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.
Grand National info could be found in just about any book published in the 20th century about the Grand National - they almost all contained a list of historical times of past races. With Mike Barrett being in Liverpool I doubt books on the Grand National were hard to find.
Feldman's claim that this information was so rare his research assistant only discovered it by a miracle is nonsense. She only had to pick up a decent book about the Grand National and she would have found it very easily.
Melvin Harris: "...when the diary says I cut off the breasts... left them on the table with some other stuff.." it is merely echoing Und p75 "...he cut off her breasts" and Und p25 "..on a table by the bed were the little piles of flesh, the breasts...and other parts of her body..."
I don't know why you think I need to prove anything.
And I'm not aware that Mike's confession that he made in a sworn affidavit has been disproved.
It seems that the same people who rake you over the coals if you say that the Diary has been proven a forgery are happy to sail along simply repeating that MB's confession has been proven to be wholly false.
It occurs to me - in one of those increasingly rare moments of clarity - that a document that isn't a forgery simply should not be having this many lies told about it.