Originally Posted by caz
Did Melvin include the reliable source the hoaxer used for Michael Maybrick writing lyrics as well as music?
Did he include the less reliable source for the Grand National info?
Did he include the unreliable source for Kelly's breasts being on the table, and also the reliable source for one of them being by her foot?
Did he include the source of the Crashaw quote?
That's at least five books so far, if all these sources were different.
If Melvin really did know the sources the hoaxer used - every last one of them - it strikes me he must be the prime suspect.
If he didn't really know how many sources were used, or which ones, and underestimated the number, he is off the hook and was only human after all. But then his expertise on the subject would be in question, wouldn't it?
Is there an alternative?
Caz, love you as I do, it strikes me this is a rather Manichean way of looking at things. So either Mel must be able to name a source for every single detail in the Diary or else we must say his expertise is in doubt?
I learned a lot about the Diary from reading Melvin Harris. No doubt there were parts of it that were either erroneous or downright false. But it was written with such venom, and it confirmed my own bitter prejudices to such a pleasing extent that I refuse to hold any of that against him.
EDIT - I know I should've written "either Mel should've been able to name" but sometimes the past tense is such a drag.