Re-writes are a pain in the butt
I’ve temporarily suspended work on one chapter to re-write another. Over the last few months we’ve gotten drips and drabs of things and a more complete name for one of those we mention. We lost the digital file to a crash, but I have it all as hard copy; so I’m re-typing and fact checking as I go. I needed to know what the uses of white lead were. A gentleman who was a key player for a few months in 1881 was a sales agent and partner in a company that made the stuff.
Coryton, who posts here and does magic with old photos, found interesting bits of biography for a Methodist Connexion believer. I’ve included that material. I’m still dissatisfied with the detail. I’m dissatisfied generally.
We have endless and interesting detail for the chapter that precedes this one. It explains the distribution and reaction to a small book freely circulated in the United States. We’ve found photos, not all of which we’ll use, and we’ve found significant press discussion. The chapter I’m working on discusses the book’s circulation in the United Kingdom. We have one pitiful mention of the work in Ireland. The basis for the story as it unfolds in the UK is scattered comments from a religious magazine published in the United States.
We can’t tell the story with anything like the same detail. We don’t have many names. We have one photograph. …. I don’t know how to remedy this. I know of a significant number of writers on this subject who’d just make stuff up. We don’t do that.
I am fascinated that Lewis Carroll of Alice fame had a copy of the book in his library. The Charles Dodgson (his real name) papers are not available to us. We’d have to travel to England and plow through what papers there are with no expectation of finding anything significant. But, I’d like to know why he kept the book. Dodgson’s relationship to Alice L. is not a factor in this chapter. All the pertinent diary pages and letters were destroyed by his family anyway. That reminds me of another personality in this story whose family had sequestered most of his diaries, because, so one said, their release might give him a bad name.
Some things will never be known. Though people like Edmund Gruss who wrote on the same subject as we do felt comfortable manufacturing things, we don’t. Another who made things up was Vandenberg. (My WP knew him. The relationship was frosty.) On a few occasions we explore possibilities. We limit that. And we do not present our speculations as firmly established fact. It amuses and puzzles me that “Christian” writers do that. Hatred overcomes ethics. Bearing the name of Christ does not make one Christ-like.
I do not have a happy relationship with most of these writers anyway. One can disagree with the doctrine of this group, but what one writes should be honest and based on quality research. This is almost never the case. A man using the name “Terry” makes sweeping and unfounded statements that his readers swallow without thought. I find the man dishonest. I see no value in contacting him. My writing partner knew Richard Rawe. Rawe was an accumulator. I’d like to know what happened to his files and papers and books when he died. Rawe fostered improbable comments in other’s work but published nothing of his own. I don’t know whom to blame, Rawe or those who cite him. Citing Rawe as an authority is bad practice. He did not represent original source material. He wasn’t a contemporary of anyone he discussed. And, according to Bruce, he was wildly speculative even when he was favorable to the groups we discuss.