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  • Paul Butler
    replied
    Chris. I'm puzzled as to why the perfectly ordinary phrase "I took refreshment....." should bother you?

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  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
    The other thing to be said is that Michael Maybrick was a man of erudition. He was a recognized composer and singer, composing and performing under the name of Stephen Adams. It seems hard to square those facts with whomever wrote the Diary. Would Michael really write "I took refreshment. . ." or any other odd turns of phrase in the Diary?
    Florid and melodramatic prose from a megalomaniac MM? Perish the thought.

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  • Paul Butler
    replied
    Michael never performed using the name Stephen Adams, Chris. He used his real name.

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  • Chris G.
    replied
    Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
    If Michael was the author, then he was brilliant at disguising his handwriting, which is possible I suppose. In all sincerity, I see no resemblance between the two.

    [ATTACH]18134[/ATTACH]

    The formation of the letters aside, Michael Maybrick's writing actually looks like that of an adult. The diary's writing, by contrast, could easily be that of a teenager. I'm not saying that a kid wrote the diary; it's just an informal way of categorising the two styles.
    The other thing to be said is that Michael Maybrick was a man of erudition. He was a recognized composer and singer, composing and performing under the name of Stephen Adams. It seems hard to square those facts with whomever wrote the Diary. Would Michael really write "I took refreshment. . ." or any other odd turns of phrase in the Diary?

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  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by James Johnston View Post
    With respect to Bruce's book (which was one of the best reads I've had in a long time) I've always been curious as to how the Diary corresponds with the proposed victim count. In his book, Bruce attributes a number of other killings to Michael - and therefore JTR - which are not incorporated into the narrative of the diary. The murder of Jonny Gill in Bradford is just one example. If Michael Maybrick was both JTR and author of the Diary - why are these killings not incorporated into the narrative of the Diary?
    You and I might be in a minority of two with respect to They All Love Jack. I really enjoyed it.

    But as I said on the Transcript thread, Bruce made a major error in not addressing the Diary and Watch head on. They are the elephants in the room when discussing anything Maybrick.

    You know my answer to your question, though. Michael authored the Diary and he wasn't JtR and he didn't kill Gill. Just a severely twisted man with a major ax to grind with respect to Flo.

    It is very hard for me to get around the issue that the Diary doesn't read the way you'd think for something obviously written after Flo's trial.

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  • Mr. Poster
    replied
    Hi ho

    What "potent association" With Freemasonry has the diary (forget Maybrick for a second)?

    I never finished Bruces book so cannot recall what he presented as evidence for this association but in all my years on diary threads Ive never seen anyone argue that there was anything intrinsically masonic about the diray or its text....

    P

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  • James Johnston
    replied
    Morning all.

    Just thought it might be worth revisiting this thread. There are some questions/areas of interest which I'm keen to read some thoughts on.

    With respect to Bruce's book (which was one of the best reads I've had in a long time) I've always been curious as to how the Diary corresponds with the proposed victim count. In his book, Bruce attributes a number of other killings to Michael - and therefore JTR - which are not incorporated into the narrative of the diary. The murder of Jonny Gill in Bradford is just one example. If Michael Maybrick was both JTR and author of the Diary - why are these killings not incorporated into the narrative of the Diary?

    I'm also interested in the following from BR: 'Only two things about this document are of any interest to me: 1) The name Maybrick (which the text doesn't actually mention); and 2) Its potent association with Freemasonry (which the text doesn't mention either).

    Does the diary's "potent association" with Freemasonry begin and end with its association with JTR and or/Maybrick ?

    A recurring theme of BR's book is that "some entity had a reason to disabuse history of the idea that James Maybrick was a Mason at the time of the Ripper." (They All Love Jack, pg.507).

    Bruce then recounts his receipt of a letter from the Supreme Council 33° (Ref2412/nrb) on Friday 8th March 2002. I've reproduced the extract below:

    "I have myself slightly looked into this matter since you wrote and found that Mike Barratt has confessed on two occasions to forging the diaries, that the writing on the will of Maybrick is considered genuine and different from that of the diaries, and that, the use of the name of the Post House was anachronistic. Also it seems to be generally accepted that Florence Maybrick did not poison her husband. It therefore seems that you are pursuing a matter that has already been discredited." (They All Love Jack, pg.507).

    According to BR, this letter seems to have presupposed or preempted the nature of his research: "I'd misguidedly thought the fail-safe tactic for denying any suggestion of a Masonic-Ripper connection was reserved for the Duke of Clarence. I'd expressed no interest in him, and none in Jack either. But never mind that, I'd got answers to questions I had never asked." (They All Love Jack, pg.507).

    I'd be interested to read some thoughts on this.

    Best, James.

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  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Butler View Post
    To my eye, it certainly looks plausible that it could be Michael disguising his own handwriting, many of the letters are formed in basically the same way.

    Somebody hid the book away in Battlecrease house, and Michael would have been one of a very small pool of people with the opportunity to do so. He certainly should not be dismissed as a possible diary author.
    I fingered him as a strong candidate for authorship of the Diary at the Liverpool Conference.

