On Jack The Ripper & Lewis Carroll

   Posted by: Kenneth Rougeau   in Lewis Carroll

Half-baked only begins to describe the case made by Richard Wallace,” said one disappointed reviewer of Jack The Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend, in which Wallace purports that the infamous killer was none other than Charles L. Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, author of Alice In Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass.

Jack The Ripper by gardenofbadthings

Jack The Ripper by gardenofbadthings

In his book, Wallace poses the theory that a number of anagrams derived from passages in two of Carroll‘s works, The Nursery Alice (an adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for younger readers) & Sylvie and Bruno, were hidden in the stories but could be rearranged into detailed descriptions of the gruesome Ripper murders.

Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll

Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll

Jack the Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend by Richard Wallace

Jack the Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend

For example, Wallace translated the following passage from Carroll‘s Nursery Alice:

‘So she wondered away, through the wood, carrying the ugly little thing with her. And a great job it was to keep hold of it, it wriggled about so. But at last she found out that the proper way was to keep tight hold of itself foot and its right ear’.

into the following grotesquerie:

‘She wriggled about so! But at last Dodgson and Bayne found a way to keep hold of the fat little whore. I got a tight hold of her and slit her throat, left ear to right. It was tough, wet, disgusting, too. So weary of it, they threw up – jack the Ripper.’

The Madness of Lewis Carroll by SlateReaper

The Madness of Lewis Carroll by SlateReaper

Numerous holes have been pointed out in Wallace‘s theories. Author Karoline Leach argued that Wallace‘s methods could be applied to any number of works written in the Latin alphabet and using the English language without proving any intention by the original author. She went on to demonstrate her point by applying Wallace‘s theory to Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne.

Lewis Carroll, self portrait

Lewis Carroll, self portrait

Anagram enthusiasts Francis Heaney & Gus Jacobson go even further, pointing Wallace‘s finger back at him. They treated the following passage from Wallace‘s book, Jack The Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend:

This is my story of Jack the Ripper, the man behind Britain’s worst unsolved murders. It is a story that points to the unlikeliest of suspects: a man who wrote children’s stories. That man is Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, author of such beloved books as Alice in Wonderland.

as an anagram, rearranging the passage into a the following fitting mockery:

The truth is this: I, Richard Wallace, stabbed and killed a muted Nicole Brown in cold blood, severing her throat with my trusty shiv’s strokes. I set up Orenthal James Simpson, who is utterly innocent of this murder. P.S. I also wrote Shakespeare‘s sonnets, and a lot of Francis Bacon‘s works too.

Lewis Carroll & the Liddell Sisters, collage by unknown artist

anyone know who made this collage? msg me!

Needless to say, Lewis Carroll was almost certainly not Jack the Ripper. For more information, read Casebook: Jack the Ripper – Lewis Carroll or Karoline Leach‘s Wallace In Wonderland (both are free, informative & available online), but I urge you not to waste your time or money on Richard Wallace‘s uncommon nonsense, Jack The Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend.

Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll

Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll

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This entry was posted on Sunday, July 25th, 2010 at 8:05 pm and is filed under Lewis Carroll. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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