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Old July 18th, 2015, 03:18 PM   #1
Lemonjelly
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Default July 2015

DJ Leighton - Portrait of a Contender

Seems a bit co-incidental, selecting to read this and as I start a few threads refer to it in discussion.

Anyways, elected to read this "biography" of MJ Druitt by DJ Leighton.

The book sets out to be quite sympathetic to Druitt from the off. More a book for cricket aficionado's, rather than ripper hunters to be honest.

The book begins charting Montague's upbringing, Wimbourne background. There's a gradual explanation of his school/college career, how he did in his exams, getting to the bar, and generally playing a lot of cricket. The cricket is more to the fore.

There is then a very brief overview of the murders, and Montague's possible final days.

This book left me feeling "what only..." all the time. Too little detail is included (cricket cards aside), and the book didn't really tell me enough about who MJ Druitt really was. It told me that a person of this name existed, did a few things, became embroiled in ripper folklore, and that's it. Not enough about what/who he was like as a person, how he lived his life etc. Far too little information was referenced regarding work commitments for example.

This isn't helped by a complete lack of notes, sources, or proper bibliography.

I did learn some stuff - the Amelia Parker story was completely new to me. However some other possibilities were too much based on suppositions that for me as a reader, had too little grounding in fact and told me more about the author than the subject.

A decent read, but not all it could have been unfortunately. What I did get, is that if MJD was JtR, then it didn't affect his cricketing too much. It may have affected his work (if only the detail were available to check this). It is likely only the female side of his family reported experiencing mental health problems, not so much the males.

Does it say much of his candidacy for JtR either way? Not really. Sadly, it doesn't really tell me enough about MJD at all.
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Old July 18th, 2015, 09:09 PM   #2
Howard Brown
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Thanks a lot Lemon !!!
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