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Mrs. Hammersmith?

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  • #76
    Originally posted by San Fran View Post
    Hi, Caz.

    We already have the Whoremaster so a Master of the Whores would be repetitive and confusing. But I don't rule out an association of Mrs. Briggs with Major H as a Master of the Horses/Whores as she was Florie's master in the household, or Master of all the Fillies in his household "stable".

    You did well here. I actually looked for Horsemasters in the area.
    Cheers, San Fran.

    The diary author does have a penchant for private jokes, and is obviously meant to be writing for his own amusement and satisfaction - at least up until the last entry or two. We would expect there to be more private jokes and word play in mind than ever made it onto the page, even if it was just an anonymous author's creative literary exercise. What is left out can sometimes be as instructive as what is included, and a sophisticated hoaxer would know when less is more.

    Love,

    Caz
    X
    I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

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    • #77
      Originally posted by San Fran View Post
      Wait a second? What was the name of Mr. Hammersmith's sidekick? Floriezel or something?
      Prince Florizel of Bohemia, who used the alias Theophilus Godall, was the main character. Colonel Geraldine, alias Major Alfred Hammersmith, was the sidekick.

      Love,

      Caz
      X
      I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

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      • #78
        Originally posted by San Fran View Post
        The partner of RLS’s Hammersmith was Florizel.

        That would make the RLS source theory, as at least the main source of the nickname, fairly definitive.
        Do you know, that never even occurred to me, San Fran.

        I kept thinking of the popular UK soap, Coronation Street. It was going to be called Florizel Street, until the tea lady commented that it sounded like a disinfectant.

        So now we have Florie/Florizel as the lady of the house, with Mrs Briggs/Bridges/Hammersmith as her constant companion and confidant.

        One can imagine 'Sir Jim' seething at the thought of these two women talking about his health behind his back, and one of them passing the gossip back to him, and God knows who else besides.

        Love,

        Caz
        X
        I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

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        • #79
          Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post
          Do you know, that never even occurred to me, San Fran.

          I kept thinking of the popular UK soap, Coronation Street. It was going to be called Florizel Street, until the tea lady commented that it sounded like a disinfectant.

          So now we have Florie/Florizel as the lady of the house, with Mrs Briggs/Bridges/Hammersmith as her constant companion and confidant.
          It only just occurred to me after you posted a synopsis. The Suicide Club theory was actually in Shirley Harrison's book so it's been around a while. I was posting on that in 2007.

          Before we settle on just Florie as Florizel, might we also take a look at Florizel and Perdita from A Winter's Tale? The Shakespearean Florizel was also a Bohemian Prince and again a male. Or maybe we're really going into deep subconscious territory here.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by San Fran View Post
            It only just occurred to me after you posted a synopsis. The Suicide Club theory was actually in Shirley Harrison's book so it's been around a while. I was posting on that in 2007.
            How did I miss that? Mind you, it may have been in one of the later editions, which I don't have on my bookshelves.

            Before we settle on just Florie as Florizel, might we also take a look at Florizel and Perdita from A Winter's Tale? The Shakespearean Florizel was also a Bohemian Prince and again a male. Or maybe we're really going into deep subconscious territory here.
            For what it's worth, it did originally occur to me that the diary author may have had some familiarity with the works of Shakespeare. One doesn't need to be a genius to envy the Bard's gift with words.

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

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            • #81
              The author certainly didn't spend his time watching football on the telly and reading the tabloids. It's surprising a well-read modern hoaxer wouldn't make a glaring mental "cut and paste" error.

              There's so much here to work with here, you don't know where to start. You have the marriage that is objected to with Shakespeare's Florizel and the escape to the Continent. You have a rich idler in RLS's Florizel seeking romance and adventure and escapism in a huge jungle of society and a society that tolerates him and allows him that freedom, untrammeled. All the other free associations prove this is not imaginary. It just shows the very real depth of thought.

              He is not an original creation. He shares a name and title with the dreamy, flowery hero of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Fanny Stevenson, writing in 1924, claimed that her husband had based Florizel upon the ageing playboy, Edward, Prince of Wales; but he is equally modelled upon specific literary precedents.
              ​​​​​​Short Story Review: The Suicide Club. | Tychy (wordpress.com)

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              • #82
                Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

                At least with the watch we have a very good likeness of the signature on his marriage licence scratched inside it - no easy task. Modern hoax theorists have to pretend that one looks nothing like the other, or the resemblance was down to pure luck, because they have no credible explanation for how it was done.

