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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by Mike J. G. View Post

    No, I merely posted a couple of paragraphs, which you've not actually refuted, seeing as how you've not seen the bulk of the information which the couple of paragraphs were taken from.

    You create a thread asking for One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary, David Orsam actually gave you not one, but several, and you blather on about how you're too busy to read it, because you're ironically and admittedly too busy reading 20+ books with which you seek to reinforce your beliefs in the diary being genuine. Funny, that.

    You've created so many threads on this subject, and boldly ask for evidence for the hoax, yet when you're offered it you totally dodge it and smugly act like you know what is contained therein when you demonstrably do not, lol. Again, funny, that.

    You've proudly read many books on the subject, yet you still believe it to be genuine, and you act like that's somehow admirable. It's like saying you've investigated leprechauns for a decade and you believe them to be real. One needs only an afternoon to understand how the "diary" is a complete mess of errors, but like I've said before, ignorance is bliss, and fantasy seems to be the only goal here.
    I'm reasonably confident that our shared readership are well aware of the significant difference between my contributions and yours. Indeed, I think to use the word 'contributions' in relation to the caustic unpleasantness you post is doing myself (and our readers) a gross disservice and seriously overplaying your hand on your behalf. If one measures contribution by reasoned argument, it may well be that over the long years - confronted as I so routinely have been by the closed minds of individuals such as yourself - I have slipped into the occasional good-natured banter; but let us be clear that there can be no comparison between us as a consequence of this. We are light years apart in terms of what we bring to the party. I bring a decent enough Pinot Grigio (I'm no wine man, clearly), but at least I don't bring Blue Nun which is the very most we can hope from you. Usually, we end up just simply more thirsty than we were before you arrived.

    I think what you posted and what Riddler Palmer posted was more than sufficient for me to 'refute' the argument. I use the inverted commas because nothing needed to be refuted for no argument had been made! I pointed out in Ladybird Books steps for you (and anyone else who imagines Lord Orsam's voluminous research actually produces a learning and fresh insight each time he dips his nib in the ink) that nothing had been shown except more details. So we learned that newspapers had published the letter incorrectly after it was read out in court during Florrie's trial - but did we learn that James Maybrick could not have written what he did about Gladys in March 1888 based on chronology or the facts of the matter? No, we did not. Orsam gave you more details, and you fell into his trap - you thought this had to mean that he changed the argument, but he did not. Indeed, in many respects, he gave us the opportunity to reinforce it.

    Personally, like many other people, I believe 99.999% that James Maybrick wrote the James Maybrick Victorian scrapbook. I'm not 100% and really no-one should be (nor should poorly-read disbelievers be 100% certain that it is a fraud), and in Society's Pillar (if you ever arse yourself to read it - see what I did there, by the way, in pointing out the irony of your latest caustic unpleasantness?) I openly address what I feel are the four significant issues confronting anyone wishing to argue for the authenticity of the scrapbook. If the scrapbook is ever finally revealed as a hoax, I will be the first to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the successful hoaxer and then I will with a joyous heart finally get on with the rest of my life. Until then, I'm here to stay, pally. I would never run away from the issues, that's for sure.

    I don't mind for a moment that you are actually the troll here. I totally get the fact that you contribute nothing and attack everything (if only some of it could be a bit more logical, though!). For me, the worst periods of time are the long months when no-one posts (this is why I wish Lord Orsam had kept his opinions to himself so that he didn't get sacked off by Admin), so the True Internet Trolls (probably an opportunity for an acronym there, people) like you and Harry D are actually pandering to my deepest need - to keep the business alive until such time as the business is resolved (one way or t'other).

    So, with a heavy heart, I say many thanks to you and your good fellows. Please keep it up.
    Iconoclast
    Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

    Comment


    • From a key member of the Crazy Squad on the Crazies Thread Ö

      The pro-diary crowd said for years that Mike wasn't a writer, yet he was, and he was obviously deemed capable enough to interview "celebrities," so this perception you have of Mike, IMO, is naive and simplistic.
      Anyone who argues that Mike Barrett (or anyone else) is a writer needs to provide the evidence. Perhaps his 'stroke' conveniently turned his eloquent literary articulation into a blended soup of error and misconstruction and before it he was actually more of a latent John Le Carre, I don't know, but a few celebrity interviews do not a John Le Carre make. Mike Barrett was no writer, end of. He knocked-up some puzzles and he interviewed some minor celebs (which I'm not knocking, by the way - I think this was very much to his credit but hardly pre-Pulitzer stuff); but this is absolutely not the same as saying that here is the evidence that this same man could create (or even have a hand in creating) the remarkable Victorian scrapbook.

