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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Carroll, Lewis

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  #71  
Old 04-26-2014, 02:05 PM
Mondegreen Mondegreen is offline
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R Wallace,
If you're still around, I have a question for you. What prompted you to investigate Lewis Carroll to begin with? Most of the discussion about your theory focuses on the validity of anagrams and whether he could have been in London. Those are important factors to take into account but I'd be interested in also knowing why you began looking for anagrams in his work to begin with. That's a question I've had for a long time now.

As to other factors mentioned here, I don't really buy them as convincing. He doesn't have a "solid alibi" about his whereabouts on nights when he could have gone to London on the train, but why would he have them if he was merely writing in his journal? If there had been some sort of police investigation into him in connection to this case, perhaps he would have an alibi, such as people who saw him or spoke to him at hours when he would have had to be on the train or in London.

As someone who has a journal... I don't feel the need to provide an alibi for crimes going on in my country when I'm writing in my journal. I simply talk about whatever comes to mind and don't need to relate how an acquaintance saw me five minutes ago and could corroborate my testimony about my whereabouts. Such things are probably too boring to relate!

I also don't find suspicious that he may have written entries for previous days. I don't always do it but sometimes I've gone back and finished a sentence I'd left unfinished the day before for some reason or other, for instance. Which is also what makes me think it's not strange that in one of his entries he sounded as though he was in a hurry (there's some discussion of this entry a few pages back in this thread, if memory serves). Sometimes I've been too tired or busy with something else and just wanted to finish my journal entry quickly after a point. No, the things I was busy with didn't include murder! Sometimes they were things as simple as wanting to go eat something or wanting to go read a book.

Whether he was a paedophile or not I don't know, but that's hardly any indication that he was murdering adult women.

Yes, he was very intelligent and had a knack for word games. However, I assume he was not the only person in Britain who enjoyed word games and had an interest in numbers. This sort of research could easily have been done about anyone else with the same characteristics. Likewise, the fact that he may have disliked his parents hardly makes him unique in 19th century England (or ever, for that matter).

Even if there is an argument that he may have had the same profile as the killer, there can be multiple people with similar personalities.

I'm not a "blogger", as I've seen you complain about bloggers dismissing your theory and I don't have any kind of hidden agenda. I simply believe that most of these arguments have other explanations that are just as simple or don't make him the killer. I'm mainly curious about why you felt that these characteristics were particularly relevant in his case and not in the case of any other people (famous or not) who were alive during this same time period.
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  #72  
Old 09-23-2014, 02:00 PM
R Wallace R Wallace is offline
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To Mondegreen,

Yes, I'm still around but haven't been checking the blog for quite a while. I'll respond to your first paragraph. I read both Alice books by LC for the first time at about age 38 and as quite taken aback at the anger I felt in them. So I read his several biographies and continued to find anger. I quite accidentally fell on the anagrams I felt were in his book titles and continued ao study him and his works. About the anagrams (which I've commented on before), unfortunately at least ⅓ of them never should have "made the cut" on the books. But I think the presence of most of them strongly suggest that they were not there accidentally. LC even suggests that you can change the letters around to make anything; coincidentally or not, his made sense. "The Hunting of the Snark, an Agony in Eight Fits" is a perfect example of possibly being an anagram. So I made one.

The issue of London is worth a comment. I can't prove he was in London: but from his diary it is clear he was in there more than frequently for the theater. So the notion that he lived too far away to commit one or more murders there is preposterous.

As to my feelings toward bloggers, I do get a little snitty when I know that many don't now anything about LC and haven't read my books so they can discuss them. Yet they insist on their right to discuss them. Some have; and they don't like them and they don't believe them. So be it. As in my JTR, my goal was to present him as a suspect, not to prove his guilt.
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  #73  
Old 12-27-2014, 04:41 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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I read through the Lewis Carroll entry on the Casebook, and I must say it struck me as the wildest idea ever (to be polite). Poor Professor Dodgson, if people are not speculating on his sexual interest in little girls, they're writing filthy anagrams based on his works to prove he was a serial murderer of women!

What is the interest in pinning the Ripper murders on authors, poets, or artists? Is it just a general suspicion of creative people? Is it the idea that creativity and madness are separated only by a thin line?

(By the way-- it's not Vincent Van Gogh, either, IMO...)
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  #74  
Old 12-27-2014, 04:57 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Welland View Post
The entire reason for suspecting Carroll, or Dogdson, is based on a shoddy anagramisation of choice sentences of his work. And if the anagramiser(?) can't get the anagram to work, why, he changes a few letters to make it work.



Anagrammatist!

But I like yours better!

