ills. Not always of special originality or individuality, it is always dainty in form, finished in diction, and perfect in literary taste, with a sensitive avoidance of violence or exaggeration.... It is altogether poetry of feeling, one might well nigh say of a single feeling, or cast of feeling . . .. Dowson sings in many poems of a frail grace, sweetness, and slender completion of form. But the central defect of power keeps him still a lesser poet a poet of the bitten apple, without the core of fire, which made Rossetti, for instance, far more than a lesser poet. And, then, too, unlike Rossetti, he has no brain, but just pure feminine sensibility…”
      Author of

      "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

      http://www.francisjthompson.com/

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Richard Patterson View Post
        I am not sure if you have read this Simon, but Francis Thompson wrote a critical review on Ernest Dowson’s poetry. Here is part of it.

        “...It may be doubted whether the most accomplished morbidity can survive the supreme test of time. In the long run Sanity endures: the finest art goes under if it be perverse and perverted art, though for a while it may create a life under the ribs of death. Yet, with this great doubt, Ernest Dowson's work makes a present and delicate appeal to a generation itself sick of many ills. Not always of special originality or individuality, it is always dainty in form, finished in diction, and perfect in literary taste, with a sensitive avoidance of violence or exaggeration.... It is altogether poetry of feeling, one might well nigh say of a single feeling, or cast of feeling . . .. Dowson sings in many poems of a frail grace, sweetness, and slender completion of form. But the central defect of power keeps him still a lesser poet a poet of the bitten apple, without the core of fire, which made Rossetti, for instance, far more than a lesser poet. And, then, too, unlike Rossetti, he has no brain, but just pure feminine sensibility…”
        This is fascinating, Richard. Where is it from?

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by SuspectZero View Post
          Hi Scott,
          That comes from a pretty old thread. Dowson was actually suggested as a suspect by a travel writer, who got a first hand story from an ex East End police officer working at the Old Bailey. While he didn't use his real name (he dubbed him Mr. Moring), he mentioned several characteristics of this certain poet, specifically phrases he would use repeatedly in conversations, which can be traced back directly to Dowson.
          The writer was a guy called Robert Thurston Hopkins who wrote something about Dowson where he actually named him as well. It's pretty much all on Casebook somewhere.

          SW

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
            Thanks for the info, Suspect Zero, very interesting to hear that "Mr. Moring" may have been the post Ernst Dowson (well, assuming the travel writer was told a true story by the police officer). I may need to research Dowson now.
            As I'm researching I'm beginning to doubt the existence of the travel writer's (R.T. Hopkins's) Old Bailey official who was an East End copper. As Hopkins also wrote seriously about ghosts I'm not sure I can trust him!

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Scott Nelson
              Did Francis Thompson know Ernest Dowson?


              Richard Patterson: Good question. Thanks for showing an interest. Yes Thompson did know Earnest Dowson, though not very well. They both attended the Rhymers Club meetings with W.B Yeats. Thompson and Dowson sat next to each other.
              __________________
              Author of

              "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"
              According to Jad Adams's biography of Dowson, Thompson only attended one of these meetings?!

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Simon Webb View Post
                Good one, Jeff!

                SW
                Thanks Simon.

                I have no objection to suggesting famous people as the Ripper, but there are so many prematurely dead victims of the 1890s, many connected to "The Yellow Book". How about Hubert Montague Crackenthorpe, who drowned himself (or apparently drowned himself) in the Seine in 1896? Or Aubrey Beardsley? Damn it, you can even suggest the mysterious "Enoch Soames" from Max Beerbohm's "Seven Men" (don't forget - poor Enoch was a "Catholic Diabolist").

