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  • #16
    During a stretch of insomnia last night I thought about our 'Mrs. Hammersmith'... and it seemed to me that the arguments for and against her identification lack a certain psychological subtlety into the mind of a hoaxer.

    The diarist is an angler, and he's angling for true believers. He is also a puzzle maker who wants the reader to be able to figure out the puzzle he has created. That is nearly his entire 'schtick.'

    This is somewhat clever, in a street smart sort of way, because he is banking on human egotism. By dropping hints instead of spelling everything out explicitly, the hoaxer is forcing the reader to play an active role in recreating Maybrick's secret inner world. In a way, the hoaxer is trying to make the reader an unwitting accomplice: the person who supplies the connective tissue by solving and identifying the various mysteries and difficulties in the text, thus making the whole exercise appear genuine.

    This is the same gimmick that runs through every scam and every street hustle ever conceived: make the 'mark' feel clever. And we see the result in Paul Feldman's book, where, again and again, Feldy congratulates himself on being clever enough to have figured out what event or person the diarist was alluding to. 'No one could have known this but the real James Maybrick!' Feldman says, again and again, yet Feldman never seems to fully realize that the only reason verification for his own cleverness was possible, was because the clues the diarist left were part of the historical record. Without verification, there would be no opportunity for the 'mark' (the reader/the researcher) to congratulate himself on the cleverness of his detective skills.

    For instance, at the most basic level, nowhere does the diarist explicitly state that he is James Maybrick. Instead, he drops clues: the Exchange. Bobo. Battlecrease. 'Ah, look at this," the readers says, "some annoying person named Lowry." And eventually investigation confirms that the cotton broker Maybrick had an assistant named Lowry, and this leaves the investigator with a sense of discovery and power and cleverness. Or "wow, this must be a reference to Brierley at the Grand National."

    In this sense, it is important for the hoaxer to supply details that are verifiable--otherwise what's the point? If the Diarist is too obscure, he runs the risk of his reader not solving the puzzle, and he doesn't want that. Thus, it is utterly counter-productive for a literary hoaxer to simply 'make up' details, because then there would be no way for the investigators --like Feldman or Ike or Harrison-- to 'prove' the diary is real. Verification wouldn't be possible, and verification is part of the calculus.

    In short, I can see how a true believer in the Diary's authenticity might want to argue that 'Mrs. Hammersmith' would be a nickname Maybrick invented for an annoying neighbor. Things like this could happen in the 'real world.'

    But our hoaxer? It would be pointless. It runs against the grain of the unspoken contract he has made with his reader. It's overly subtle, too clever by half, and counterproductive. The reader wouldn't know that he was correct in his interpretation--it would raise doubt--and doubt is the hoaxer's enemy.

    The last thing any literary hoaxer wants is for the 'spell' to be broken by sprinkling the text with too many unverifiable inventions, thus alerting the reader to the sad reality that it is only through his or her own imagination and overreaching that the diary's pretext of reality is maintained.

    Yet twice we see this very thing in the diary's text: two 'facts' for which there is no historical verification. The strangulation murder in Manchester, and "Mrs. Hammersmith."

    Which suggests to me one of two things. 1) the diarist was an amateur who struck two false notes; or, 2) the hoaxer was a sadist who enjoyed the thought of someone endlessly searching for something that doesn't exist.

    Perhaps the hoaxer deliberately left the true believer with map to 'El Dorado'--an unobtainable opportunity to prove the diary was real.

    But, personally, I don't see the hoaxer as that subtle.
    Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-02-2021, 01:48 PM.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
      During a stretch of insomnia last night I thought about our 'Mrs. Hammersmith'... and it seemed to me that the arguments for and against her identification lack a certain psychological subtlety into the mind of a hoaxer.

      The diarist is an angler, and he's angling for true believers. He is also a puzzle maker who wants the reader to be able to figure out the puzzle he has created. That is nearly his entire 'schtick.'