Jane x
Off topic, a bit: Anagrams also play a role in many of the theories that Shakespeare's works were penned by someone other than William himself. I love crossword puzzles and other word games, but don't really understand the attraction of anagrams (no offense to those who do!)
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  #75  
Old 12-29-2014, 08:52 AM
R Wallace R Wallace is offline
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To Pcdunn

Just a couple of points. My sense is that all of your knowledge of my books comes from the Casebook and not from having read the books themselves. Dodgson was not a professor. In fact he was far from it, having spent his work life as a don, which is essentially a tutor for low level courses.. So the enormous creativity of which you write was not to benefit Oxford. In fact he may have earned more money on his books than on his salary there. Oxford of the day, and even today, would likely consider him an underachiever as an Oxford instructor. Given the disparity there was likely great internal conflict, pointed out by others as brought out in my books. Did that conflict ever come out beyond writing?

Regarding the anagrams many have claimed that letters are conveniently omitted but no one has ever pointed them out. One person (God bless him) pointed out that I left out three letters in Jabberwocky which in fact made a useful word. Other than that error I'm not aware of any anagrams that aren't complete.

In any case, I still consider LC a suspect although I did not prove he did it.
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  #76  
Old 12-29-2014, 10:30 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Hello Mr. Wallace,

I have read the two Alice books, but not recently. I thought that Dodgson was considered an expert on logic or symbolic logic, which was his field at the university/college he was attached to.

To be honest I have not read either of your books on Dodgson, and therefore have restrained myself from replying. Curiously I had a copy of "You're Lighthearted Friend" once, but gave it to an acquaintance who saw it. I'm not really into anagrams as proof because (as mentioned somewhere on this thread) it reminds me too much of Ignatius Donnelly and "The Great Cryptogram" wherein he thought he proved that Bacon wrote Shakespeare.

Hope you had a good holiday.

Jeff
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  #77  
Old 12-29-2014, 11:22 AM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Wallace View Post
To Pcdunn

Just a couple of points. My sense is that all of your knowledge of my books comes from the Casebook and not from having read the books themselves. Dodgson was not a professor. In fact he was far from it, having spent his work life as a don, which is essentially a tutor for low level courses.. So the enormous creativity of which you write was not to benefit Oxford. In fact he may have earned more money on his books than on his salary there. Oxford of the day, and even today, would likely consider him an underachiever as an Oxford instructor. Given the disparity there was likely great internal conflict, pointed out by others as brought out in my books. Did that conflict ever come out beyond writing?

Regarding the anagrams many have claimed that letters are conveniently omitted but no one has ever pointed them out. One person (God bless him) pointed out that I left out three letters in Jabberwocky which in fact made a useful word. Other than that error I'm not aware of any anagrams that aren't complete.

In any case, I still consider LC a suspect although I did not prove he did it.
Thank you for your post, and my apologies if my posts offended you in any way. It is true that Casebook was the first place I've read more than a passing mention of Lewis Carroll as a Ripper suspect, and that I haven't read your books (though perhaps I will sometime).

Anagrams and Shakespeare are discussed in a very fine book on the authorship controversy called "Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?" by James Sharpiro.
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  #78  
Old 12-29-2014, 11:30 AM
lynn cates lynn cates is offline
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Hello RW.

"I still consider LC a suspect although I did not prove he did it."

I most certainly did NOT. (heh-heh)

Cheers.
LC
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  #79  
Old 12-31-2014, 03:51 PM
R Wallace R Wallace is offline
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To Mayerling/Jeff

Thank for your post and for your acknowledgment up front you hadn't read my books. Nowhere in all the biographies of LC that I read did I ever read that a his field at Oxford was logic. The books that he wrote, which are considered quite good, but they were produced purely out of his interest in the subject and a wish to make a contribution to the field. They had nothing to do with his duties at the university. They're another example of the breadth of his creativity.

I'm always reluctant to quote too much from my books for people who haven't read them. But there is some time spent in The Agony on a work of his (I can't identify it right now) in which he encouraged writers to rearrange the letters of written stories until one created a new story with the greatest "intensity." Ah! An extended anagram! See "A Conundrum" in Lighthearted Friend to see a considerably more intense re-arrangement. One reader was able to solve the conundrum by finding the original material.

LC wrote a paean to his mother. Rearranging the letters to get a more intense feeling toward his mother we get (in part) "...I came to resent every word from her lips. So, a horrid freak -- a timid phony -- sneered, revolted, and showed how vile filth vanishes in foolish nonsense." More intense than the original? You betcha. No one wants to believe that a penultimate game player was playing a game with his adult readers, never mind that he was using the children to accomplish it.

Based on the lack of interest in the other thread about whether anagrams can ever be evidence, it appears that no one believes that when one finds too many anagrams in a work that perhaps there's more there than meets the eye and that they are not there by accident.

On a personal note, at age 76 and not in good health, I may soon retire from the Casebook blog. In the meantime I encourage bloggers to do their homework before they comment and read the only book that suggests LC to be JTR.
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  #80  
Old 12-31-2014, 09:13 PM
jmenges jmenges is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Wallace View Post
On a personal note, at age 76 and not in good health, I may soon retire from the Casebook blog. In the meantime I encourage bloggers to do their homework before they comment and read the only book that suggests LC to be JTR.
Hi Richard,

I didn't even realize you were here posting at casebook until now.

I wish you a Happy New Year, improved health and all the best in 2015.

JM

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