Thursday, October 27, 2016

Imposter or not ? Arthur Orton, Tom Castro and the Tichborne story

The strange story of Roger Tichborne continues to fascinate people, prompting new research and new books on the subject.

The Claimant, by Paul Terry, adds to this body of work, and the bizarre circumstances surrounding the story of the imposter Tom Castro, the Baronet Roger Tichborne, and Arthur Orton the Butcher's son are set out clearly in this new work. As Paul Terry points out, the case put Wagga Wagga on the map and :
Wagga was now synonymous with it's most infamous resident
p 104, The Claimant, by Paul Terry

The man who lost himself: the unbelievable story of the Tichborne claimant, by Robyn Annear, is another very readable account of the Tichborne story. Ms Annear's account has a more humorous slant, with a focus on some of the weirder tales associated with  the case, but is still a proper piece of historical research. 

...between eight and ten thousand people gathered outside the court, morning and afternoon, to catch a glimpse of their champion, the Claimant.
p. 351, The man who lost himself, by Robyn Annear

For those of you who prefer their information with a more scholarly bent, we also have :

Rohan McWilliam is an English university professor and accordingly writes his account of the Tichborne tale with literary flair and historical accuracy. Particularly interesting are references to the street ballads of the time, songs about Tichborne and the surrounding controversy, lies and legend.

Up to the mid-Victorian period, the broadside ballad sung at a fair or street corner was a much loved form of popular culture. One of the most popular topics in the 1870s was the Tichborne Claimant.
p.213, The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation, by Rohan McWilliam

The titles covered here are available for loan at Wagga Wagga City Library, but if you miss out there are copies in local studies you can read within the library. Brush up on your knowledge on Wagga's most famous infamous court case and suprise and amuse your friends with anecdotes from these three excellent histories :-)

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