                Jeff

                Comment


                • #23
                  Hi Simon,

                  The information was found in a PDF called "Francis Thompson 1859-1907 by F.N LEES BA"

                  Here is the link where you can read it. CLICK HERE
                  Author of

                  "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

                  http://www.francisjthompson.com/

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Richard Patterson View Post
                    Hi Simon,

                    The information was found in a PDF called "Francis Thompson 1859-1907 by F.N LEES BA"

                    Here is the link where you can read it. CLICK HERE
                    Very interesting address about Thompson's poetry and critical writings, thank you for sharing it, Richard. It does quote Thompson on Dowson's poetry, but makes no mention at all about the Rhymers' Club.
                    Never mind. After reading the speech you've linked to, I am more convinced than ever that Thompson was NOT Jack the Ripper.
                    Pat D.
                    ---------------
                    Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                    ---------------

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
                      Very interesting address about Thompson's poetry and critical writings, thank you for sharing it, Richard. It does quote Thompson on Dowson's poetry, but makes no mention at all about the Rhymers' Club.
                      Never mind. After reading the speech you've linked to, I am more convinced than ever that Thompson was NOT Jack the Ripper.
                      Out of the more than 100 Ripper suspects ever named, only one can be shown to have had a knife at the time of the murders, where they occurred - Francis Thompson. In 1888, he was a mentally ill, drug addicted man who carried a razor- sharp dissecting knife, kept from his years of studying medicine. He had already been in trouble with the police and had a history of arson, theft, and mutilating. His sole purpose for living in the Providence Row refuge, less than 100 yards from where Jack the Ripper victim, Mary Kelly, was killed was to find a prostitute who had humiliated him. He had already written about ripping their stomachs open.

                      I appreciate your thanks in my sharing the lecturers speech and also that it has convinced you of Thompson's innocence, so you can keep yourself busy on other Ripper related topics.
                      Author of

                      "Jack the Ripper, The Works of Francis Thompson"

                      http://www.francisjthompson.com/

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Mayerling View Post
                        Thanks Simon.

                        I have no objection to suggesting famous people as the Ripper, but there are so many prematurely dead victims of the 1890s, many connected to "The Yellow Book". How about Hubert Montague Crackenthorpe, who drowned himself (or apparently drowned himself) in the Seine in 1896? Or Aubrey Beardsley? Damn it, you can even suggest the mysterious "Enoch Soames" from Max Beerbohm's "Seven Men" (don't forget - poor Enoch was a "Catholic Diabolist").

                        Jeff
                        Hello Jeff et al.

                        GWU Professor Emeritus Casey Smith will make a case for an obscure poet and printer, W. J. Ibbett, as a possible Jack the Ripper suspect at RipperCon in Baltimore in April.


                        CASEY SMITH—“William Joseph Ibbett (1858-1934): Poet, Printer, Piquerist, Ripper Suspect?”

                        Dorset-born W. J. Ibbett was a minor poet in an era noted for minor poetry. He was also a self-taught printer who produced badly printed copies of his poems. On some copies, the words were so poorly inked and broken that he used an ink pen to write over the printing to make it more legible. At times, it appears that the paper he used was taken from his day job at London’s General Post Office. Some of his poetry was produced as handwritten manuscript books, not because of a desire to create a beautiful book, but because it was cheap.

                        However, Ibbett managed to get some of his books printed by a few notable private presses, and the famous typographic expert and Monotype Corporation publicity manager, Beatrice Warde was an admirer. Warde even wrote the preface to one of his collections of poetry. Ibbett’s friend and mentor, rare book collector Harry Buxton Forman actively promoted Ibbett. In the middle of the 20th century, Norman Colbeck, a London book dealer, systematically collected Ibbett’s works, most of which are exceedingly scarce. (A typical run of one of Ibbett’s books was less than 200 copies.) The third collector in this chain is Mark Samuels Lasner, one of the foremost collectors of late-Victorian art and poetry in the 21st century, and the person who initially got Casey Smith interested in Ibbett.

                        Ibbett’s poetry, and life story, as detailed in his autobiography The Annals of a Nobody, reveal a complicated and troubled figure, a man who might have been responsible for the 1888 Whitechapel murders in Whitechapel, although Smith admits there is no definitive proof of this. However, Smith believes that bizarre and disturbing aspects of Ibbett’s life make him a good candidate for him having been Jack the Ripper.

                        Casey Smith is a researcher, writer, and teacher based in Washington, D.C. He has a PhD in English Literature and Victorian Studies from Indiana University-Bloomington, where he concentrated on book history and material bibliography. From 1997 to 2014 he taught at the Corcoran College of Art + Design (later, from 2014-2016 at the Corcoran School of Arts and Design at The George Washington University). He has presented papers at academic conferences throughout the UK and US on the subject of Victorian book-culture and art. A former Vice-President of the Chesapeake Chapter of the American Printing History Association, he is now an independent scholar and Associate Professor Emeritus at George Washington University in the District of Columbia.