      This is all a side-show, of course. What we are all awaiting is my brilliant deconstruction of Orsam's internet musings and claims against the scrapbook. Well, you'll all have to wait until I'm in the right frame of mind to review it. If he provides any evidence at all which shows (or even implies) that the scrapbook is a hoax, I will accept it and include it in my brilliant Society's Pillar. If he doesn't, and it's all more bluff and bluster, then he'll be getting it with both barrells too.

      Seems fair now, doesn't it, peeps?
      Iconoclast
      Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Mike J. G. View Post
        You create a thread asking for One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary, David Orsam actually gave you not one, but several, and you blather on about how you're too busy to read it, because you're ironically and admittedly too busy reading 20+ books with which you seek to reinforce your beliefs in the diary being genuine. Funny, that.
        As anyone who paid attention to my post will tell you, I said I read 20+ books (when writing Society's Pillar), not that I was reading 20+ books. I have not read Orsam's internet articles in detail but I will when it suits me to do so, and not because I am currently 'reading' 20+ books. I find your tone persistently inappropriately-bossy and bombastic. It's like we're all in a nightclub and somehow or other we got in past you - the bouncer - and you're so enraged by this that you have to keep coming in every now and again trying desperately to find fault with people you don't like so that you can hoy them out. Why don't you seek a critical argumentative framework rather than this persistent, unhelpful, frankly uncomfortable, tirade of passive-aggressive anger and abuse? Just look at your final paragraph, above: it's littered with implied insult and yet provides nothing constructive for us to discuss and build on. Your reliance on thoroughly unreliable metaphors (the latest - the leprechauns - was honestly too weak to justify the time it took you to think of it) and your sweeping statements which are never backed-up with hard fact (e.g., "One needs only an afternoon to understand how the "diary" is a complete mess of errors" - people are allowed to disagree with you, man!) mean that you are a destructive force on this Casebook rather than a constructive force. Of course, you can choose to be either. Of course, you can choose to be neither. I'm just letting you know that we can all see through the bluff and bluster, that's all.
        Iconoclast
        Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

        Comment


        • Please drop the violin act, Ike. It's fooling no one.

          Comment


          • And dial back the crazy squad stuff.
            What I said about name calling on the other thread applies to this one, too.

            JM

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Harry D View Post
              Please drop the violin act, Ike. It's fooling no one.
              I honestly have no idea what you mean. Honestly.
              Iconoclast
              Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

              Comment


              • Originally posted by jmenges View Post
                And dial back the crazy squad stuff.
                What I said about name calling on the other thread applies to this one, too.

                JM
                Absolutely. I will take it as read that there will therefore be no more use of 'troll' (Mike J.G.), 'wind-up merchant' (Harry D), and general insults (too many to name) which I assume you're moderating closely too?

                II
                Iconoclast
                Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                Comment


                • Maybe you missed this from the other thread...

                  Originally posted by jmenges View Post
                  Please everyone try to keep the personal attacks out of the debate. Calling each other trolls, empty noggins and maroons serves only one purpose, to get you an infraction. Itís against the rules.

                  JM

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by jmenges View Post
                    Maybe you missed this from the other thread...


                    Duly noted.
                    Iconoclast
                    Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                    Comment


                    • Good Morning, Ike!

                      Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                      In the meantime, riddle me this one: If Gladys was born in July 1885, did she not have almost three whole years of vulnerable life in which to occasionally be ill in order for her father to write in his scrapbook in approximately April 1888 "My dearest Gladys is unwell yet again"?
                      Absolutely, mate.

                      And if Robert Smith had merely said "children are often sick. Perhaps little Gladys WAS repeatedly sick in 1888. We don't know that--there is no documented evidence for it--- but she COULD HAVE BEEN sick," everything would have come up smelling like roses.

                      But my dear Ike, you do Robert Smith a great disservice--you insult him, really--for you've whittled his dramatic argument into trite guesswork of no importance, something so banal and foolish that is "beneath" even discussing. "Children are often sick! Who cares? Maybe it's accurate, maybe not. The Diary's phrase proves nothing!"

                      What you seem to have missed is that Smith's is claiming that the passage "My Dear Gladys is unwell yet again", dating to early 1888, shows obscure and accurate insight into the Maybrick family history. it's not the trite guesswork that you claim it is. To paraphrase Smith, it is something that no modern forger could have known.