      This is somewhat clever, in a street smart sort of way, because he is banking on human egotism. By dropping hints instead of spelling everything out explicitly, the hoaxer is forcing the reader to play an active role in recreating Maybrick's secret inner world. In a way, the hoaxer is trying to make the reader an unwitting accomplice: the person who supplies the connective tissue by solving and identifying the various mysteries and difficulties in the text, thus making the whole exercise appear genuine.

      This is the same gimmick that runs through every scam and every street hustle ever conceived: make the 'mark' feel clever. And we see the result in Paul Feldman's book, where, again and again, Feldy congratulates himself on being clever enough to have figured out what event or person the diarist was alluding to. 'No one could have known this but the real James Maybrick!' Feldman says, again and again, yet Feldman never seems to fully realize that the only reason verification for his own cleverness was possible, was because the clues the diarist left were part of the historical record. Without verification, there would be no opportunity for the 'mark' (the reader/the researcher) to congratulate himself on the cleverness of his detective skills.

      For instance, at the most basic level, nowhere does the diarist explicitly state that he is James Maybrick. Instead, he drops clues: the Exchange. Bobo. Battlecrease. 'Ah, look at this," the readers says, "some annoying person named Lowry." And eventually investigation confirms that the cotton broker Maybrick had an assistant named Lowry, and this leaves the investigator with a sense of discovery and power and cleverness. Or "wow, this must be a reference to Brierley at the Grand National."

      In this sense, it is important for the hoaxer to supply details that are verifiable--otherwise what's the point? If the Diarist is too obscure, he runs the risk of his reader not solving the puzzle, and he doesn't want that. Thus, it is utterly counter-productive for a literary hoaxer to simply 'make up' details, because then there would be no way for the investigators --like Feldman or Ike or Harrison-- to 'prove' the diary is real. Verification wouldn't be possible, and verification is part of the calculus.

      In short, I can see how a true believer in the Diary's authenticity might want to argue that 'Mrs. Hammersmith' would be a nickname Maybrick invented for an annoying neighbor. Things like this could happen in the 'real world.'

      But our hoaxer? It would be pointless. It runs against the grain of the unspoken contract he has made with his reader. It's overly subtle, too clever by half, and counterproductive. The reader wouldn't know that he was correct in his interpretation--it would raise doubt--and doubt is the hoaxer's enemy.

      The last thing any literary hoaxer wants is for the 'spell' to be broken by sprinkling the text with too many unverifiable inventions, thus alerting the reader to the sad reality that it is only through his or her own imagination and overreaching that the diary's pretext of reality is maintained.

      Yet twice we see this very thing in the diary's text: two 'facts' for which there is no historical verification. The strangulation murder in Manchester, and "Mrs. Hammersmith."

      Which suggests to me one of two things. 1) the diarist was an amateur who struck two false notes; or, 2) the hoaxer was a sadist who enjoyed the thought of someone endlessly searching for something that doesn't exist.

      Perhaps the hoaxer deliberately left the true believer with map to 'El Dorado'--an unobtainable opportunity to prove the diary was real.

      But, personally, I don't see the hoaxer as that subtle.
      So which of the Barrett's executed this level of subtle psychology? It would be useful to know which one of them is my tormentor.

      Surely, the unprovable nature you claim simply serves for people of the modern hoax mindset that such pointless endeavour (as you see it) is surely the best form of attack against its authenticity? If these things cannot be proven (by your standards) they did not happen. The doubters win.

      Thankfully the world does not revolve around just you and I. The wider public can make their own minds up with the information provided. I am simply seeing if I can add extra information to the mix that can or should be considered.

      If anyone is interested a discussion took place on the other place which might be of interest to others here:
      https://www.jtrforums.com/forum/pers...rs-hammersmith

      I do believe Maybrick was JTR and that’s my prerogative. I can also hold doubts that the scrapbook could be a hoax too. The two things do not have to be mutually exclusive.

