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Was Ernest Dowson Jack the Ripper?

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  • Was Ernest Dowson Jack the Ripper?

    Does anyone have a copy of Ripperana #29 (1999) which contains Martin Fido's article about the poet Ernest Dowson as Jack the Ripper? Having just published a book on Francis Thompson, a poet and similar suspect, I'd like to look at Martin's article but can't find a copy for sale anywhere.

  • #2
    It's bad enough having one famous poets' legacy dragged through the mud, let alone another.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Simon Webb View Post
      Does anyone have a copy of Ripperana #29 (1999) which contains Martin Fido's article about the poet Ernest Dowson as Jack the Ripper? Having just published a book on Francis Thompson, a poet and similar suspect, I'd like to look at Martin's article but can't find a copy for sale anywhere.
      what? you mean his cohen/Kaminsky/Kozminsky theory wasn't convoluted enough for you? lol. JK
      "Is all that we see or seem
      but a dream within a dream?"

      -Edgar Allan Poe


      "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
      quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

      -Frederick G. Abberline

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      • #4
        I had to look up Dowson; he must not be as well known here in the States as Thompson is. Seems he was a bit "decadent", surely.
        Can't help with the article, but it might be archived at the magazine's website.
        Pat D.
        ---------------
        Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
        ---------------

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        • #5
          Hi Simon,

          I don't still have a copy but, if it helps, here are some notes on Dowson that I have compiled over the years.

          The poet Ernest Dowson was born in August 1867. In March 1888, he abandoned his studies at Oxford to supervise Bridge Dock on the Thames at Limehouse, owned by his father. He resided in the East End at the time of the murders. In November 1889, he began courting eleven-year-old Adelaide Foltinowicz who served at her father’s restaurant in Sherwood Street, London. She married a tailor called August Noelte and died from a botched abortion on 13 December 1903.

          Dowson’s father died from an overdose in August 1894 and his mother hanged herself six months later. He then spent some time in France and translated French texts. He died, from alcoholism in Catford on 23 February 1900.

          Dowson was tentatively identified with a man described by journalist Robert Thurston Hopkins. This man, who Thurston Hopkins called “Moring,” was a poet and, allegedly, friends with Mary Jane Kelly. He frequented various taverns and was addicted to opium, being disowned by his father for that reason. The father was a prosperous tradesman in the East End. Thurston-Hopkins read an old newspaper report about Hutchinson’s sighting and saw similarities with the poet’s description but could not imagine a man of such gentleness committing the crimes. Martin Fido noted discrepancies between Hutchinson’s sighting and the description of Mr Moring. It is unclear where Thurston-Hopkins obtained his information about Mary Kelly’s friends and he did not describe “Moring” as a suspect.

          In an appendix to Dowson’s published letters Thurston-Hopkins described how he and Dowson spent several evenings in a pub called The Bun House during the late 1890s when Hopkins was studying at University College. Dowson always carried a revolver. When walking the streets one night they were chased by a strange figure carrying a Gladstone bag. Later Dowson’s landlady reported that a lodger named Lazarus had been found dead in his bed, with a Gladstone bag that contained mounds of earth.

          Best wishes,

          Paul

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          • #6
            And on this is it posited the question is he the ripper?

            Good lord.
            "Is all that we see or seem
            but a dream within a dream?"

            -Edgar Allan Poe


            "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
            quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

            -Frederick G. Abberline

            Comment


            • #7
              Discussion here :

              http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=1413

              Comment


              • #8
                I have been faithful to thee Mary Kelly in my fashion!

                Ah, for those days of wine and roses, and blood....

                Jeff

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                • #9
                  Thanks, Pat.

                  SW

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, Paul.

                    SW

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Robert - this has been really useful.

                      SW

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                      • #12
                        Good one, Jeff!

                        SW

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                        • #13
                          Just finished reading Jad Adams's biography of Dowson - really a marvellous book but doesn't mention Jack the Ripper at all.

                          SW

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                          • #14
                            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"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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"
                              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.

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