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The Diary—Old Hoax or New?

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  • Harry D
    replied
    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

    As I argue in Society's Pillar, it is indeed. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater until we know the poor thing is nice and clean. It is one of a very small number of negative aspects of Maybrick's candidacy for Jack, and it is not one which should end the debate as-if stone dead.
    But when these negative aspects start stacking up, along with the dodgy provenance of the diary and the confession, it points in one clear direction.

    The debate will take care of itself. It does feel like a beaten horse at this point, but without a smoking gun I'm sure it will never die.

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  • Harry D
    replied
    Originally posted by Spider View Post
    There is now though!
    You don't see the circular logic there?

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  • Graham
    replied
    To be honest, I don't think the true and absolute origin of The Diary will ever be proven beyond all doubt. Not now. And of course, there is the so-called Maybrick Watch, which somehow seems to be largely left out of most debate about The Diary. From my own viewpoint, I originally wanted The Diary to be genuine - I think most people did - but when viewed in a very cold light it's simply too good to be true. And as for the Watch popping up out of the blue at around the same time as The Diary - well, a coincidence too far, or what?

    I don't think the composition of The Diary was really beyond the skill and education of Mike Barrett, but as to whether he alone produced it...don't know, but to me it seems unlikely. (By the way, he did make money out of The Diary, but as might be expected, he p****d it up the wall). Maybe Melvin Harris was correct; maybe there was a 'nest of forgers' in Liverpool at the time. I don't doubt that the Scrapbook came out of Battlecrease, but I do doubt that it came out with James Maybrick's confessional 'Diary' already in there as an added bonus. Yes, Ike, the Case is subtle, and probably too subtle, and also too complicated at this remove, for just an ordinary over-excited Villa fan such as I.

    Graham

    PS: Ike, I do hope you've equipped yourself with a good pair of binoculars for next season, 'cos you're gonna need 'em - pointing upwards, to see where Villa are, way, way above you.....

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    Originally posted by Spider View Post
    Mr Orsam already showed the anachronistic usage of 'one-off' points to a modern hoax. There's no nineteenth century record of anyone using 'one-off' in the context it was used in the diary.

    There is now though!
    Quite right, Spider. Quite right. Okay, so there's an apparent gap in the literature between 1888 and something like 1982. Fair point. It does not lend Maybrick as Jack any credence - but kill it stone dead? No way.

    Trust you're well, young man ...

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

    mr Begg
    he was a published author.
    And the idea that he was too much of a drunk or whatever to conceive and or write it is wrong IMHO as many fiction writers, and extremely good and creative ones at that, have had drinking and or substance abuse problems. and its not even that good. of course he could have done it.

    No, he absolutely could not have done it. You need to read something about the case so that this becomes less obvious to you! The internal content of the scrapbook required significant researching. My Feldman did so, employing experienced researchers to hunt down every bit of information they could find on Maybrick. There is no evidence that Mike Barrett did any more than stroll down to the library to see what he could find there.

    The case is so much more subtle than your posts suggest you find it, which indicates to me that you need to do your own research before posting such trenchant and indefensible opinions. IMHO obviously.

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    Originally posted by Harry D View Post
    and this is a mark against an item that is already shrouded in controversy.
    As I argue in Society's Pillar, it is indeed. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater until we know the poor thing is nice and clean. It is one of a very small number of negative aspects of Maybrick's candidacy for Jack, and it is not one which should end the debate as-if stone dead.

    Leave a comment:


  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by PaulB View Post

    Did you meet Mike Barrett? What makes you think Mike Barrett could conceive the hoax, let alone execute it? Are you sure Mike could have created something that still hasn't been proven a modern creation? The trouble is, even if Mike had conceived the idea, would he have shifted from the pub long enough to have done something about it? The problem is that quite a lot of people aren't convinced that Mike "forged" the diary. Which leaves them with the question, if not then who did? And it's the absence of any credible forger that leads to the idea that the diary is an old hoax, created for a purpose and never used.
    mr Begg
    he was a published author, no?
    And the idea that he was too much of a drunk or whatever to conceive and or write it is wrong IMHO as many fiction writers, and extremely good and creative ones at that, have had drinking and or substance abuse problems. and its not even that good. of course he could have done it.