      The watch keeps my attention, not so much the scrapbook.

      You need not cry for me R.J. I actually slept very well last night.
      Last edited by erobitha; 06-02-2021, 05:33 PM.
      "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
      - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by erobitha View Post
        I do believe Maybrick was JTR
        Which Maybrick?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post

          Which Maybrick?
          Not Michael.
          "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
          - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
            During a stretch of insomnia last night I thought about our 'Mrs. Hammersmith'... and it seemed to me that the arguments for and against her identification lack a certain psychological subtlety into the mind of a hoaxer.

            The diarist is an angler, and he's angling for true believers. He is also a puzzle maker who wants the reader to be able to figure out the puzzle he has created. That is nearly his entire 'schtick.'

            This is somewhat clever, in a street smart sort of way, because he is banking on human egotism. By dropping hints instead of spelling everything out explicitly, the hoaxer is forcing the reader to play an active role in recreating Maybrick's secret inner world. In a way, the hoaxer is trying to make the reader an unwitting accomplice: the person who supplies the connective tissue by solving and identifying the various mysteries and difficulties in the text, thus making the whole exercise appear genuine.

            This is the same gimmick that runs through every scam and every street hustle ever conceived: make the 'mark' feel clever. And we see the result in Paul Feldman's book, where, again and again, Feldy congratulates himself on being clever enough to have figured out what event or person the diarist was alluding to. 'No one could have known this but the real James Maybrick!' Feldman says, again and again, yet Feldman never seems to fully realize that the only reason verification for his own cleverness was possible, was because the clues the diarist left were part of the historical record. Without verification, there would be no opportunity for the 'mark' (the reader/the researcher) to congratulate himself on the cleverness of his detective skills.

            For instance, at the most basic level, nowhere does the diarist explicitly state that he is James Maybrick. Instead, he drops clues: the Exchange. Bobo. Battlecrease. 'Ah, look at this," the readers says, "some annoying person named Lowry." And eventually investigation confirms that the cotton broker Maybrick had an assistant named Lowry, and this leaves the investigator with a sense of discovery and power and cleverness. Or "wow, this must be a reference to Brierley at the Grand National."

            In this sense, it is important for the hoaxer to supply details that are verifiable--otherwise what's the point? If the Diarist is too obscure, he runs the risk of his reader not solving the puzzle, and he doesn't want that. Thus, it is utterly counter-productive for a literary hoaxer to simply 'make up' details, because then there would be no way for the investigators --like Feldman or Ike or Harrison-- to 'prove' the diary is real. Verification wouldn't be possible, and verification is part of the calculus.

            In short, I can see how a true believer in the Diary's authenticity might want to argue that 'Mrs. Hammersmith' would be a nickname Maybrick invented for an annoying neighbor. Things like this could happen in the 'real world.'

            But our hoaxer? It would be pointless. It runs against the grain of the unspoken contract he has made with his reader. It's overly subtle, too clever by half, and counterproductive. The reader wouldn't know that he was correct in his interpretation--it would raise doubt--and doubt is the hoaxer's enemy.

            The last thing any literary hoaxer wants is for the 'spell' to be broken by sprinkling the text with too many unverifiable inventions, thus alerting the reader to the sad reality that it is only through his or her own imagination and overreaching that the diary's pretext of reality is maintained.

            Yet twice we see this very thing in the diary's text: two 'facts' for which there is no historical verification. The strangulation murder in Manchester, and "Mrs. Hammersmith."

            Which suggests to me one of two things. 1) the diarist was an amateur who struck two false notes; or, 2) the hoaxer was a sadist who enjoyed the thought of someone endlessly searching for something that doesn't exist.

            Perhaps the hoaxer deliberately left the true believer with map to 'El Dorado'--an unobtainable opportunity to prove the diary was real.

