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  • Diary Handwriting

    Before we consider a comparison of the handwriting of the Diary with the handwriting of any single individual (i.e. Anne Barrett), let us look at the internal consistency of the handwriting within the Diary itself. Due to Robert Smith, quite properly, asserting his copyright over images of the Diary, I can't post any parts of the Diary or show any direct comparisons so I will be asking forum members who possess a copy of the handwritten Diary text to do some work themselves. In particular, I would like you to look at the first page of the Diary.

    Look at the words "I will" at the end of the second line of the first paragraph and compare to "I will" directly beneath it, at the end of the third line. If you weren't to know they were both in the Diary and you were to put them side by side I suggest that you might well say that they were written by different people. Agreed? Perhaps a handwriting expert would know it was the same person but we're not handwriting experts so we have to do our best. Then look at the word "Will" in the fourth line. It's different again! Then different again in the sixth line. And I think one can find similar examples throughout the Diary. So this is going to be a problem because if we compare Anne's handwriting with the Diary handwriting what exactly do we compare it to?

    Just to give one more example in the same paragraph. Look at the "the whore" in the penultimate line and "the whore" in the last line. They are both totally different aren’t they? Yet they are both within the same sentence.

    Now, before moving on, let me make clear that I'm not suggesting that these internal differences show that the Diary was written by a forger who couldn't maintain the same handwriting. For all I know, such differences in handwriting by one individual are perfectly normal. I'm not an expert so make no point about this.

    I do see certain consistencies throughout the Diary, however, even if the characters are not all formed in identical fashion.

    Before doing anything else I will throw it open to the forum, should anyone wish to participate, apart, obviously, from anyone who is persona non grata, to comment on the internal consistency or otherwise of the Diary handwriting. This thread is going to be one requiring member participation because, while I am going to be posting examples of Anne's handwriting, due to the copyright issue I mentioned earlier, you are going to have to do the comparisons with the Diary yourself.

  • #2
    I’m one of those who even Forensic Document Examiners have trouble deciding if it was written by the same hand or not.

    So I’m not sure you can draw any conclusions from the handwriting.
    G U T

    There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GUT View Post
      I’m one of those who even Forensic Document Examiners have trouble deciding if it was written by the same hand or not.

      So I’m not sure you can draw any conclusions from the handwriting.
      You can rest assured GUT that I'm not attempting to draw any conclusions from the handwriting.

      All I'm trying to do at the moment is to establish a consensus (or create an understanding for anyone who has never considered the matter) that the writing in the Diary is not always internally consistent and that a comparison of certain words or characters in the Diary side by side could lead one to think that they were written by different people.

      I'm not saying, however, that the Diary was written by different people. That's not my purpose at all.

      Comment


      • #4
        Seriously, no-one has anything to say about this?

        Is that no-one has bothered to do the comparison? Or is it that no-one agrees that the Diary handwriting is internally inconsistent in parts? Or is it that no-one has access to the reproduction of the Diary in Robert Smith's book?

        It's going to be very difficult to make the points I want to make in this thread unless at least someone independent is prepared and willing to join me in doing some handwriting comparisons.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
          Seriously, no-one has anything to say about this?

          Is that no-one has bothered to do the comparison? Or is it that no-one agrees that the Diary handwriting is internally inconsistent in parts? Or is it that no-one has access to the reproduction of the Diary in Robert Smith's book?

          It's going to be very difficult to make the points I want to make in this thread unless at least someone independent is prepared and willing to join me in doing some handwriting comparisons.
          Seriously, Lord O..

          Welcome to the world of Making-any-kind-of-a-point-on-the-Casebook.

          As the Greatest Thread of All inches towards its first million views (thank you, everyone), there remain only a handful of regular contributors to it, and ever was it more or less thus.

          So an awful lot of people are simply looking. 'Just browsing' I think they say in shops.

          Those with whom you parry and parlay and perhaps put down are - ironically - amongst the very few who can be arsed to contribute.

          Ike
          Iconoclast
          Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
            Seriously, Lord O..

            Welcome to the world of Making-any-kind-of-a-point-on-the-Casebook.

            As the Greatest Thread of All inches towards its first million views (thank you, everyone), there remain only a handful of regular contributors to it, and ever was it more or less thus.

            So an awful lot of people are simply looking. 'Just browsing' I think they say in shops.

            Those with whom you parry and parlay and perhaps put down are - ironically - amongst the very few who can be arsed to contribute.
            Ah, when I saw your name in this thread, Iconoclast, I thought you were going to play.

            What's your own reason for not giving an opinion on the points raised in the OP?