    Last edited by Abby Normal; 07-23-2019, 02:28 PM.

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  • Iconoclast
    replied
    Originally posted by PaulB View Post

    Did you meet Mike Barrett? What makes you think Mike Barrett could conceive the hoax, let alone execute it? Are you sure Mike could have created something that still hasn't been proven a modern creation? The trouble is, even if Mike had conceived the idea, would he have shifted from the pub long enough to have done something about it? The problem is that quite a lot of people aren't convinced that Mike "forged" the diary. Which leaves them with the question, if not then who did? And it's the absence of any credible forger that leads to the idea that the diary is an old hoax, created for a purpose and never used.
    Or leads others to see no evidence (or even - in the case of the old forgery - no possibility) of either forgery case being plausible.

    For those (not you, obviously, Paul) who are unfamiliar with the situation:
    • It was either written by James Maybrick in 1888 and 1889; or
    • It was a post-1987 hoax
    The third 'possibility' (but only in the sense that it is not literally impossible) is that it was a pre-1987 hoax (and possibly even a hoax written very close to the times of the murders) but that is not possible as it contains insights into the Maybrick household which a policeman could not have reasonably known and insights into the murders which a member of Maybrick's close friends, family, or household could not have reasonably known.

    It's either genuine or a modern (post-1987) hoax and we should stop speaking of the 'old hoax' as though it were reasonable to conceive of such (given the internal content of the scrapbook).

    And - to respond more directly to your post, Paul - of course it was not concocted by Michael Barrett, nor by Anne Graham, nor by Tony Devereaux. For our post-1987 hoaxer, you are looking for a creative genius who was willing to give away his greatest masterpiece - taking the truly individualistic step of making an otherwise respectable Liverpool business man into Jack the Ripper - to the least plausible of all possible foils, an ex-scrap metal dealer and one-time crossword compiler. And all - apparently - for not a penny profit. Such altruism!

    Cheers,

    Ike


    Leave a comment:


  • Spider
    replied
    Mr Orsam already showed the anachronistic usage of 'one-off' points to a modern hoax. There's no nineteenth century record of anyone using 'one-off' in the context it was used in the diary.

    There is now though!

    Leave a comment:


  • Harry D
    replied
    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

    If it were never so well proven, it would still not be enough to nail anything 19th century as a hoax. It's just an expression, and not every expression remains on the record. Lord Orsam may not have been able to locate it elsewhere (are we absolutely clear to what depth he actually checked?), but that does not make it anachronistic. Even if it had not garnered general use, it is hardly an unlikely juxtaposition of thoughts given the context he used it in and given the established use of the phrase 'one-off' (also, note, it is not 'one-one' in the scrapbook but 'one off'). If the hoaxer had written "saw the newly-formed Liverpool FC play this afternoon", I'd be first in the queue for forgery, but not 'one off instance' - and certainly not with the overwhelming physical and circumstantial evidence pointing directly at Maybrick (cf. Society's Pillar if you're unsure what I mean).
    It's not a slamdunk, because pro-diarists will plead absence as evidence (like you have done). There may be unearthed records from the 19th century that use the term, or Maybrick, no matter how implausibly, may have been one of the first to enter it into the common lexicon. However, common sense would dictate that either of those two possibilities are extremely unlikely, and this is a mark against an item that is already shrouded in controversy.

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  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

    lets cut through it-forget calling it a new hoax-lets call it for what it is. Barretts hoax.

    labeling it new hoax will only open the door for the desperate diary defenders to open the possibility that its a new hoax but not by barret. LOL.
    anything to keep the diary nonsense alive.
    Did you meet Mike Barrett? What makes you think Mike Barrett could conceive the hoax, let alone execute it? Are you sure Mike could have created something that still hasn't been proven a modern creation? The trouble is, even if Mike had conceived the idea, would he have shifted from the pub long enough to have done something about it? The problem is that quite a lot of people aren't convinced that Mike "forged" the diary. Which leaves them with the question, if not then who did? And it's the absence of any credible forger that leads to the idea that the diary is an old hoax, created for a purpose and never used.