            But, personally, I don't see the hoaxer as that subtle.
            This all sounds terribly clever of you, RJ, but are you not doing what you claim Mr or Mrs Barrett did, with a 'heads I win, tails you lose' strategy? So if something in the diary is verifiable by the reader, with the same effort the Barretts made to find the information, that is just typical of what hoaxers do to reel in true believers, like Feldy.

            But then you realised you needed a totally different argument for the few occasions where no amount of effort or research has solved the puzzle. But the exceptions don't prove the rule, as in confirm it; they test it to breaking point. It suddenly becomes unimportant to your hoaxer whether a certain detail is verifiable or not. For these exceptions the hoaxer couldn't give a rat's arse that the reader will be left with an unsolvable and therefore pointless 'clue'. So in comes the argument that the hoaxer either forgot the rule temporarily, because they had little or no previous experience of how to hoodwink the public consistently with a scam like this, or he/she got the odd moment of sadistic pleasure from injecting a non-existent surname or invented throttling, but at all other times behaved like your normal hoaxer, wanting the reader to 'get it' because otherwise there was no point. If that sounds way too convenient, end with the bit about the hoaxer's lack of subtlety. Always works on the true Barrett hoax believer - because Mike didn't have a subtle bone in his body.

            A win-win argument for a Barrett hoax, RJ, but does it really prove anything about the inner workings of the diary author's mind? I don't see a burning need or desire to impress the modern reader with the verifiable or unverifiable. Might have been different had there been any effort at all to make the handwriting look like Maybrick's. That was an unverifiable puzzle running throughout the 63 pages, and about as subtle as a house brick. But your hoaxer evidently didn't mind, or perhaps he/she was more of a masochist than a sadist.

            I note you didn't include the whore's mole bonnet among the unverifiables, which was probably just as well. You may not recall one sad poster from many moons ago doing a Feldy in reverse, by suggesting the name Michael Barrett was subtly 'hidden' within the text at that point. Embarrassment doesn't pick sides.

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


            Comment


            • #21
              It kind of sounds like there were two documents involved, one with verifiable facts and another with unverifiable "facts". Maybe someone reworking a older text in modern times. No?

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                It kind of sounds like there were two documents involved, one with verifiable facts and another with unverifiable "facts". Maybe someone reworking a older text in modern times. No?
                Unfortunately, I think the philosopher Karl Popper would pop-in at this juncture and point out that this suggestion is non-falsifiable.

                How do we know the unverified facts are really 'facts' if they aren't verified?

                We can't hope to prove something is non-existent to a true believer; for all eternity they will simply argue that the thing does exist...we just haven't found it yet.

                In other words, Members of the Society for the Advancement of the Maybrick Diary can claim, speculate, theorize, etc., that Mrs. Hammersmith and the Manchester strangulation murder are yet-to-be-discovered 'facts,' and all I can do is point out that after 27+ years of Desperately Seeking Susan they still haven't gotten any closer to proving it.

                But it's not like that is going to stop them.

                Caz takes me to task for presenting an allegedly circular argument, but she's in the same predicament. What the 'old hoax' theorists fail to explain is what the old hoaxer hoped to gain by dropping the name of some obscure person ("Mrs. Hammersmith") that the target audience had no hope of recognizing.

                Or is she suggesting that the intended audience of the Maybrick hoax DID recognize 'Mrs. Hammersmith'?

                Again...nice theory, but there is no way of proving it. And, unlike Feldy, etc., she doesn't even have 'true belief' to fall back on, so Mrs. Hammersmith is just as much a problem for her theory as it is for mine.

                And perhaps even more so.

                You see, I think the hoaxer was writing what amounts to a novella. The heroine Florence Maybrick discovers her husband is Jack the Ripper and she fatally poisons him.

                To this end, the hoaxer needs to introduce the idea that Florence knows about Jim's dangerous drug addiction, but doesn't confront him about it--yet. Instead, the novelist has Sir Jim learning about Florrie's suspicions through an off-hand remark made by a nosey neighbor: Mrs. Hammersmith.

