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Old August 9th, 2007, 11:51 AM   #11
Caroline Brown
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Hi All,

I took a break from filling the skip in our drive with garden rubbish (no more accounts until Tuesday - hooray!) and found a post on the Casebook by Pilgrim, who was responding to one of mine on the subject of Richard Crashaw. Pilgrim has never read the diary and was not aware of Crashaw's cameo appearance in it, but he posted something about St Mary Matfelon (the original 'white chapel') possibly being a significant landmark for the ripper. So I told him that Crashaw's daddy was once the vicar there.

Well you could have blown me down with a feather, because one of the two poems I had previously found of Crashaw's, which feature the words 'tis love (which Mike Barrett is also supposed to have chosen for Sir Jim's diary) is, according to Pilgrim, one of Crashaw's most well known.

Here, take a look at the relevant posts:

http://forum.casebook.org/showthread...154#post100154

I'll be interested in any comments when I next get time to pop in. I'm off to Norfolk tomorrow afternoon for a long weekend. I've ordered constant sunshine and a not too freezing North Sea.

Love,

Caz
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Old August 9th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline Morris View Post

Here, take a look at the relevant posts:

http://forum.casebook.org/showthread...154#post100154
I'm glad I was sitting down when I read your post. Hoo boy is all I can say for now. Many thanks to Pilgrim for raising this point.

Seems it is not far fetched to think the Diarist was familar with Crashaw.

Today, 02:12 PM
caz
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Quote:
...some testing of the ink showed it to have been most probably of post WWI origin ?

Well that is extremely debatable, Pilgrim, but not for this thread.

Quote:
As for the quote from Crashaw, it is of course difficult to say what the possible import could be, certainly without knowing the length and content.

Oh costly intercourse
of death

That's all you get in the diary, and it comes from Sancta Maria Dolorum.

Beginning with the line before this in the actual poem, my 1858 Turnbull edition of The Complete Works of Richard Crashaw gives me this:

…Her eyes bleed tears, His wounds weep blood!
O, costly intercourse
Of death’s, and worse
Divided loves: while Son and Mother
Discourse alternate wounds to one another!…

But the 1980s source supposedly used by a late 20th century hoaxer (Sphere History of Literature Vol 2: English Potery & Prose, 1540-1674, edited by Christopher Ricks) only quotes the four lines from 'O costly… to …one another'. So the first line I quote above would not have been available to a modern hoaxer using the Sphere book.

Bearing this in mind, I’d like to quote from the passage in the diary immediately preceding the diarist's use of the Crashaw quotation, and ask if you think the diarist was aware of the whole poem, including the line about eyes bleeding tears and wounds weeping blood:

I keep seeing blood pouring from the bitches. The nightmares are hideous. I cannot stop myself from wanting to eat more. God help me, damn you. No no-one will stop me. God be damned. Think think think write tell all prove to them you are who you say you are make them believe it is the truth I tell. Damn him for creating them, damn him damn him damn him. I want to boil boil boil. See if their eyes pop. I need more thrills, cannot live without my thrills. I will go on, I will go on, nothing will stop me nothing. Cut Sir Jim cut. Cut deep deep deep.

Quote:
And in my opinion, one of the perhaps most well-known poems written by Crashaw might very well have latched onto a chain of association relating it to the Whitechapel murders: A Hymn to the Name and Honour of the Admirable Saint Teresa. Which may have been the case with some of his other poems too, for what I know. But if that is what happened the author of the "Diary" would perhaps most probably be someone with an interest in both subjects - the Whitechapel murders, and poetry ?

Now this is extremely interesting. I had no idea that this specific poem was one of the most well-known of Crashaw’s, but it certainly struck several chords with me when I first read it - again in my Turnbull edition - some time ago.

Using the link you very kindly provided, I noted that it does not give us the whole poem. Here is the extract that interested me in particular:

She never undertook to know
What death with love should have to do.
Nor has she e’er yet understood
Why, to show love, she should shed blood;
Yet, though she cannot tell you why,
She can love, and she can die.
Scarce has she blood enough to make
A guilty sword blush for her sake;
Yet has a heart dares hope to prove
How much less strong is death than love.

(The next six lines do not appear via the link so I have transcribed them from Turnbull.)

Be love but there; let poor six years
Be posed with the maturest fears
Man trembles at, we straight shall find
Love knows no nonage, nor the mind.
’Tis love, not years or limbs, that can
Make the martyr, or the man.

