Ps I actually found that many middle aged men in england remember Henty's books. Any of you around to trade impressions? It woud be so interesting since I'm trying to write an article on the impact theman had.
A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. (O Wilde)
From 8/31/88-9/30/88 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka-Lewis Carrol) was on vacation in Eastbourne East Sussex with his friend, child actress Isla Bowman. And on 11/9/88, he was in Oxford with Thomas Vere Bayne. These are airtight alibis. I wonder why someone would implicate him on a simple anagram which you can find in a multitude of books and even news articles? Same stories or ones similar go along with many of the aptly named 'suspects' which further complicates the case. Funny isn't it how there's always a new suspect out of thin air?
It's an example of what I like to call "a great disconnect." A writer of children tales who turns out to be a savage murderer. It's like those urban legands that have Mr. Rogers as a tattoo wearing GI or Captain Kangeroo as a Marine sniper during World War II. It absolutely makes no sense--hence no evidence--but what a story!
At long last I've joined the discussion, hoping that I can lend some light to the subject. Much of what I've read over the two years of posts seem to be based on reactions passed on by others rather than from those who have read Jack the Ripper: "Light-hearted Friend."
While Karoline Leach certainly is entitled to her opinion re Dodgson-as-suspect, the work carries an introduction by Colin Wilson, who has been used by many writers on JTR over the years based on his own life-long research and writing effort on the subject. He praised the research of JTR and its predecessor work The Agony of Lewis Carroll, and, in the end, despite reservations, thought the work had more than accomplished its goal of introducing a new suspect. While the subject of anagrams-as-evidence can certainly be held, Lewis Carroll fans cannot admit that the master of the genre might have used them in his books, because if they do, their whole world view of him may unravel.
In the future I hope to get into some of the controversies regarding the work, such as whether Dodgson could take a train to London from either Oxford or his vacation at the beach for murders, just as he did for theater, and the extent of other people's work on the themes of such pieces as Jabberwocky before I attempted to search for an anagram.
I look forward to the discussion.
Last edited by R Wallace : 02-09-2011 at 09:47 PM.
Colin Wilson didn't exactly subscribe to your theory, though, did he? If I remember rightly he was on the cusp of a Maybrick-was-the-Ripper phase at that point. I have all due respect for Colin, but I wouldn't unhesitatingly use him as a yardstick of responsible Ripper theorising.
What do you make of this comment, found here in the short review of your book on this site?
Its actually quite an amusing book, though I find it hard to believe that even Wallace takes it seriously.
"Amusing" is not the word I would choose given the subject and the damage I believe was done to both Dodgson and the victims. I do take it seriously but, as to the certainty of my inferences, that's another matter. I'm fully aware of the risks in anagrammatic construction, and, that some are better than others. I did tackle what some would describe as a speculative task.
As to Colin Wilson, he was not a sudden convert to my conclusion, but did think the book good enough to be presented and was willing to lend his name toward that end.