                But our novelist is also a hoaxer who has limited knowledge. The only details they really know about Maybrick's life are those that can be found in Bernard Ryan's book about the 1889 trial of Florence Maybrick.

                And because of this, they don't know the name of Maybrick's immediate neighbors, so, rather than doing any original research to find out, they simply make it up. 'Mrs. Hammersmith.'

                For what it is worth, 'Hammersmith' appears twice in Donald Rumbelow's book. He mentions MJD's last train ticket, but also briefly discusses the Hammersmith nudes case.


                None of this proves that this is the genesis of Mrs. Hammersmith, of course, but, to my thinking, Mike just randomly grabbing a name while flipping through a book aligns rather nicely with Mike just flipping through the Sphere Guide to find a line by Richard Crashaw.

                Those who believe the Diary is a more complex document will obviously be annoyed and dismissive of this idea.


                Comment


                • #23
                  Agree, R.J. Except possibly substitute Tony Devereux for Mike Barrett. Devereux also working from an older source, but making up new misinformation as well.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                    It kind of sounds like there were two documents involved, one with verifiable facts and another with unverifiable "facts". Maybe someone reworking a older text in modern times. No?
                    I have wondered before about this possibility, Scott, that the diary we have may have begun life in another form and then been adapted by whoever found or possessed the original. It would explain why no attempt was made to copy the real Maybrick's handwriting, if neither version was ever intended for publication or profit. But how modern would the 'modern times' have been? For me, it would need to have been written prior to 9th March 1992.

                    Love,

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


                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
                      Agree, R.J. Except possibly substitute Tony Devereux for Mike Barrett. Devereux also working from an older source, but making up new misinformation as well.
                      When Melvin Harris suggested that Barret was merely the handler of a hoax created by others--whom he identified as Devereux and 'A.N. Other'-- I suspect that he meant Devereux and Anne Graham.

                      Some have suspected that he meant Devereux and Kane, but I don't think so.

                      Devereux and Graham were Alan Gray's suspects, after he washed his hands of Barrett, and I think Melvin was just mirroring Gray. I also believe that Melvin's idea was that the penman was only used as a scribe, but played no other role, or, in other words, that those who created the artifact weren't necessarily those who created the text.

                      Of course, all of this has been disputed by others.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Hi Caz -- Off-topic, but this came up recently, and maybe you wouldn't mind setting the record straight.

                        It appears that I've misread Eddie Lyon's nickname all these years, and, as I've recently taken more interest in him, I thought I'd ask.

                        I was certain that I had read someone referring to him as 'Fast Eddie,' but it appears that the name that James Johnston used was actually 'Fat Eddie.'

                        For the record, was this nickname given to him by the electricians, or is this just a joke by Johnston and others? Was he a large fellow?

                        Since flashy nicknames are usually reserved for criminals, gang members, or jazz musicians, it seems somewhat relevant.

                        One of the problems we humble readers face when pondering what role, if any, people like Eddie Lyons may have played in the saga is that we know utterly nothing about them.

                        I'm assuming he exists, but Eddie Lyons is no more a physical reality in my mind than George Hutchinson. It's just a name. A cypher.

                        If we knew more about people like Eddie, we might actually be able to judge their character and their credibility .

                        Do you see the problem?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                          Caz takes me to task for presenting an allegedly circular argument, but she's in the same predicament. What the 'old hoax' theorists fail to explain is what the old hoaxer hoped to gain by dropping the name of some obscure person ("Mrs. Hammersmith") that the target audience had no hope of recognizing.

                          Or is she suggesting that the intended audience of the Maybrick hoax DID recognize 'Mrs. Hammersmith'?

                          Again...nice theory, but there is no way of proving it. And, unlike Feldy, etc., she doesn't even have 'true belief' to fall back on, so Mrs. Hammersmith is just as much a problem for her theory as it is for mine.