            You're not upset by the odd firm-but-fair put down in the parrying and parlaying surely?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
              Ah, when I saw your name in this thread, Iconoclast, I thought you were going to play.

              What's your own reason for not giving an opinion on the points raised in the OP?

              You're not upset by the odd firm-but-fair put down in the parrying and parlaying surely?
              To be honest, I took your comment "should anyone wish to participate, apart, obviously, from anyone who is persona non grata" to mean Caz but to potentially include me, but now I realise that you didn't which is a bit embarrassing for me as it shows that - amongst the hardcore knights of this site - I've been reduced to (or always been) a mere sideshow. My sad.

              Anyway, I'm up for a bit of knockabout so I shall take a look at my copy of Mr Smith's recent facsimile and attempt some sort of commentary.

              You might need to give me a day or so.
              Iconoclast
              Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                To be honest, I took your comment "should anyone wish to participate, apart, obviously, from anyone who is persona non grata" to mean Caz but to potentially include me, but now I realise that you didn't which is a bit embarrassing for me as it shows that - amongst the hardcore knights of this site - I've been reduced to (or always been) a mere sideshow. My sad.
                You? Persona non grata. Never, sir!

                Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                Anyway, I'm up for a bit of knockabout so I shall take a look at my copy of Mr Smith's recent facsimile and attempt some sort of commentary.
                Excellent!

                Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                You might need to give me a day or so.
                You have it/them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  David, ill follow your lead on this one and give you my unbiased opinion if thats ok.

                  Your first example, the two versions of ‘i will’ couldnt really be much more different. The first ‘i’ looks more like a ‘g’ with its added loop and the upper part of the 2nd ‘i’ is not connected (that small difference might be put down to speed of writing but as its in the next sentence.....) The two ‘will’s’ to this untrained eye and if viewed away from the context of the diary, definitely look like the writing of two different people. The looped ‘l’s’ and the fact that the ‘i’ is joined to the ‘l’s’ in the second will. And as you say the ‘will’ in the fourth line is different again, the ‘l’s’ are joined but not looped. Curiouser and curiouser in the sixth line we have version 4. Straight ‘l’s’ but with the ‘w’ joined to the ‘i’ for the first time.
                  The words ‘whore’ couldnt be more different. The second is barely legible. In other circumstances i might put this down to the speed it was written at or the circumstances under which it was written, but with only the words ‘and the’ separating them? Strange.

                  I hope this response was ok David?
                  Regards

                  Herlock






                  "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                    David, ill follow your lead on this one and give you my unbiased opinion if thats ok.

                    Your first example, the two versions of ‘i will’ couldnt really be much more different. The first ‘i’ looks more like a ‘g’ with its added loop and the upper part of the 2nd ‘i’ is not connected (that small difference might be put down to speed of writing but as its in the next sentence.....) The two ‘will’s’ to this untrained eye and if viewed away from the context of the diary, definitely look like the writing of two different people. The looped ‘l’s’ and the fact that the ‘i’ is joined to the ‘l’s’ in the second will. And as you say the ‘will’ in the fourth line is different again, the ‘l’s’ are joined but not looped. Curiouser and curiouser in the sixth line we have version 4. Straight ‘l’s’ but with the ‘w’ joined to the ‘i’ for the first time.
                    The words ‘whore’ couldnt be more different. The second is barely legible. In other circumstances i might put this down to the speed it was written at or the circumstances under which it was written, but with only the words ‘and the’ separating them? Strange.

                    I hope this response was ok David?
                    Yes, thank you Herlock, your view accords with my own.

                    This thread isn't going to be considering the reason for the differences, it's just important to note they are there. We are going to be comparing some of Anne Barrett's handwriting with some of the handwriting in the diary and it's important to establish that it's pretty much impossible for any single form of handwriting to match everything written in the Diary given the internal differences within that document.

                    As we have one True Believer in Iconoclast and as your view on the Diary, Herlock, is, I hope it's fair to say, perhaps more undecided one way or the other, it might be nice to have an out an out sceptic participating in this exercise, just for balance - so one more volunteer would be nice.

                    Volunteering for this exercise, incidentally, is not like volunteering for a David Copperfield stage show. No-one will get hurt!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We all agree my handwriting looks like we have multiple personality disorder.
                      My opinion is all I have to offer here,

                      Dave.

                      Smilies are canned laughter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                        Yes, thank you Herlock, your view accords with my own.

                        This thread isn't going to be considering the reason for the differences, it's just important to note they are there. We are going to be comparing some of Anne Barrett's handwriting with some of the handwriting in the diary and it's important to establish that it's pretty much impossible for any single form of handwriting to match everything written in the Diary given the internal differences within that document.