                Mentioning the watch can be akin to pointing a crucifix at the undead.

                Love,

                Caz
                X
                Hi Caz,

                Yes, the signature in the watch looking so remarkably like that on Maybrick's marriage licence is another of those utter 'corkers' - unless, of course, it wasn't a 'corker' at all because they were written by the same hand. If they weren't written by the same hand, then those who disbelieve the authenticity of the diary need to explain this remarkable point.

                As we know, there is a clever technique employed to achieve this end: simply say it ain't so. Brilliant!

                My favourite example of the 'vanishing clue' phenomenon is the case of the 'FM' on Kelly's wall. Obviously, it must drive diary-detractors crazy with frustration that they just keep appearing in book after book after book - including those which attempt to contradict Maybrick's candidature for Jack. My personal favourite version of the initials is that in Dan Farson's 1972 paperback. But - and this will definitely 'cork' you! - in order to deal with this very real issue, that arch-detractor David Barrat simply says he's seen an original of the infamous photograph and those pesky initials are simply not there. "And that's the end of that", Mr. Barrat states with no sense whatsoever of the pomposity I suspect his readers probably note.

                There are, of course, coincidences in this world. It is possible that a hoaxer scratched 'J. Maybrick' into the back of that watch and chance just compelled upon him (or her) a very very very very good match with the 'Maybrick' James signed on his marriage licence. It's possible, though 'possible' is a fair walk from 'plausible' and I personally would be loathe to take that first step in case I also had to deliver the last one also.

                This thread, of course, is about our mysterious Mrs Hammersmith; and I think it is fair play to point out that - as much as I enjoy the suggestions of Mr. Sage, Mr. Fran, Ms. Brown and Mr. Palmer (cough cough), amongst others - the reality is that we can never know, leaving the debate as window-dressing to the main contents of the shop. My own reading of the diary is that it is perfectly plausible (as well as possible ) that James Maybrick was indeed strolling one day by a road he might have known as 'the Drive' and that he happened upon someone familiar enough to have known of his ailments (from Florrie, presumably) and to whom he later ascribed the name 'Mrs. Hammersmith'. Was she Mrs. Briggs or Mrs. Bridge or Mrs. Hammersmith? Or was she Mrs. Amersham or Mrs. Arrowsmith or Mrs. Hammersley or Mrs. Whatever whom James disinterestedly remembered as 'Mrs. Hammersmith'? Do you know for certain all the surnames of your neighbours and even your friends? I have a very good pal whose surname I can never get right (and it's an easy enough name, just one with numerous variations), and I have neighbours whose surnames I kind-of know but would probably get wrong by varying degrees on any given day. If I recorded a Mrs. Arrowsmith as 'Mrs. Hammersmith' in my journal, I truly would not care a jot - her name would be the least relevant part of the story I was recording. There is absolutely no reason to think that James Maybrick could not quite easily have done the same - after all, it's just another 'Bunny's aunt' along the way of his potentially egotistical tale of his final year of life.

                Cheers,
                Tom

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                • #83
                  Hi Tom,

                  I've found that those who argue against something in the diary use the 'presumed innocent' James Maybrick as their guide to what he would or would not have written.

                  An example I read recently in an email was that the real James would never have called Mrs Briggs a 'bitch', and therefore she could not have been the diary's Mrs Hammersmith.

                  My correspondent, who shall remain nameless - oh what the hell? I'll call him Mr Chelsea just for jolly - is 100% certain that the diary is a modern hoax, in which case the real James Maybrick wasn't slaughtering Florie substitutes in that London, and wasn't calling Mrs Briggs anything in a confessional diary, and yet Mr Chelsea felt the need to defend 'Sir Jim' against calling this family friend a bitch in his private diary, which is a bit farcical considering the catalogue of truly horrific deeds against women which feature alongside it.

                  This is meant to be the same character who repeatedly refers to his wife as a whore, in between murdering Whitechapel unfortunates, but Mr Chelsea draws the line at him privately referring to Mrs Briggs as a bitch, under any circumstances.

                  Surely the more logical argument would be that it doesn't matter if Mrs Hammersmith is meant to be a real person or not, because the hoaxers were creating a monstrous hybrid, who would have called his own grandma a bitch at the drop of a bloody mole bonnet. But if they did have Mrs Briggs in mind, so much the better, because it would suggest they didn't know that the real James never had a bad word to say about her.

                  Yet the very idea that the diary author may have been referring to a real person as Mrs H seems to cause discomfort in certain quarters.

                  Caz
                  X
                  I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

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