                          And perhaps even more so.
                          Perhaps you could tell me, RJ, what Caz's theory is, because I'm buggered if I know.

                          Your theory is that the diary author had a 'target audience', and wrote everything - including Mrs Hammersmith - with this in mind, hoping to gain something from the creative process and audience reaction.

                          It's a theory that I can neither accept nor reject, not having your ability to read between lines and see the skulduggery there. Sometimes, people will write diaries, draft short stories, or try their hand at a novel, play or poem, for their own use, their own satisfaction and amusement, without the intention, hope or even desire for their efforts to reach an audience. They may base their work on reality and use facts where possible, or employ a mix of fact and fiction, or use only invention and imagination to create something that would, if made public, typically come with a disclaimer about the characters bearing no relation to living persons. The author wouldn't need to fear being sued for libel if their characters were real but no longer living, but if the Maybrick diary had been written too close to the events portrayed, I doubt the author would have submitted it for publication.

                          You see, I think the hoaxer was writing what amounts to a novella. The heroine Florence Maybrick discovers her husband is Jack the Ripper and she fatally poisons him.
                          Absolutely fair enough, RJ, if at the end of the creative process the author was willing and able to hit a wide audience with this thing. But in that case would it not have been meant to be read as a novella, handwritten by someone who wasn't trying to fool anyone with an attempted imitation of Maybrick's handwriting? I see this as by far the most likely explanation for the lack of imitation - the author simply wasn't asking or expecting anyone to believe it was Maybrick's own work.

                          To this end, the hoaxer needs to introduce the idea that Florence knows about Jim's dangerous drug addiction, but doesn't confront him about it--yet. Instead, the novelist has Sir Jim learning about Florrie's suspicions through an off-hand remark made by a nosey neighbor: Mrs. Hammersmith.

                          But our novelist is also a hoaxer who has limited knowledge. The only details they really know about Maybrick's life are those that can be found in Bernard Ryan's book about the 1889 trial of Florence Maybrick.

                          And because of this, they don't know the name of Maybrick's immediate neighbors, so, rather than doing any original research to find out, they simply make it up. 'Mrs. Hammersmith.'
                          But Bernard Ryan does make plenty of references to Mrs Briggs, who was a constant presence in Battlecrease, and likely receiver of the latest family gossip. She gave her address at Florie's trial as Livingston Avenue, Sefton Park. The name Briggs, in northern England, is derived from the word 'bridge' - so the nickname of Mrs Hammersmith fits perfectly into the diary of a character who plays with words and names.

                          Bernard Ryan doesn't help a hoaxer with what Dr Fuller told JM about his health. His narrative uses no direct quotes, yet the diary contains a perfect five-word phrase, as used by Fuller himself at Florie's trial in 1889. No way to identify or isolate this from Ryan's surrounding narrative, even if you knew that he closely followed his primary sources, often using similar, though not identical words and phrases. But of course, as a modern hoaxer, you can't know if Ryan did this without having a good handle on those primary sources yourself, and recognising the similarities in language. And if you had that, you wouldn't need to rely on Ryan and pure chance, for a verbatim quote by Fuller!

                          For what it is worth, 'Hammersmith' appears twice in Donald Rumbelow's book. He mentions MJD's last train ticket, but also briefly discusses the Hammersmith nudes case.
                          Right, so Mike Barrett picked up on Monty Druitt's association with Hammersmith, and also the modern 'nudes' case, and thought it would be a great idea for James Maybrick's DAiry, to call an invented female character Mrs Hammersmith? It's a bit left field, isn't it, even for Mike? I'm not annoyed by this idea, and I'm more bemused than dismissive. It can't be proved or disproved, and Mike is the gift that keeps on giving. Even if he said nothing about reading Rumbelow's book and finding the inspiration for Mrs Hammersmith within its pages, a dozen reasons can be found to explain why he was unable or unwilling to 'hammer' home any of his forgery claims, for his target audience when in the mood to confess all.

