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Inspiration for the Fake 'Diary'

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  • Cheers, Caz.


    • Originally posted by Graham View Post
      In fairness to Anne, if Paul Feldman is to be believed, she long resisted any intrusion upon her father's privacy, given his frail health, but eventually gave in under Feldman's relentless pressure. I rather get the impression, reading Feldman's book, that he didn't get a fat lot of useful information from Billy Graham from whom, I believe, he was hoping to obtain confirmation of a family link between him, Billy Graham, and Florie Maybrick. But at least Billy Graham did say that he first saw the Diary in about 1940, and of course it's impossible to refute this now.

      Hi Graham,

      Billy was indeed in very frail health by this time, and it would be only natural for him to have accepted at face value everything his daughter was saying about this book that she had found among his possessions. Whether or not he ever saw the actual diary, I do believe he was remembering a book that he believed was the one Anne meant.

      I wouldn't agree that it's 'impossible' to refute his recollection now. Proof of a later date for the diary's creation would do it, or proof that it was somewhere else at the time.


      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


      • Originally posted by Steven Russell View Post
        Anne Barrett has been working closely with Shirley Harrison and Sally Evemy, helping research the Maybrick angle. She comes across the Illustrated Mirror article and thinks: disputed diary, tin box, intention to turn into a shilling shocker. A much better provenance. It was in a tin box my father owned and I asked Tony to give it to Mike, hoping he would make it into a novel.
        Hi again Steve,

        Anne naturally had every reason to try and undermine Mike's forgery claims somehow, wherever the truth lay. So your scenario here is as good as any, assuming she couldn't prove he wasn't a forger. But it still wouldn't indicate that she had a hand in the diary's creation, or even knew it was a fake.

        However, I don't think Anne ever worked with Shirley and Sally on the Maybrick angle; it was Feldy who got her research juices flowing. In fact, Shirley and Doreen felt terribly let down by Anne when they found out what she had revealed out of the blue to Feldy, in the wake of Mike's disastrous 'confession' to the press. She was clearly either not being straight with anyone now, or she had not been straight with Shirley and Doreen at the start, when it could have made all the difference.


        Last edited by caz; 09-24-2012, 03:29 PM.
        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


        • Thanks for that, Caz. I should have said Feldman rather than Shirley and Sally. Otherwise my scenario stands.

          But, of course, it's pure speculation and therefore probably rubbish. It's just that the IM article leapt off the page at me as I was reading Feldy's book.

          Best wishes,


          • I'd just as soon not return to the Diary debate, but having been accused of being 'cowardly' on another thread, for supposedly not having the 'guts' to opening accuse Anne Graham of involvement in the Maybrick hoax (I used a feminine pronoun when describing the Diarist), let me just clear the air.

            My belief that the diary shows a feminine hand is independent of any suspicion I may or may not have about Graham's cooperation in this hoax. (And yes, I do have suspicions!)

            Perhaps I'm sexist as all hell, but I think most men are rather selfish and dim when it comes to family relationships--Victorian men doubly so--and the diarist's obsession with the children, with this and that brother, etc., strikes me as more the attitude of a female author than a male author. Men care deeply for their children, of course, but they aren't always comfortable in expressing it, due to cultural norms, and the diarist's frothing on about bunny and bobo and his brother Michael strikes a false chord with me. It is a feminine attitude, in my chauvinistic opinion. More akin to a Jane Austen (whom I love) than a Henry Fielding (whom I like even more) though on an infinitely less intelligent level.

            Also, the whole schtick of the diary seems to be the same general structure of a romance novel. A man could have written it, but I've always suspected a woman. Further, Maybrick is depicted as a crude swine, and that strengthens my suspicions that a woman was behind it. A male author would have tended to make him more cruel and debauched, than simply stupid and crude. I realize this impression of mine is highly subjective and up for debate, and the difference between a male and female 'voice' is uncertain and subtle--especially in fiction, and the diary IS fiction--but agree or disagree, that is my opinion. I think our primary author is an authoress.

            Anyway, I find the accusation disingenuous. My suspicions against the Barretts is no worse, and indeed I'd say is considerably less worse, then the accusations leveled against Eddie Lyons by those who think the Diary came out of Battlecrease in 1992. Either directly or indirectly, they are accusing Lyons of stealing from his employer's clients. What evidence can they present for this outrageous suggestion? Is Mr. Lyons even aware that he is being accused of a crime by certain Ripperologists? And if it was a theft, isn't Anne Graham being accused of taking part in peddling a stolen object and lying about it? Like I say, the accusation is disingenuous.

            Finally, I have been informed that errors in the diary are of no interest to Diary aficionados. Since the diary is an admitted fake, we need not bother ourselves with errors in the text, even though they might give us a clue as to when and how and by whom it was written. Mr. Begg's "three questions" need not be answer. The diary is a fake, and that is the end of it.

            I, obviously disagree. I'm interested in how the following phrase appeared in the Diary, in describing the so-called 'double event.'

            Within the quarter of the hour I found another dirty bitch willing to sell her wares.”

            As I asked elsewhere, how and why did our hoaxer come up with this idea? The distance between Berner Street and Mitre Square is indeed about a fifteen minute's walk. Are the 'old hoax' theorist suggesting the diarist was so knowledgeable of the geography of the East End that they accurately estimated the walking distance? Or are they suggesting first-hand knowledge? And is this 15 minute span even plausible?

            Even the savants at Scotland Yard had a dim knowledge of the local geography, referring to such things as "Mitre Court" and three Hebrew gentlemen rolling up to Berner Street in a dogcart. They even mix-up various crime scenes. I am not seeing books written before the modern era (1960s-80s) that deal with specific geography in any sophisticated way.

            Is the suggestion that the Liverpool hoaxer walked the streets of Whitechapel, stopwatch in hand?

            Maybe so, maybe so. But I humbly suggest that she (or he!) looked no further than the opening sentences of Chapter 3 of Donald Rumbelow's popular book, and jumped to the wrong conclusion. The same book, by the way, that features the 'Punch' cartoon, alluded to in the diary. It was written in the 1960s.

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