Yesterday, I showed you Mathew Franklin Whittier's asterisk-signed review of Charles Dickens' reading in New York City. There were two embedded clues that Mathew and his wife Abby had been the original authors of "A Chrismtas Carol." If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know that Mathew delighted in embedding coded personal references and ironic, inside jokes into his work, which only he would understand. I think that's what he's doing, here. Definitely, he's the author of this review--and note that this is the same signaure he wrote reviews under, for the New York "Tribune," which have been wrongly attributed to Margaret Fuller (with no small help from Margaret, herself).
The clues, here, are that Mathew tells us he feels a "a sort of personal attachment and obligation to Dickens." But he hastens to explain that that is because Dickens' work has cheered him in his darker hours. That's the obfuscated part, the cover. He means he met Dickens personally, and gave him that manuscript, which he now feels "obligated" to Dickens for bringing (albeit in watered-down form) to the entire world.
The second, though it seems, on the face of it, to be a flat-out contradiction to my theory, is probably said in secret irony: "There's no other man in the world who can write as Dickens does." This, said immediately after praising Dickens' rendering of the character of Scrooge, in his live reading.
Often, Mathew is so clever with these things, that he even fools me, i.e., himself. I have the same past-life amnesia that everyone else has--I only have access to Mathew's higher mind. Not his physical personality, his memories, or his conscious intentions. I have to feel my way through his writings, as it were, with his emotions and the higher mind, only. And sometimes he fools me--for awhile.
In this case, I think Mathew is bragging--or, this is as close as he ever gets to bragging, because he can't resist the irony of the thing.
Now, I've said that I found seven installments of a series signed as "Dickens, Jr." in "The Odd Fellow" (the media arm of that group, in Boston), which range in date from Dec. 9, 1846 through March 10, 1897. These are said to be written--or, at least, the series commences--in Syracuse, New York. He even takes out an ad for an editor's position in "The Odd Fellow," with instructions to send responses to the editor of the Onondaga "Standard" in Syracuse. This should put Mathew in Syracuse sometime during the period of Nov. 1846, to Feb. 1847.
But the only place in the country, so far as I could determine, which has this portion of the "Standard," is the Onondaga County Public Library in Syracuse. So I hired a researcher to get into the mircofilm of the paper, there. He found nothing of Mathew's at all until the very end; and given that the paper was vigorously reporting on the Mexican-American war, without criticizing it, this isn't too surprising. It means Mathew would have been cordial with the editor, but they wouldn't have seen eye-to-eye on this issue. At the last possible moment, my researcher came up with two pieces. One was a defense of a local fellow, quite possibly an abolitionist or a relative of an abolitionist, signed, in loyalty to him, "Brutus." It was clearly Mathew's work, not only to my eye, but even to my researcher's eye (having been given several samples of Mathew's work).
The second was an eighth installment of "Dickens, Jr.," this time written for the "Standard." It's that which I wish to share with you, this morning. What you will see is the same voice heard in the stories stolen by Francis Durivage--and the same voice one hears in "The Mistake of a Lifetime," the novel by "Waldo Howard," which I am currently reading--and which I am now certain was written by Mathew, as well.
You will also see an ardent admirer of Charles Dickens, who feels he was so fortunate as to be able to contribute the seed manuscript for Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." But Mathew is sincere, not a sensationalist like Dickens. Mathew is the real thing--Dickens is an imitation. Dickens did not write "A Christmas Carol," he took advantage of a young, naive genius and his wife who was a brilliant child prodigy--and who would probably never have agreed to giving Dickens the manuscript, had she still been alive. It wouldn't have been the first time that she could see through people, when Mathew was fooled.
Neither, as my research indicates, did Dickens write "David Copperfield," nor the chapter having to do with slavery in "American Notes" (the latter is definite). And Dickens was not a nice guy.* Whether he was born a sociopath, or whether his fame went to his head, I don't know. I won't go so far as to say he couldn't write on his own. Durivage could write, too--but only such spiritually bankrupt stuff as sociopaths can write. Logically, the same must be true for Dickens, if he was a sociopathic personality. Anything with real heart in it, in other words, would have to have been stolen, according to this hypothesis. If Dickens was a decent guy whose head was turned by fame, then perhaps one might expect his early work to have heart, but his later work to be either an imitation, or stolen.
Literary theft is extremely difficult to prove. I feel confident now that I've proven Dickens' theft (more like a con job) of "A Christmas Carol." I know of at least one other instance where Dickens was sued for having stolen another author's work (and lost, of course). This was an ongoing problem with Dickens--it isn't an isolated charge I'm making.
What I want to point out here, however, is how good this piece by "Dickens, Jr." is. Now, if you don't have heart, you won't recognize it--it will just seem "Victorian." Those who have a heart to feel, let them feel, in other words. But it is also manifestly well-written.
Mathew always draws upon his own life experience and emotions for his fiction, and this is no exception. Even "A Christmas Carol" was the same--and in the review I shared with you yesterday, where Mathew is deeply moved by the passage having to do with Bob Cratchit despairing over his little boy, this was Mathew mourning over the lost of his 11-month-old son, Joseph, who had died only a few months before he and Abby began work on the "Carol." It was not Dickens' reading which affected him so deeply; it was the memory which that passage had represented, when Mathew originally wrote it.
