Hardly anyone today remembers the case of Samuel Herbert Dougal and the Moat Farm Mystery, but in 1903 this murder investigation repulsed and enthralled the entire nation. Every day, crowds of journalists and (mainly female) spectators congregated in and around the grounds of the remote farmhouse in Clavering, Essex, as teams of police drained the moat and dug up the bleak pastureland looking for the body of Miss Camille Holland, a well-off spinster who had mysteriously disappeared…
The current issue of Ripperologist magazine carries my review of Philip Cohen's John Evelyn Barlas, A Critical Biography: Poetry, Anarchism and Mental Illness in Late-Victorian Britain (Rivendale Press, 2012). John Barlas spent the last twenty years of his life as a patient in Gartnavel Asylum in Glasgow. He died on the eve of Britain entering the First World War.
Patrick Moore has died at the age of 87.
I met him once in London at a marketing event organized by the Royal National Institute for the Blind. The RNIB were promoting a gadget called the Moon Writer, which enabled blind and partially-sighted people to write a form of embossed script called Moon. Patrick Moore was one of several celebrities who'd been persuaded to come along: John le Carré also made an appearance, and that woman off the old Flash cleaner advert . The psychic Doris Stokes turned up as well. Doris said she predicted great things for the Moon Writer (we all laughed) but of course the gadget was useless and has long been defunct.
David A. Green is a freelance indexer living in Petersfield, Hampshire.
The Indexed Word
Random thoughts about books, indexes, and book indexing.