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Warren Letter & Maybrick Diary

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  • Warren Letter & Maybrick Diary

    i am looking for someone who knows something about handwriting to clearly explain to me how the two examples of handwriting below are written by two seperate hands. To my amateur eyes I see the handwriting being infinitely similar. Any takers?

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Just for clarity:

    Warren Letter (24th Sep 1888)
    Click image for larger version

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    Maybrick Document

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    Attached Files
    Last edited by erobitha; 11-12-2019, 05:55 PM.

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    • #3
      Hi,

      I'm no expert in this, but I believe the types of things they look for in such comparisons are related to things like tilt, and size of loops, flourishes, etc.

      I've extracted all (I think) of the capital letter I when used to refer to oneself (the word I, basically).

      The red box contains the I's from the 1888 letter, and the blue box contains the I's from the diary.

      Notice how the I's in the letter are all very slanted, and tilt. Also, there's little to no "loop" at the bottom, and the down stroke from the top loop is very straight. If there's a loop at the bottom of that at all, its squashed into the down stroke, and there's no "tail" that extends past the down stroke. It sort of looks like a tilted 9.

      Now, look at the diary I's. They are much more vertical, the down stroke is often a curve rather than the straight line of the letter writter. The bottom loop is very pronounced, and there's a tail to it that goes past the down stroke (it looks more like a lower case g to me).

      While the font both writers are using would be the same, the specifics of how they produce the letters is what's different.

      So a handwriting expert (and no, I'm not one), would look for those kinds of things, and if they find enough differences of this sort, they conclude these are not by the same person.

      That's my understanding at least.

      I hope this image is visible? You might have to download it and zoom in.

      - Jeff

      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
        Hi,

        Now, look at the diary I's. They are much more vertical, the down stroke is often a curve rather than the straight line of the letter writter. The bottom loop is very pronounced, and there's a tail to it that goes past the down stroke (it looks more like a lower case g to me).

        While the font both writers are using would be the same, the specifics of how they produce the letters is what's different.
        Quite possibly because whoever wrote the diary was trying to affect an "antique" style of writing that they had zero experience of using and not much experience of even seeing.

        Nice montage, Jeff.
        Kind regards, Sam Flynn

        "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post
          Hi,

          I'm no expert in this, but I believe the types of things they look for in such comparisons are related to things like tilt, and size of loops, flourishes, etc.

          I've extracted all (I think) of the capital letter I when used to refer to oneself (the word I, basically).

          The red box contains the I's from the 1888 letter, and the blue box contains the I's from the diary.

          Notice how the I's in the letter are all very slanted, and tilt. Also, there's little to no "loop" at the bottom, and the down stroke from the top loop is very straight. If there's a loop at the bottom of that at all, its squashed into the down stroke, and there's no "tail" that extends past the down stroke. It sort of looks like a tilted 9.

          Now, look at the diary I's. They are much more vertical, the down stroke is often a curve rather than the straight line of the letter writter. The bottom loop is very pronounced, and there's a tail to it that goes past the down stroke (it looks more like a lower case g to me).

          While the font both writers are using would be the same, the specifics of how they produce the letters is what's different.

          So a handwriting expert (and no, I'm not one), would look for those kinds of things, and if they find enough differences of this sort, they conclude these are not by the same person.

          That's my understanding at least.

          I hope this image is visible? You might have to download it and zoom in.

          - Jeff
          On first glance they look the same to me, but I appeciate the work there to higlhight the key differences in the slant and loops - I can see your points.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post

            Quite possibly because whoever wrote the diary was trying to affect an "antique" style of writing that they had zero experience of using and not much experience of even seeing.

            Nice montage, Jeff.
            I don't know enough about handwriting analysis to know if the differences like the ones I mentioned would indicate that or not? I think one would have to be particularly versed in Victoria era handwriting in order to make inferences with regards to how "practiced the hand was" in writing in that particular "font". One random thought, which could be entirely rubbish but I'll share all the same, that popped into my head when doing this was noting how much more vertical the diary letters are than the letter's. I wonder if Victorian's tended to have a more slanted writing style, while modern penmanship tends to more vertical? If so, would that be something a "forensic handwriting analysis" might look for to determine if something was a more recent forgery? It is, of course, entirely possible that the individual variation in "script verticality" (to make up some jargon there), is so wide that the diary's vertical I's are entirely common for both Victorian and modern handwriting. I just have no idea whether or not that is something one could do.

            It would certainly be possible to analyse historic writing, extract that angle of of the letters, and determine the distribution of "script tilt" to get an idea of how common or uncommon the diary's tilt-angle is, but that would require a lot of examples, and a lot of work. Also, one would then need a sample of present day people attempting to write in the Victorian style, and with cursive going out of fashion, that might be hard to do.

            - Jeff

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            • #7
              I think it rather boils down to how natural it looks. The diary's "I's", as well as many other characters/letters used throughout, look entirely forced to me.
              Kind regards, Sam Flynn

              "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

              Comment


              • #8
                Fair enough. My own handwriting is so poor that I'm probably not the best judge.

                - Jeff

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