                          None of this proves that this is the genesis of Mrs. Hammersmith, of course, but, to my thinking, Mike just randomly grabbing a name while flipping through a book aligns rather nicely with Mike just flipping through the Sphere Guide to find a line by Richard Crashaw.
                          I think you just poured cold water on your own theory there, RJ, because the evidence strongly indicates that Mike didn't have access to the right Sphere volume until late 1994, nearly three years after the diary emerged, and the copy he finally handed to Alan Gray was not new and had signs of being used by a student.
                          Last edited by caz; 06-07-2021, 02:09 PM.
                          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                            When Melvin Harris suggested that Barret was merely the handler of a hoax created by others--whom he identified as Devereux and 'A.N. Other'-- I suspect that he meant Devereux and Anne Graham.

                            Some have suspected that he meant Devereux and Kane, but I don't think so.

                            Devereux and Graham were Alan Gray's suspects, after he washed his hands of Barrett, and I think Melvin was just mirroring Gray. I also believe that Melvin's idea was that the penman was only used as a scribe, but played no other role, or, in other words, that those who created the artifact weren't necessarily those who created the text.

                            Of course, all of this has been disputed by others.
                            Not quite following this, RJ. Who do you suppose Melvin had down as the penman in that case, assuming he abandoned his Citizen Kane theory? Tony D or Anne?

                            I wonder what Melvin meant when he said that neither Mike nor Anne created the diary, but were merely its handlers and placers?

                            I always assumed he suspected Tony D of creating the text and having his mate Mr Kane copy it into the scrapbook, before getting the Barretts to take over the marketing process - preferably waiting for him to die unexpectedly, so he couldn't be questioned.

                            I also thought it threw Melvin a bit to read Mike's affidavit and find the name of Kane conspicuous by its absence, and Anne being accused of the actual writing. Maybe that was when Melvin dropped Kane in favour of able Anne?

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


                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                              Hi Caz -- Off-topic, but this came up recently, and maybe you wouldn't mind setting the record straight.

                              It appears that I've misread Eddie Lyon's nickname all these years, and, as I've recently taken more interest in him, I thought I'd ask.

                              I was certain that I had read someone referring to him as 'Fast Eddie,' but it appears that the name that James Johnston used was actually 'Fat Eddie.'

                              For the record, was this nickname given to him by the electricians, or is this just a joke by Johnston and others? Was he a large fellow?

                              Since flashy nicknames are usually reserved for criminals, gang members, or jazz musicians, it seems somewhat relevant.

                              One of the problems we humble readers face when pondering what role, if any, people like Eddie Lyons may have played in the saga is that we know utterly nothing about them.

                              I'm assuming he exists, but Eddie Lyons is no more a physical reality in my mind than George Hutchinson. It's just a name. A cypher.

                              If we knew more about people like Eddie, we might actually be able to judge their character and their credibility .

                              Do you see the problem?
                              I see it might be a problem for you, RJ, but it needn't be. You can simply believe Eddie doesn't exist as far as you are concerned, and rest easy that he was therefore not working at Battlecrease on March 9, 1992, didn't live on the same street as Tony D, and has never supped a pint in the Saddle. I'm in no particular hurry to create an Eddie shaped problem for you.

                              Whatever makes you comfortable.
                              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                              Comment


                              • #30
                                I'm sure Eddie exists. I've been told that he's even been on video.

                                It's just a little difficult to entertain the idea that he is guilty of theft and rubbing elbows with Mike Barrett when all we know is that he lived on Fountain Road and once worked for an electrician, though evidently in a non-official capacity.

                                It's like accusing George Hutchinson of murder when, as far as I know, he was a six-foot one-armed choir boy with bright red-hair who helped little old ladies cross the Whitechapel Road.

                                But I can understand the need to keep him a cypher, so thanks anyway.



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