                        As we have one True Believer in Iconoclast and as your view on the Diary, Herlock, is, I hope it's fair to say, perhaps more undecided one way or the other, it might be nice to have an out an out sceptic participating in this exercise, just for balance - so one more volunteer would be nice.

                        Volunteering for this exercise, incidentally, is not like volunteering for a David Copperfield stage show. No-one will get hurt!
                        Im glad to hear that your not sharpening up the knives and ironing the blindfold then.

                        For the record David id say that my opinion on the diary is that it’s overwhelmingly likely to be a forgery but i accept the slight possibility that it may not be. Of the arguments against i believe that your ‘one off instance’ is by far the likeliest refuting point. That said i have made no real study of the subject but i do like to play a bit of ‘devil’s advocate’ occaisionally.
                        Regards

                        Herlock






                        "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't have time for a deep dive on this one just yet, but it doesn't take a genius to spot that many words on Page 1 of the journal (we can consider the other 60+ in due course, I'm sure) are superficially similar (which would explain why the issue has not - to my knowledge - been raised before) but which are, in truth, quite alarmingly different in structure, and in ways which you would just not predict from a hoaxer attempting to hide their own hand or at least not reveal that there is fair reason to question the hand which wrote the text; or indeed from someone actually writing it 'for real'. It really doesn't make any sense.

                          Obviously I concur with the 'I's, the 'will's, and the 'whore's (I don't think they are in much debate) but I am particularly further struck by the excellent example of a repeated 'that' (bottom of the first paragraph) where the constituents are extraordinarily dissimilar despite being - in written terms - straight after one another (they are actually separated by a line break). I cannot imagine why two consecutive words should be so different despite being the same.

                          Generally speaking, the text looks consistent. There are flourishes (like the long crossed-Ts) which repeat themselves fairly predictably, and the majority of the words appear (at least superficially) to be in the same hand (as I said above), and yet there are these rather bizarre distortions of style which even the most erratic of writers would surely find surprising in their own hand?

                          It's an interesting topic, and one which I'll have to come back to.
                          Last edited by Iconoclast; 05-16-2018, 12:18 PM.
                          Iconoclast
                          Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                            I don't have time for a deep dive on this one just yet, but it doesn't take a genius to spot that many words on Page 1 of the journal (we can consider the other 60+ in due course, I'm sure) are superficially similar (which would explain why the issue has not - to my knowledge - been raised before) but which are, in truth, quite alarmingly different in structure, and in ways which you would just not predict from a hoaxer attempting to hide their own hand or at least not reveal that there is fair reason to question the hand which wrote the text. It really doesn't make any sense.
                            Thank you Iconoclast but I want to just repeat what I am trying to achieve here which might save you a lot of work.

                            I'm not attempting to argue that there is anything problematic about there being internal inconsistencies in the handwriting in the Diary. In other words, I am in no way going to be saying that because "whore" is written differently on one line compared to another that this means the Diary is a fake or that there is any kind of conclusion that can be drawn from such differences.

                            So you don't need to be "alarmed" by any handwriting differences. That's not the point of the exercise at all.

                            The reason I am trying to achieve a consensus on this point is solely so that when I post some examples of Anne's handwriting which looks similar to some words or characters in the Diary, the response is not "Aha, it may look similar to something on page 3 but it's completely different to what is on page 7".

                            In other words, it's important that everyone recognises that just because a certain individual's normal handwriting is different from the handwriting in parts of the Diary, this doesn't by itself rule them out of being the author.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                              Thank you Iconoclast but I want to just repeat what I am trying to achieve here which might save you a lot of work.

                              I'm not attempting to argue that there is anything problematic about there being internal inconsistencies in the handwriting in the Diary. In other words, I am in no way going to be saying that because "whore" is written differently on one line compared to another that this means the Diary is a fake or that there is any kind of conclusion that can be drawn from such differences.

                              So you don't need to be "alarmed" by any handwriting differences. That's not the point of the exercise at all.

                              The reason I am trying to achieve a consensus on this point is solely so that when I post some examples of Anne's handwriting which looks similar to some words or characters in the Diary, the response is not "Aha, it may look similar to something on page 3 but it's completely different to what is on page 7".

                              In other words, it's important that everyone recognises that just because a certain individual's normal handwriting is different from the handwriting in parts of the Diary, this doesn't by itself rule them out of being the author.
                              And your point is duly noted and had been understood, but it doesn't alter the fact that it is in itself a particularly unexpected phenomenon. I am less alarmed about its implications for the journal and more alarmed for the implications for the human brain - how it can write such inconsistencies (in consecutive words, for goodness sake!) in the first place, and evade detection for so long in the second place.
                              Iconoclast
                              Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy

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