Towards the end of the diary, we get ‘Sir Jim’ waxing lyrical:

tis love that spurned me so,
tis love that does destroy
tis love that I yearn for
tis love that she spurned
tis love that will finish me
tis love that I regret

And just before signing off:

I give my name that all know of me, so history do tell, what love can do to a gentle man born.

The Sir Jim of the diary is very definitely portrayed as a poetry enthusiast, but also as a pretty lousy poet. But do you think the person doing the portraying would have been aware of these two poems by Crashaw when composing Sir Jim’s feeble attempts? Or was it just as likely to be someone with absolutely no knowledge of Crashaw’s background or work, beyond the extracts they could have come across at random in the Sphere book?

Love,

Caz
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Old August 9th, 2007, 03:57 PM   #13
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Hi Caz, Sir Bob and Pilgrim

Sorry but I am utterly unpersuaded that there is any connection between the lines in the Diary and Crashaw, except for the lines we know had to have come directly from Crashaw. Both Crashaw and the diarist are writing about wounds and blood, so obviously there is going to be a similarity of phrasing and imagery. So what? It's just "more of the same" and not a proven cadge from Crashaw. . . just simply similar imagery. So pick yourselves up off the floor please.

Chris
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Old August 10th, 2007, 09:15 AM   #14
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Hi Chris,

Nothing proven - no of course not.

But the diarist got his/her inspiration from somewhere, and I don't believe for one second it was one of the Barretts, or someone close to them, working from Mike's Sphere book only, who came up with 'similar imagery' and the 'tis love lines from out of the blue. In fact, the hard evidence strongly indicates that Mike didn't obtain a copy of the Sphere book until the second half of 1994 which, if true, means that it did not supply the quotation for the diary and it may be high time we started to look elsewhere for some answers.

So - assuming for the sake of the argument that Mike's Sphere book was not around when the diarist was composing the text (whenever that was), then they got 'Oh costly' from somewhere else. It would make more sense, to me at least, if they had some awareness of the whole poem, and also the poem which Pilgrim suggests is one of Crashaw's best known, which features 'tis love. (I'm waiting for someone - anyone - to give me some other examples of 'tis love which are more likely to have inspired the diarist.)

In short, this would certainly be in keeping with the portrayal of a man obsessed with love and hate, life and death, blood, wounds, eyes and so on; a man who invokes the name of God at least 30 times over the 63 pages of text; and a man who is compelled to try his hand at poetry throughout the text, choosing for whatever reason (and I don't buy Mike's) to quote Crashaw only, out of all the poets in the world ever - and the son of a White Chapel vicar. These are all established facts, so I don't need to put it any more strongly than that. I'm not building a case; I'm merely exploring the options, in the all too likely event that the Sphere book is another red herring.

It's Mike's unsupported claim about his ownership of this book that stops some people exploring any further and looking at other possibilities for the Crashaw quotation. But why would anyone be happy to let Mike, of all people, limit their horizons in this way, or worse, make fools of them over yet another of his tall tales from Liverpool?

Love,

Caz
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Old August 10th, 2007, 11:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline Morris View Post
Hi Chris,

Nothing proven - no of course not.

But the diarist got his/her inspiration from somewhere, and I don't believe for one second it was one of the Barretts, or someone close to them, working from Mike's Sphere book only, who came up with 'similar imagery' and the 'tis love lines from out of the blue. In fact, the hard evidence strongly indicates that Mike didn't obtain a copy of the Sphere book until the second half of 1994 which, if true, means that it did not supply the quotation for the diary and it may be high time we started to look elsewhere for some answers. . . .
Still not persuaded. As you know, I am a poet. "'Tis love" is just bad poetry writing in today's terms (though not in Crashaw's day -- they spoke like that then, after all) or it's someone writing what they think is poetry. And as for inspiration, the Ripper crimes in and of themselves are inspiration for poetry on blood and wounds. You don't need Crashaw for that.

Chris
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Old August 10th, 2007, 11:45 AM   #16
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Hi Sir R.

Thanks for pointing me to that post of R.J Palmer’s. Full of all sorts of strange coincidences this diary malarkey isn’t it?

Hi Caz.

Pilgrim’s post is another I hadn’t seen before, and although I don’t think I shall need picking up off the ground either, it is just a little more grist to the mill when trying to establish what sources may have been used to inspire not only the costly intercourse misquote, but the strange sort of poetry the diarist is trying his best to compose.

If I was to be asked to write a poem, it would probably start with, “There was a young lady from Ealing….”, or something similar. It wouldn’t be anything like the diarist’s attempt to copy “real” poetry, and that “real” poetry he is trying to compose is not at all unlike Crashaw’s in its construction, crude as it may be.