    Let's put aside the Jack the Ripper stuff in the Diary for a moment and focus on the text outside of JtR.

    The Diarist clearly loathes Flo and thinks Michael is rather neato. Michael is smart, Michael knows what to do, etc etc. The Diarist is always thinking about Michael - planning a visit to him, visiting, writing him, thinking about writing him. Considering the brevity of the text it is rather remarkable how much concerns Michael, who in real life thought he was on Byron's level and merited a space in Westminster.

    I also raised a simple point: the Diarist doesn't write from a modern viewpoint of the Maybrick Mystery.

    Think about it. Consider all books written on the Maybrick case: MacDougall, Levy, Moreland, Ryan, Christie, NBT and Flo's own book. They all view Florence as the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

    Yet the Diarist essentially sets her up as his murderer.

    It goes again everything a modern forger would have read in his or her voluminous research on the Maybricks.

    What else would our intrepid modern forger have learned? That James was an druggie. (BTW I vehemently disagree with this but that is for a future piece. Maybrick was provably critically ill circa 1888 and no doubt even earlier.) None of the "medicine" taken in the Diary is taken for thrills.

    It's a rather singular viewpoint to hold. Those books don't paint a flattering picture of Michael and don't make a case for Florence having murdered James.

    So.....why did our intrepid modern forger, who has researched the Maybricks intimately, decide to foreshadow the exact accusation that would be leveled at Florence in 1889, and forego painting James as a recreational drug user? It certainly would have made a more exciting tale: the Ripper getting off his rocker on the Victorian equivalent of crystal meth and exacting his vengeance on the "city of whores".

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  • Sam Flynn
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr. Poster View Post
    But does the Width of the lines (the actual strokes) vary at all?
    The width doesn't appear to vary much to my eyes, MrP. It seems pretty consistent throughout, with the exception of some ejaculations (tee hee!) like "Bastard" and "MAY".

    (I'm working from memory, but I'll double-check when I get home.)

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  • Paul Butler
    replied
    It certainly does Mr P. But then, the use of a steel nib will always mean you get a variation in thickness of the line due to differences in pressure. Much more so than with the use of a fountain pen with its much smoother rounded nib.

    I don't really think it makes a whole lot of difference though. A hoaxer making a big wiggly line down the page would probably do it with much the same level of vehemence as any "real" diarist would.

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  • Mr. Poster
    replied
    Hi PaulB

    But does the Width of the lines (the actual strokes) vary at all?

    Im at work so I dont have my copy to hand...

    P

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  • Paul Butler
    replied
    Hi Anna. Although fountain pens were invented prior to 1889, the diary is written with the more usual steel nibbed dipping pen of the time. As is clear from looking at the excellent facsimile of the diary in Robert Smith's book, the writing varies considerably, sometimes within the same page, going from a quite normal controlled hand to a wild scribble.

    There is nothing even about the handwriting at all.

    To my eye, it certainly looks plausible that it could be Michael disguising his own handwriting, many of the letters are formed in basically the same way.

    Somebody hid the book away in Battlecrease house, and Michael would have been one of a very small pool of people with the opportunity to do so. He certainly should not be dismissed as a possible diary author.

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  • Anna Morris
    replied
    Though I do not hold handwriting experts in high regard, there are some basic points that seem to make basic sense. One thing I look for is how the writer writes the personal pronoun I. SUPPOSEDLY the size and construction of this letter indicates psychological characteristics of the writer. In the diary the I's are large which is said to indicate the writer has a strong opinion of himself. Small I's are supposed to mean the writer is insecure and has low opinion of self.

    (In my own handwriting I make large I's though I am a bit timid and do not have an inflated opinion of myself. In my case, I have practiced penmanship to have a certain writing style, so large I's are part of the artistic endeavor. To me, I is a means to explain the following subject. I did, saw, think, etc. I is just a descriptive in my writing. So much for the experts.)

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  • SirRobertAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
    The pressure of the pen appears to be very even throughout.
    Did you buy Robert Smith's book, Gareth? Even in reproduction it is clear the handwriting varies quite widely, sometimes within a single sentence. It's a mess in places.

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  • Debra Arif
    replied
    Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
    Indeed, the diarist often can't even write in a straight line, which isn't something that could be said of Michael Maybrick's writing.
    I can't see the remotest similarity, I'm afraid.

    If MM did have a hand in writing the diary, it doesn't look like it was the hand that held the pen.
    I was struck by the specific underlining of dates and names initially,. I had the idea that someone (for a reason I haven't fully thought out yet) was emulating Michael's style of writing...perhaps the lack of a James Maybrick handwriting as an example? -managed it over a few words but when it came to trying to add in the, (what he/she thought may be) the expected twirls, bells and whistles of Victorian handwriting it cocked it all up and sent the handwriting off on a slant that didn't match. I was impressed by the use of too and to, not so with off and of.

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