Here, "Everard" represents Mathew, while "Fidelia" represents Abby--and, obviously, her faithfulness. Everard, a virtuous young man, is falsely accused of a crime. Note the story begins in London, but proceeds in New York City. Fidelia, with the help of his mother, rescues Everard. He and Fidelia sail to New York, where he becomes a successful merchant, but due to the indiscretions of his business partners, he loses everything. In real life, Mathew had been banished from Abby's family home (probably because they got caught during one of their picnics). He lived in New York City and worked for a mercantile firm, while also writing for the "Constellation." Later, he launched his own mercantile business, but it failed. This is how he described the situation to a friend of his brother in Michigan, Thomas Chandler, on Dec. 13, 1837--the year before their child was lost:
I had a small capital of my own but in an evil hour I embarked in trade in company with another young man. He also engaged pretty largely in the manufacture of shoes for the Southern & Western markets. Through the inability of some and the dishonesty of others we met with considerable losses. At the expiration of two or three years we dissolved our connection.
Everard's mother, in the story I'm about to share with you, probably represents Abby's mother, who may have helped them elope in 1836. So Mathew is mixing-and-matching elements from his own life, as most authors do. At this point, I know his life story so intimately, that I can pick out these elements at a glance. I am finding them scattered all through "The Mistake of a Lifetime," as well.
This could be magical thinking on my part--the skeptical mind will no-doubt go there--but it isn't. I've carefully crossed my "t's" and dotted my "i's." Where my specualtions prove to be wrong--as they did, yesterday--I openly admit it, and leave the documentation for the mistake in my results. Again, this is the spirit of the scientific method, if not the letter.
From what I see, Society is currently going through a terrible purging, where decades of swallowing lies is giving us massive indigestion. We are at a crucial stage of throwing up the poison--Society is vomitting all those lies, now, and convulsing--while the liars, themselves, are getting increasingly desperate. They know the public is on to them; but their response is to intensify their grip.
Exposing the fraud of famous people like Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and Margaret Fuller, is just part of the larger process. And I think it will contribute to that process. I am not crazy, any more than any pioneer with ideas and evidence which challenge long-held beliefs is crazy. This is quite real.
Have you encountered Ty and Charlene Bollinger's alternative cancer treatment videos? I watched one yesterday on YouTube in which they explain how modern medicine got to the state it is in, today. They say that in the late 1800's and early 1900's, there were medical colleges which taught many different methods, including homeopathy. But that Carnegie and Rockefeller bought up a monopoly in the pharmaceutical industry; and then proceeded to close down every college which didn't promote the use of drugs, i.e., their product. They funded the colleges that did promote drug treatment, and put their own people on those boards. Eventually, doctors were taught nothing else except drugs and surgery, because it benefitted the bottom line of the wealthy industrialists.
This is not "conspiracy theory," it is--most likely, as far as I can see, anyway--just plain old conspiracy. I can't vouch for it, because I haven't done the independent research, myself. I would say that philosophical materialism lent a hand to this development, as well. It was philosophical materialism which gave us (material) drug treatment; and it was philosophical materialism which gave us "social Darwinism." So this was a perfect storm. People like Mathew and Abby, warning against the atheistic, materialistic philosophers, were just voices in the wilderness. But they were right, and we are now facing the catastrophe of which they warned.
It is, of course, philosophical materialism which I have squarely in my sights, with this work. This is no boutique hobby. It is deadly serious, and I am quite serious, accordingly.
Here is "Dickens, Jr." in the Onondaga "Standard" of Dec. 9, 1846.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
P.S. I'm nearing the end of "The Mistake of a Lifetime." Even though I have to take notes while I read, and I'm overwhelmed by the elements of Mathew's personal life which he has embedded into this novel (all of which I had already recorded or speculated about, from studying his other works), I'm finding that if you take the time to get into it, this is a fantastically good book, in the grand Victorian style. Like my books about Mathew, you have to get far enough into it to see just how good it is; and you have to overcome your preconceptions as regards the author being unknown. Some people seem to have caught on. I've purchased three copies--one of them bound from its original appearance in "Gleason's Pictorial." That's right, someone thought so highly of it that he had it bound. The one I've received so far, has a dedication in the flyleaf, indicating it was a gift to a family member, a daughter, perhaps. In other words people who had taken the time to read it, were so deeply impressed that they yearned for someone else to have the same experience. This is how I feel about my books, except that to date, nobody has done so, with them.
*In my book, I excerpt a letter Dickens wrote to a friend, describing how he was deep in thought concerning a book he was working on, when his carriage ran over the dog of an adolescent girl, killing it on the spot. As I read the letter, Dickens shows no compasssion for the girl at all. Instead, he cooly remarks how she seemed to be making an inordinate fuss over the whole thing. Yes, I know that animals were not considered "people" back then. But Mathew evinced great compassion for animals in many of his works (no less children)--I could pull out a dozen to show you. It's a bad sign, for Dickens' character.
Music opening this page: "Slide," by The Goo Goo Dolls,
from the album, "Dizzy Up the Girl"