Live a little: explore Liverpool and its pubs, enjoy considering or discovering other options and expanding your mental horizons instead of settling, like a fly on the largest and smelliest cowpat, for the option that gives you instant gratification - the one that makes Jack a dull forger.
Anyone truly "living a little" and exploring Liverpool and its pubs, as I have done my whole life, would find it rather difficult to find evidence of any other pub bearing the name seen in the diary, with that unique spelling.
An excellent reply to that came from a Chris Phillips:
I think it's not so much a question of this being the only possible place of refreshment (after all, it's possible he could have been sharing a pint with Mrs Hammersmith in downtown Chicago), as that interpreting the "Poste House" as the "Poste House" is just the most straightforward and probable interpretation.
But of course, you don't believe in probability theory.
"Probability" is something that so many people tend to disregard.
If just one person could offer me any kind of reference or small detail which proves that this was a common nickname for another pub, I'll happily concede it.
But if we're just going to pretend that this was a common nickname, then why not pretend that Barrett was a master forger? There's no limit to what we can pretend, but there's a difference between that and providing credible evidence to support something.
Question: Could a modern forger have meant "The Poste House" when he wrote "The Poste House?"
I feel sort of silly even asking it, but that's what it's come to around here, that's what has become necessary when dealing with this book and some of its readers.
It perfectly describes the sheer lunacy being displayed when people suppose that the writer meant another pub. He wrote the "Poste House" for a reason, he clearly meant the pub known as... Wait for it... The Poste House.
Another great post that echoes what I've been saying, by Chris Phillips:
I do think it's a good example of a statement in the diary having a clear and obvious interpretation that's fatal to the diary's authenticity - and so the Maybrickites ask us to believe a convoluted and far-from-obvious interpretation, just so that they can keep their faith in the diary alive.
The diary refers to taking refreshment at the "Poste House", with that spelling, and with those capital letters. The obvious interpretation is that he was referring to the pub of that name in Cumberland Street. (To confirm that that's a reasonable interpretation, if you put simply "Poste House" as a phrase into Google's worldwide search engine, the first two hits are pages in online pub guides related to the Poste House, Cumberland Street, Liverpool.)
As that pub wasn't there in 1888, the Maybrickites have to come up with another interpretation. They allege that "post house" would have been a very common way of referring to a coaching inn, and that therefore the diarist could have meant another pub. (I am a bit doubtful about this claim, as the "Post House" is not a very common name for a pub these days, which the claim suggests it should be - I can't remember ever drinking in a pub of that name, and Google confirms that's not just alcohol-induced amnesia.)
The Maybrickite claim ignores the spelling and the capitalisation for a start. And as far as I know, the Maybrickites have failed to come up with a single example (from newspapers, published local history, archive material, or whatever) of any other pub in Liverpool ever being known as the "post house".
To be honest, I think that's the least they can be expected to do, if they're pushing this as an alternative explanation of the statement in the diary. And then they could go on to explain the spelling and the capitalisation.
(It's fair to add that the Maybrickites invariably raise the phrase "poste haste" in the diary as an indication that the spelling - or misspelling - of "Poste" isn't significant. To my mind, that's a rather double-edged argument. It seems we are being asked to believe in a Victorian businessman who couldn't spell the word "post". Either that, or a rather illiterate forger who might have misspelled "post haste" on the model of the "Poste House" pub.
Thanks for that Joshua, it was something I was unaware of.
It was to do with a change in the licencing laws to encourage people to drink beer (instead of ruinous gin) - anyone could buy a licence and sell beer from their private house, which saw large numbers spring up in towns, usually small and not in prime corner locations. I'm sure there are exceptions, but the Poste House looks like a good example.
Caz and her apparently solid knowledge of local Liverpool pubs that nobody else who actually lives in Liverpool is aware of:
I excuse you all for not knowing too much about English pubs and their history, and the various names the regulars of those pubs have used over the years that have never actually appeared over the door.
Of course, The Poste House in Cumberland Street, Liverpool, and known by that name since the 1960s, has an unusual and incorrect spelling of the word "post". However, rather than accept this as strong evidence of a modern forgery, diary enthusiasts choose to believe that privately educated James Maybrick was an illiterate fool, who couldn't even spell a simple word correctly.
Of course, The Posts House in Cumberland Street, Liverpool, and known by that name since the 1960s, has an unusual and incorrect spelling of the word "post". However, rather than accept this as strong evidence of a modern forgery, diary enthusiasts choose to believe that privately educated James Maybrick was an illiterate fool, who couldn't even spell a simple word correctly.
This is the problem we face.
People make up details, such as Maybrick being an inferior speller, despite showing proper use of punctuation, something that tends to be more problematic for people with difficulty spelling more so than certain words, and they also attempt to invent new pubs with obscure nicknames.
You can't really have a proper discussion with someone who insists on making things up to explain errors.
Here, I'll make something up: Barrett wasn't really a boozer, he was just playing a role, he was actually an accomplished poet, but used a different name to write with.