    Leave a comment:


  • Iconoclast
    replied
    Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

    lets cut through it-forget calling it a new hoax-lets call it for what it is. Barretts hoax.

    labeling it new hoax will only open the door for the desperate diary defenders to open the possibility that its a new hoax but not by barret. LOL.
    anything to keep the diary nonsense alive.
    You can call it anything you want - it won't make it so!

    I appreciate that you probably haven't done any research into Maybrick whatsoever so you probably won't play this Radio Merseyside broadcast from 1995 either in which Mike Barrett cogently and self-effacingly explains why he got very very very very drunk and told a lie one time.

    https://webapp.castbox.fm/episode/Au...657?country=gb

    Leave a comment:


  • Iconoclast
    replied
    Originally posted by Harry D View Post
    Mr Orsam already showed the anachronistic usage of 'one-off' points to a modern hoax. There's no nineteenth century record of anyone using 'one-off' in the context it was used in the diary. In other words, to believe in the diary you have to accept that Maybrick was the originator of this expression, and it was not the slip-up of a modern hoaxer. Classic case of faith vs reason.
    If it were never so well proven, it would still not be enough to nail anything 19th century as a hoax. It's just an expression, and not every expression remains on the record. Lord Orsam may not have been able to locate it elsewhere (are we absolutely clear to what depth he actually checked?), but that does not make it anachronistic. Even if it had not garnered general use, it is hardly an unlikely juxtaposition of thoughts given the context he used it in and given the established use of the phrase 'one-off' (also, note, it is not 'one-one' in the scrapbook but 'one off'). If the hoaxer had written "saw the newly-formed Liverpool FC play this afternoon", I'd be first in the queue for forgery, but not 'one off instance' - and certainly not with the overwhelming physical and circumstantial evidence pointing directly at Maybrick (cf. Society's Pillar if you're unsure what I mean).

    Leave a comment:


  • Abby Normal
    replied
    Originally posted by Eliza View Post
    Like I said earlier, I’m no historian, just someone who has a degree in English Lit from a pretty good school. In the course of my studies, and during spare time, I read a lot of Victorian and Edwardian literature—classics, early detective novels, journalism, even “penny dreadfuls.” Based on this experience and other thoughts, I opt for the “new hoax” theory.

    First, for those who advocate for an old hoax—what was the purpose? Was the phony “Maybrick Journal” intended to be a scary piece of fiction incorporating the Ripper murders—ala “The Lodger” by Belloc Lowndes? If so, it doesn’t fit any known suspense novel prototype from that time. Anyone who’s read Lowndes, or other minor 19th crime/detective writers, would notice the slow pace, fusty prose, sentimentality, and careful restraint regarding the gory aspects of the crimes. The raw, harsh, and comparatively gruesome qualities of the Maybrick document is in stark contrast. Again, it’s like no other work of crime fiction from that era. While it does contain some fairly convincing Victorian-esque prose, the overall presentation is extremely modern.

    If it were not intended as fiction—then again, what was the purpose? To frame Maybrick? Why? Or to make a quick buck by positing a new Ripper suspect? Then why was it never offered to the public?

    At any rate, I suspect any old hoax of this type—whether offered as fiction or non fiction--would have seemed too harsh and over the top for any publisher to touch, given the sensibilities of the time. A hoaxer clever enough to invent this narrative, would be clever enough to put it in form that would be acceptable for that era’s readership.

    I think the hoax is new, but as I stated in my earlier post on the subject, may have incorporated a few recently discovered Maybrick letters or journal entries
    lets cut through it-forget calling it a new hoax-lets call it for what it is. Barretts hoax.

    labeling it new hoax will only open the door for the desperate diary defenders to open the possibility that its a new hoax but not by barret. LOL.
    anything to keep the diary nonsense alive.

    Leave a comment:


  • Harry D
    replied
    Mr Orsam already showed the anachronistic usage of 'one-off' points to a modern hoax. There's no nineteenth century record of anyone using 'one-off' in the context it was used in the diary. In other words, to believe in the diary you have to accept that Maybrick was the originator of this expression, and it was not the slip-up of a modern hoaxer. Classic case of faith vs reason.

    Leave a comment:

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