Jumping to conclusions regarding Frederic Jessel . . .

I almost discussed this in the preceding post, but I decided to make a separate post of it.

I just finished talking about The Laws of Six-Pack Bezique or Chinese Bezique, edited by Frederic Jessel, as though I know for certain that it was edited by “our” Frederic Jessel.  And I think it was, and it probably was.

But when you think about it, there is not much evidence of that.  It could be some relative of Jessel’s — one who had the same name.

You might say, “That’s impossible.”

So, here are a couple of examples from elsewhere in literature, where one might have drawn incorrect conclusions.

If I mentioned Charles Dickens, the editor of All the Year Round, you might assume I was speaking of the author of A Tale of Two Cities.  But I might be referring to one of his sons, who was named Charles Dickens.  Father and son were each the editor of the periodical mentioned.

If I referred to Alexandre Dumas, I would probably be referring to the author of The Three Musketeers, but I might be referring to his son, who was also an author.

If I referred to Rawdon Crawley . . . but I think I have made my point.

—Tom Sawyer

November 7, 2012

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