                      As evidence, Smith cites the Baillie letter of April 1889 and claims it is the only source for Gladys's repeated illnesses, and that the letter could only be found in a dusty file in the bowels of the National Archives.

                      This is what Lord Orsam was rebutting.

                      And why is discussing this beneath us? Isn't Smith making a remarkable and important claim? If true, isn't this precisely the sort of exegesis we should be concerned with when examining the diary's text, and what would make Old Ike's blood bubble with excitement?

                      What Lord Orsam demonstrated in his essay (and I really do suggest you take the time to savor it, for it is one of the better pieces of detective work ever inflicted on the Maybrick scrapheap) is that Smith's claims are false. As noted in yesterday's post, the Baillie letter was reprinted in its entirety in local newspapers.

                      More interesting yet, the suggestion that the diarist is accurate in alluding to Gladys's repeated illness in early 1888 doesn't even appear to be true! Or at least it is very much in doubt. The Diary appears to be repeating a mistake of longstanding error, as can be found in Bernard Ryan (1977), Levy (1899), and Irving (1912/1922), and even Palmer (2019).

                      You see, Ike, I made a small but significant error in my post yesterday, (Palmer, 2019) when I dated Gladys's whooping cough to 1887. It is somewhat forgivable, for it is the same error that can be found in Ryan, Levy, etc.

                      This is where you really should go back to Orsam's essay and read the passage (about a third of the way down) sub-titled "Gladys Unwell Again."

                      Orsam noticed a discrepancy in the contemporary news coverage of the Florence Maybrick trial. Specifically, where it quotes Dr. Humphreys.

                      The Liverpool Echo reported that the Gladys's bout with whooping cough happened in the "early months of 1887." This led Ryan, Levy, Irving, etc. to repeat this false chronology in their secondary sources. Part of those 20 books you've recently been reading.

                      But Orsam also noticed that The Times, the Daily Telegraph, and the Liverpool Courier quoted Humphreys differently, dating the whooping cough to March 1889.

                      This changes everything and makes sense of Mrs. Baillie's letter. Gladys was sick in March 1889; in early April she has a relapse (or possibly a secondary illness) leading Mrs. Baillie to write the now infamous letter of little Gladys being "unwell yet again" on 11 April.

                      To test the accuracy of this new March 1889 date for the whooping cough, Lord Orsam trudged down to the National Archives and found Justice Stephen's trial notes which still exist (Lord O informs us they are HO 144/1639/A50678). Here is the relevant note:





                      "Attended children of M[aybrick] for whooping cough in early 1889."

                      Thus, as far as you, I, Keith Skinner, Lord Orsam, Caz, Robert Smith, or anyone else knows, the only documented illnesses that Gladys Maybrick suffered during Maybrick's lifetime occurred in March 1889 and April 1889.

                      So when the diarist writes that Gladys is "unwell again" in early 1888, he appears to be repeating a chronological error that crept into the secondary sources, traced by Lord Orsam back to the Liverpool Echo's mistake when transcribing the trial testimony.

                      Or, to more align myself with your own thinking, the diary's phrase is simply trite, throwaway guesswork. It may be true, it may not be true. We have no way of knowing.

                      Cheers.

                      (More in a moment).


                      Comment


                      • Ike,

                        My favorite is Lord Orsam's final point, which I had utterly forgotten. When you get around to reading his article, please keep an eye out for it.

                        The Diary is undated, but from the context we can tell which way the wind is blowing. We can feel the heat of summer, smell the fragment odors of autumn, feel the frigid Liverpool slush beneath our galoshes.

                        For instance, the Diary alludes to Christmas 1888, to the Grand National on March 29th, 1889.

                        Thus, with confidence, we know what passages in the Diary must cover the months of March and April 1889.

                        And guess what Lord O noticed?

                        Not a peep do we hear from the diarist about little Glady's illnesses in the Spring of 1889, even though she was suffering through whooping cough and a secondary illness.

                        So we have the remarkable fact that the diarist is moaning over his daughter's fragile health in early 1888 (when she is not known to have been sick) but is utterly silent on the matter in March/April 1889 (when she WAS known to be sick).

                        Now, I am going out on a limb, but it does seem to me this is an error in chronology, most likely cribbed from the modern, secondary sources (I say modern, due to the diary failing Dr. Baxendale's ink solubility test in 1992).

                        I can understand the fatigue you must be experiencing from your marathon reading session of 20+ books, but when you sufficiently recover do yourself a favor and check out the essay. It's pretty darned interesting to us Maybrickians:

                        https://www.orsam.co.uk/maybrickthefalsefacts.htm

                        Enjoy your afternoon or evening.




                        Last edited by rjpalmer; 09-17-2019, 02:58 PM.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                          Ike,
                          Now, I am going out on a limb, but it does seem to me this is an error in chronology, most likely cribbed from the modern, secondary sources (I say modern, due to the diary failing Dr. Baxendale's ink solubility test in 1992).
                          Riddler,

                          You can go out on any limb you want, as far out on that limb as you are blessed to be able to go, but you will arrive at the end of that limb knowing that all you have done is acquired a new or revised opinion, not a fact. If you believe that Lord Orsam has identified an error in chronology in the scrapbook, you are more than welcome to that view, but it clearly adds not a jot to the collective understanding about the authenticity of the scrapbook. And this is precisely what I mean when I refer to the 'bluff and bluster' of scrapbook critics. There is a lot of information, a bit of conjecture chucked in, and suddenly we have a smug opinion half-dressed up as fact.

                          When Lord O's not-quite-so-brilliant Pillars of Sand hit the bookshelves, I did read enough of it to realise that I needed to stop and come back to it when I had more time to properly digest and comment on it in my very-much-so-brilliant Society's Pillar. Nevertheless, I had read enough of it to have reviewed the Gladys being ill bit. At the time, I remember thinking "That's interesting", but immediately knowing that that was all it was - interesting. Lord Orsam is amazing at dredging up obscure detail, and this is completely admirable in him. He is - it would seem - almost as good as that doyen of discovery Keith Skinner, though Keith did it without the internet so points off for Orsy there, unfortunately for him. Interesting is great, but it is incredible when it changes the argument, and - in this case (as so many other cases) - Orsam falls short. All he does - in reality - is demonstrate that Ryan believed that Gladys and Bobo had whooping cough in 1887 and the truth was they had it in the spring of 1889. The fact that Maybrick mentioned Gladys being ill again in the spring of 1888 is not evidence of a chronological error. If it was, Maybrick would have had to have written something along the lines of "My dearest Gladys is unwell again - not quite the same as but just as worrying to me as that bout of whooping cough she and Bobo had last year". Sadly for Lord Orsam, Maybrick simply said she was ill again. Illness comes in many forms as I'm sure we all know, especially in children, so Gladys being unwell again is no great surprise. She presumably was unwell in 1885 and/or 1886 and/or 1887 and/or 1888 and/or 1889, but all we know for sure is that she was attended for whooping cough in March 1889. I don't know where you got the 'secondary illness' from which I assume explains why the otherwise uber-fit Gladys was unwell twice in short succession, hence explaining Margaret Baillie Knight's comment about Gladys being ill again. If I've missed a secondary illness, please let me know, but I assume she was ill with whooping cough in March 1889, Florrie mentioned it in a letter to MBK subsequently, and MBK mentioned how sad she was to hear of it in her letter dated April 11. Clearly, I have missed the evidence for the secondary illness, though, so please do me the favour of clarifying what it was.

                          Maybrick in the spring of 1888 mentions that Gladys is unwell again. He doesn't mention Bobo but Bobo had whooping cough when Gladys had it so I do not believe that there is any evidence there to suggest our erstwhile hoaxer made a chronological error. I would suggest that Gladys was simply unwell again in the spring of 1888. At a stretch, I can conceive of the hoaxer doing what Lord Orsam did in hunting down MBK's letter to Florrie in the Public Records Office (or wherever) - even though Lord Orsam knew what he was looking for and our hoaxer could not have done - and thought to add a little slice-of-Maybrick-life into his hoax and just plain got the timing wrong (by a full year!) from 1889 to 1888; but we can't know right now either way so if we want to form judgements on this information we have to rely on our opinions, and I think we all know that no science do they make. If we accept this latter version, we have to assume that the hoaxer ignored the error ('1887') in Ryan which he had presumably read before he traipsed off to the PRO looking for slice-of-life stuff to stick into his nascent scrapbook never imagining that he would discover MBK's letter to Florrie of April 1889 and the realisation that Ryan had got the whooping cough wrong by two years.