Our diarist has made it abundantly clear that his desire is to write poetry, something Michael supposedly did much better, and is frustrated at being unable to do so. Whether the Sphere guide alone would have provided sufficient inspiration for the type and form of the rest of the doggerel I don’t know, but it’s an interesting pointer that maybe the diarist’s source was elsewhere.

I don’t know that I really need that much more convincing in any case, seeing that Mike’s copy of Sphere is not the one he claimed to have used anyway.

As for “‘Tis love that…..…….” How about the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland? That’s the only well known source that I can think of.

Have a good weekend all.

Paul
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Old August 10th, 2007, 12:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Butler View Post
Hi Sir R.

Thanks for pointing me to that post of R.J Palmer’s. Full of all sorts of strange coincidences this diary malarkey isn’t it?
I am honestly willing to believe almost anything when it comes to an explanation of Mike's behavior, pre- and post- "the bringing forth unto day".
Obviously R.J touches on much more in his post, but it wouldn't take any twisting of my arm to believe Mike saw the documentary and was acting some of it out in his own bizarre fashion.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 03:41 AM   #18
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Here's what I wrote on Casebook on May 10, 2005 in the thread on Crashaw's "Sancta Maria Dolorum":

Hi all

I think, and here I am speaking as a poet not just as a Ripperologist, the line "tis love that spurned me so" is just lousy doggerel, and off-center thinking by Mr. Penman, the same person who thought that Maybrick might write he would "frequent" his club. In other words, phrases that sound as if they are period phrases but actually are bungled attempts at writing in an old-fashioned way.

Googling on "spurned me so" fails to come up with the phrase in any other poem other than on sites that quote the Diary. You might "hurt me so" and you might "grieve me so" but you can't "spurn me so." To use synonyms, it would be like saying "you abandon me so" or "you cast me off so" -- the meaning is nonsense.

Best regards

Chris George
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Old August 13th, 2007, 08:02 AM   #19
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Hi Chris,

So that just tells us that whoever wrote the diary text was not especially hot when it comes to language usage. And we already knew that much.

But then, what percentage of the population ever was? The diarist is supposed to have been a cotton merchant, after all, not a language expert or talented poet.

It tells us nothing at all about when the text was composed, by whom or what sources were utilised.

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Originally Posted by Chris G. View Post

"'Tis love" is just bad poetry writing in today's terms (though not in Crashaw's day -- they spoke like that then, after all) or it's someone writing what they think is poetry.
To be fair, even if the diarist was writing in the late 1980s, which is by no means an established fact, he/she was obviously attempting to write poetry as they thought a cotton merchant might have attempted it a hundred years previously.

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Originally Posted by Paul Butler View Post

As for “‘Tis love that…..…….” How about the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland? That’s the only well known source that I can think of.

Paul
Thanks Paul. So our diarist could well have been thinking of Lewis Carroll’s Duchess:

'Tis so,' said the Duchess: `and the moral of that is--"Oh, 'tis love, 'tis love, that makes the world go round!"

Interestingly, Alice made her debut around the same time that one of the late 19th century editions of Crashaw’s Complete Works was being published in Liverpool - 1866. So bad poetry or not, there was nothing wrong with our diarist’s choice or timing, whether they were writing ‘tis love’ in 1988 or 1888 or any time in between.

How lucky does Mike Barrett have to get before the penny drops that he had nothing to do with planning the diary text?

Love,

Caz
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Old August 13th, 2007, 11:41 AM   #20
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Hi Caz and Chris.

I’m not so sure why “Tis love that spurned me so” is such complete nonsense. Isn’t it possible to be rejected by love in a sort of abstract way? “Its love that rejected me like this”, would be a clumsy translation, but it sort of means something doesn’t it?

We need to remember that slap bang in the 1880s the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan were at their most popular, and known by just about everyone. The sort of “Prithee pretty maiden” English used in the diary for its final bit of prose was being satirised by W.S.Gilbert at exactly the time in history that the diary purports to be from. You’ll find plenty of “Tises” and “Spurned lovers” in those. In fact you’ll find plenty of intentionally funny rotten poetry in there too. I don’t think our diarist made any historical mistakes in that department at least.

Did 1980s word processors have spelling and grammar checking like today? If they did, then it’s a miracle it didn’t blow a gasket as each and every page of the diary was typed.

I noticed on the Casebook the other day that Mike’s latest wisdom on the authorship of the diary is “Piss off….It’s genuine.” If anyone still thinks he had anything to do with its creation, I think those words say it all!!

Regards to everyone.

Paul.
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