Don’t worry about the boxes Hikari, I have made 1000+ posts on the Casebook.org forum and I still can’t use the quote function properly! I’m useless with technology though.😡
You’re right about ACD being in Portsmouth at the time of the murders but it doesn’t deter the imbecile that wrote the book. (I was there earlier this year and saw the plaque where Bush Villas stood.) The moron that’s suggesting Van Gogh apparently isn’t put off by the fact that Vincent was completely pennyless in Arles at the time. Someone also recently wrote another book suggesting Dr Neil Cream as the ripper despite the fact that we know that he was in Joliet Prison at the time.
I haven’t read ‘The Sherlockian,’ by the way.
"Sherlockian" - BBC Sherlock connection:
"The Sherlockian" was written by a first-time 26-year-old novelist, Graham Moore, who five years later won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his script of "The Imitation Game", starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing.
I enjoyed the historical flashback parts with ACD and Bram Stoker quite a bit more than I enjoyed the rather silly modern-day plot concerning two 21st century Sherlockians and their madcap investigation into a missing journal of Conan Doyle, considered the Holy Grail of Doylian scholarship. I have no idea whether one of Conan Doyle's journals is actually missing, but Moore has some fun with the idea. The events related in the missing journal the two moderns are searching for cover the same events we are living through with the two Victorian authors.
Evidently Doyle really was good friends with Bram Stoker, and I believe that another author whose name escapes me has created a detective series with Stoker as lead detective, with friend Doyle and other luminaries of the day putting in an appearance.
As to the identity of the Ripper . . .(SPOILER ALERT!) . . .Lyndsay Faye did an admirable job of convincing me in her novel "Dust and Shadow" that it is quite likely, probably *most* likely, in fact, that Saucy Jack was a beat bobby assigned to Whitechapel . . or someone even higher ranking in the Met power structure who had once been assigned Whitechapel as a beat. He may have had some forensic/surgical training but his dissections were not so sophisticated as to be the realm solely of physicians. Any hunter who'd dressed field kill probably could have done it. The thing the Ripper had a knack for was in knowing which out-of-the-way nooks would be sure to be undisturbed for at least a 15-minute period. Someone, say, like a constable familiar with the beat timetables--or the person who devised those timetables.
Laura Joh Rowland goes one step further in her hypothesis. Owing to the distance between the two crime scenes of the Elizabeth Stride - Catherine Eddowes double murder, she conjectures that there were actually *two* Rippers, who took turns doing the murders, and they got their wires crossed that night. The senior, dominant partner holding the reins being a high-ranking official in the Met, acting as Svengali to a lower-ranking junior man.
I'm sure you've got your own theories!
As you will know it’s long been debated whether the Ripper was a local man. While it’s very likely that he had local knowledge (escape routes/timings of cons tables beats etc) we also have to remember that the victims themselves were experts at knowing all the best locations for ‘business.’
The idea of two ‘rippers.’ is not a new one but I’ve never felt that it was a likely solution. And on the ‘double event’ many believe that Stride wasn’t a ripper victim. There have been books like ‘Jack The Myth’ suggesting that these were unconnected murders but, for me and the vast majority, the points of similarity are just far too great to point to more than one killer.
Doyle was indeed a friend of Stoker (and JM Barrie and Houdini) and I have at least 2 pastiches were Holmes comes up against Dracula. The description of the ‘The Sherlockian’ sounds strangely familiar to me. I’ll check my collection tomorrow and see if I have it.
Giles Brandreth has just released a book called Jack The Ripper: Case Closed where Doyle works with Oscar Wilde to catch the Ripper. Strangely Brandreth claims that his novel is based on fact. His grandmothers cousin was George Sims, a journalist and reformer, and Brandreth claims to have read his papers and come up with the solution (incidentally, 2 killers.)
Oscar Wilde as a Ripper-catching sleuth quite boggles the mind. I don't think Oscar would have bestirred himself that much from his more ascetic pursuits like appropriating friends' quips as his own and appreciating the beauty of young men adorning his salon.
In my Sherlock pastiche travels I smile at the various guises Holmes's contemporary Wilde turns up in. In some cases, he's a client, come to Baker Street to consult. Sometimes he is positioned as an old university chum of Holmes's (Trinity College, Dublin) . . .other times it's as a bitter enemy, because as we know, there could hardly be two more dissimilar minds, world views or personal traits than between these two individuals. Contemporaries they certainly were (notwithstanding that only one was actually real, but I daren't say that too loudly in certain circles.) Would Sherlock Holmes be friends with Oscar Wilde? It certainly seems very unlikely. Their personal philosophies were just too divergent. One notable story has Holmes counseling Wilde to let the whole matter with the Marquess of Queensberry drop because it would not be in his best interest to press the issue. Of course Wilde did not listen and it led to his own destruction. Perhaps if Wilde had actually had a friend like Holmes to counsel him, things would have turned out very differently for him and for British literature.