Thursday, May 04, 2006

Not so elementary, my dear Watson.

I read Lillian de la Torre’s Elizabeth is Missing or Truth Triumphant – An Eighteenth Century Mystery (Michael Joseph, London, 1947) much much later after buying it. The first edition copy had been lurking in my cabinet for I don’t know how many years, waiting no doubt for me to find it – serendipitously. To reveal a bit of what it’s all about, let me quote its sub-title word for word with its original punctuation and capitalization in tact: “Being a true and complete Relation of her MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE with her low and distrest State upon returning to her Friends, her fixing upon Enfield Wash as the Place of her Confinement, with her Accusation against Mother Wells, a notorious Bawd, and Mary Squires, an hideous Gipsy; on whose Behalf the Lord Mayor of London made a COUNTER-ACCUSATION, and what came of It.” The sub-sub-title claims: “The whole embellish’d with many MORAL OBSERVATIONS and the TRUTH at last made manifest through many Phaenomena, now first rightly interpreted.” Take my word for it. The book is as quaint as its sub- and sub-sub-title. After you’re through, you wonder a bit though, if it wasn’t much ado about next to nothing. One thing that struck me about the ‘solution’ was that it’s based on the premise that all is perception, including the so-called ‘reality’. A few scanty details about the book are found here:

No comments: