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 Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide 
This text is from the E-book Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide by Christopher J. Morley (2005). Click here to return to the table of contents. The text is unedited, and any errors or omissions rest with the author. Our thanks go out to Christopher J. Morley for his permission to publish his E-book.

Ernest Dowson

In 1935 writer R.Thurston Hopkins, proposed a suspect who fitted the description of the man described by George Hutchinson, seen with Mary Kelly shortly before she was murdered. Hopkins used the pseudonym Mr Moring for this suspect, and went on to describe him as a drug addicted poet. Author and theorist Martin Fido has recently identified poet Ernest Dowson as the suspect Mr Moring.

Ernest Dowson was born on 2 August 1867 at the Grove, Belmont Hill, Lee, Kent, and was educated at Queen's College, Oxford, though left without taking his degree to help in his father's failing business. In 1891 he met 12 year old Adelaide Foltinowicz, a restaurateur's daughter. He courted her for two years, but when she came of age she instead married a waiter who worked in his father's restaurant. Much of his poetry would thus be influenced by his infatuation with her. He joined the Rhymer's Club, a society of poets, whose philosophy was that art in any form should be produced merely for the sake of artistic value, and whose membership included W.B Yeats. Dowson contributed poems to, The Yellow Book, and, The Savoy. In 1895 both his parents died within a few months of each other. His father, who lived a good deal of his life in France, on account of his delicate health, died from consumption (tuberculosis) his mother committed suicide shortly after, and from this period he wandered aimlessly around Europe. He died at 26 Sandhurst Gardens, Catford, in relative obscurity, from alcoholism on 23 February 1900 at the age of 33 and was buried in Lewisham cemetery. His friend, W.B Yeats, described him as, 'Timid, silent and a little melancholy', others who knew him described him as, 'Shy, frail and timid'.

Was Dowson, Jack the Ripper. He did reside in Whitechapel at the time of the Ripper murders, though was not drug addicted as Hopkins described. He also had no history of violence, and none of his poems could be considered misogynistic. He may have been considered melancholy, but this description could be applied to many of the poets from this period.

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