                          The last point I should not ignore is this interesting one that Maybrick mentions his concerns about Gladys in the Spring of 1888 when there is no existing evidence to show that she was ill then (and before then to justify the use of 'again') but fails to mention his concerns for her in the Spring of 1889. I don't have a categorical, proven answer for that as I know you don't either but if this truly is a 'chronological error' by a hoaxer then they had to have completed some amazing research which uncovered either the MBK letter in the PRO or else from researching the newspapers of 1889 in which MBK's letter was printed. And they said it was a shoddy hoax! Come on, now, which way is it because it's not reasonable to keep moving the goalposts and imagine the crowd haven't noticed?

                          To sum up, we need to separate the 'bluff and bluster' of an excellent researcher excited by his finds with what those finds ultimately tell us about the Maybrick case. To date, to my knowledge, though I have not updated my knowledge to include everything Orsam has written, he has not changed the argument one iota. If I do, and he does, then I will be the first to admit it.

                          PS I don't recall saying that I was fatigued by my reading of late 2018, but nothing to worry about, there's nothing like a good bit of patronisation, is there?

                          Ike
                          Last edited by Iconoclast; 09-17-2019, 05:16 PM.
                          Iconoclast
                          Soldier of Fortune, Man of Peace, Destroyer of Images, Nice Guy, Genius

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                            I don't have a categorical, proven answer for that as I know you don't either but if this truly is a 'chronological error' by a hoaxer then they had to have completed some amazing research which uncovered either the MBK letter in the PRO or else from researching the newspapers of 1889 in which MBK's letter was printed.
                            Or simply read the error on page 137 of Bernard Ryan's 1977 book, A Poisoned Life of Mrs. Maybrick and go on to draw a wrong conclusion--a book, by the way, that Barrett was familiar with and mentions during his rambling discussions with Alan Gray shortly before his January 1995 confession. It's also a book that just happened to disappear from the stacks of the Central Liverpool Library--which is where Barrett supposedly did his research.

                            You really should read more carefully, Ike, so you don't keep drawing these wrong conclusions.

                            Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                            there's nothing like a good bit of patronisation, is there?


                            Like calling someone, Riddler, for instance?

                            I've been polite, but it's clearly time to move on.

                            Cheers anyway.







                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                              Or simply read the error on page 137 of Bernard Ryan's 1977 book, A Poisoned Life of Mrs. Maybrick and go on to draw a wrong conclusion--a book, by the way, that Barrett was familiar with and mentions during his rambling discussions with Alan Gray shortly before his January 1995 confession. It's also a book that just happened to disappear from the stacks of the Central Liverpool Library--which is where Barrett supposedly did his research.
                              R'r,

                              I'm confused. You're arguing that a hoaxer may have read in Ryan's book that Gladys had whooping cough in 1887 and he or she then made a chronological error in citing that Gladys was unwell in 1888, yes? I thought you were agreeing with Lord Orsam that the chronological error lay in the hoaxer knowing that Gladys was unwell in 1889 but putting it into the scrapbook a year too early? It feels as though you are trying to have your chronological error and eat it here?

                              I don't suppose anyone is amazed if Barrett had read Ryan during his time at the Central Liverpool Library. Why would this be amazing for a man researching a scrapbook purporting to have been written by James Maybrick? I'd have been positively confused if he hadn't read Ryan.

                              And the book mysteriously disappeared? I'm not sure what that would mean if Barrett had nicked it to keep at home. My dad used to nick his library books because he didn't like the fact he could only have them for four weeks. When he'd finally read them, he nicked them back in again (as inappropriate as it was to nick library books and deprive people of them for a few days or weeks longer than he was entitled to, it is at least to his credit that he took the unnecessary risk of returning them, I suppose). But a Liverpool scally meets a mysteriously disappearing book - hmmm Ö I think I've solved the mystery there, to be honest. But to imagine that there is something devious about this is reading too much into it.

                              You really should read more carefully, Ike, so you don't keep drawing these wrong conclusions.
                              I don't think I drew any wrong conclusions at all, though I am unsure that you could hold yourself to the same high standard there.

                              Ike

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

                              Comment


                              • Just ordered the diary from amazon. Another book came up as well entitled "The Last Victim: The Extraordinary Life of Florence Maybrick" by Anne E. Graham. So is this Michael Barret's wife? If so, how does this square with the idea that the Mike and his wife were incapable of writing the diary when it seems that she is in fact a published author? Add to that that her book is about the wife of James Maybrick. Thoughts??????

                                c.d.

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