                        Further information on RipperCon in Baltimore, April 7-8 is available at www.RipperCon.com.
                        Christopher T. George
                        Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conference
                        just held in Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018.
                        For information about RipperCon, go to http://rippercon.com/
                        RipperCon 2018 talks can now be heard at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Simon Webb View Post
                          The writer was a guy called Robert Thurston Hopkins who wrote something about Dowson where he actually named him as well. It's pretty much all on Casebook somewhere.

                          SW
                          You can find the section in its entirety here.
                          http://www.casebook.org/ripper_media/rps.hopkins.html?
                          You will also find in the same thread why the suspect referenced as Mr. Moring can be attributed to Dowson.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Richard Patterson View Post
                            Hi Simon,

                            The information was found in a PDF called "Francis Thompson 1859-1907 by F.N LEES BA"

                            Here is the link where you can read it. CLICK HERE
                            Thanks again, Richard!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Mayerling View Post
                              Thanks Simon.

                              I have no objection to suggesting famous people as the Ripper, but there are so many prematurely dead victims of the 1890s, many connected to "The Yellow Book". How about Hubert Montague Crackenthorpe, who drowned himself (or apparently drowned himself) in the Seine in 1896? Or Aubrey Beardsley? Damn it, you can even suggest the mysterious "Enoch Soames" from Max Beerbohm's "Seven Men" (don't forget - poor Enoch was a "Catholic Diabolist").

                              Jeff
                              I think next time I go into Starbucks I'm going to call myself Hubert Crackenthorpe. Why can't people have names like that any more?

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Simon Webb View Post
                                I think next time I go into Starbucks I'm going to call myself Hubert Crackenthorpe. Why can't people have names like that any more?
                                I have to do this slowly Simon, because the web site does seem to work against long messages. So it may appear in several parts. Sorry about that.

                                I once did a bit of research into the Crackenthorpe tragedy of 1896 because the photo I saw of Hubert (by accident) looked like a younger brother not of his own brother Daryl but of Montague Druitt (at least I thought so - and still think so). His death by drowning in the Seine in 1896 seemed to oddly resemble (as they are both drownings) that of Montie in the Thames 1888. I really could not get very far in the matter - it was based on dates and timings and family connections I could not really check out. Anyone who wants to can do so.

                                First the name. Hubert and Daryl were the sons (Daryl was the oldest) of Hubert Cookson, a well-known legal scholar of the 19th Century, who turned out to be luckier than he thought. The senior Cookson was approached in January 1888 by solicitors from the estate of his cousin, a gentleman named Crackenthorpe, who happened to be the last of a line of land owners to an entailed estate in the north of England that went by the Anglo-Saxon age. It was worth thousands of pounds. Cookson was the nearest male relative (the estate could only go to males) but he had to have the last name of "Crackenthorpe" to get it. Mr. Cookson decided to change the spelling of his last name (and his sons last names) from "ookson" to "rackenthorpe" by legal means. So their name was changed, and they were deeply enriched by the estate!

                                Daryl was a career diplomat in the British Foreign Service, stationed in Spain. More of this later. Hubert Jr. was into literary work, and was deeply influenced by the "Naturalistic" school of fiction by Emile Zola. He wrote short stories like Zola, many set in poverty areas dealing with prostitutes and thieves. He had talent (one critic who wrote about him was Vincent Starrett of Chicago, who is better known among "Sherlockians" for his books on Holmes and Watson like "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" and "221b: Studies in Sherlock Holmes"). Hubert Montague got married, but he got into an affair with the young Eva Le Gallienne (I believe it was her), and the affair and his marriage both collapsed.

                                In April 1896 the weather in Paris was quite damp - a great deal of heavy rain. As a result the Seine River was overflowing it's normal banks. Hubert Montague Crackenthorpe was seen early in the month near the river, and we still don't know if it was an accidental drowning, a suicide, or even a murder. Many drowning deaths occurred at the time. The collapse of both marriage and affair may have led to a suicidal frame of mind, but we just don't know. Still it became a matter of concern to his family, especially Daryl.
                                Last edited by Mayerling; 11-27-2017, 03:54 PM.

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