Charles Fort & Cordelia Stevens

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Anonymous

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#1
I am researching a radio play based on Charles Fort's time in London. The premise of the story is that while Fort was doing research at the British Library, he became involved with a librarian called Cordelia Stevens who claimed to be hearing ghostly voices in her apartment.

I would be enormously grateful if anyone could help me to verify this story.
 
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Anonymous

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#3
Verification

I've been doing research on Fort now - his life as well as his work - for a while now and I've never come across this woman, despite having gone into some unpublished memoirs, etc., from the Dreiser Collection, perhaps the best survived mass of Fort information.

What is your source and, as Resologist says, how accurate is it?

Ian
 

Yithian

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#4
Radio Drama Researcher said:
I am researching a radio play based on Charles Fort's time in London. The premise of the story is that while Fort was doing research at the British Library, he became involved with a librarian called Cordelia Stevens who claimed to be hearing ghostly voices in her apartment.

I would be enormously grateful if anyone could help me to verify this story.
Well, a good start - if you haven't already done so - would be to ascertain that the British Library employed a librarian called Cordelia Stevens. I'm sure they'd be able to help you with that information.
 
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Anonymous

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#6
Radio Drama Researcher said:
I am researching a radio play based on Charles Fort's time in London. The premise of the story is that while Fort was doing research at the British Library, he became involved with a librarian called Cordelia Stevens who claimed to be hearing ghostly voices in her apartment.

I would be enormously grateful if anyone could help me to verify this story.
How to provide some very dubious justification for a very disreputable piece of research.
 

Stormkhan

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#7
And what happens when and if the scurrilous bit of gossip is discovered to be absolute tosh? Are you going to write a radio drama as a fictional peice involving one or two real characters? Hmm. Sounds familiar.
 

Jerry_B

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#8
Hmm - aren't people getting a bit hot under the collar about what is ostensibly a piece of fiction?

If someone takes the tme now to come here and try and find out something, it would best serve things IMHO to help in any way possible. Right the wrong, as it were?
 

Anome

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#9
Two points, JerryB.

Firstly, he asked for confirmation back in February. He got responses explaining that people who had researched Fort's life had never heard of this woman. As far as we can tell, he never even acknowledged this information. Nor did he provide any coroboration for his theory. Did he even post here ever again?

[EDIT] Just checked, and sure enough, only one post.[/EDIT]

Secondly, some people are upset because they don't like the way it presents Fort. Many people on this board admire the man and his work, and do not want to see his image tainted in the public perception.
 

Jerry_B

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#10
Fair enough - but it's still a work of fiction. IIRC, Fort has appeared as a comic book character too, but people don't seem to mind that as much.
 

Stormkhan

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#11
Like what Anome said. I'm not a Fortophile - I actually know little of his life, regardless of my enthusiasm for things Fortean. However, since this researcher apparently didn't like the facts he turned it to fiction. Yes, it's a fictional account of a non-existent incident involving real life people - I've read a rather good horror story involving Edgar Allen Poe as one of the heroes. What jerks my chain is that this so-called researcher only posted once - without acknowledging any questions or doubts - and so I call into question the depth of his research. How deep into the question did (s)he go? Did they get bored that it didn't really happen so, what the hell, make it up? Which gives it a tabloid-flavour and tells the audience nothing of the real man, his work or legacy.
 
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Anonymous

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#12
Stormkhan said:
this so-called researcher only posted once - without acknowledging any questions or doubts - and so I call into question the depth of his research. How deep into the question did (s)he go? Did they get bored that it didn't really happen so, what the hell, make it up? Which gives it a tabloid-flavour and tells the audience nothing of the real man, his work or legacy.
Agreed. Granted it's always a good thing to get Fort a mention, in popular or academic media, but there's enough misunderstanding and misrepresentation of him without bringing his private life (what little we know of it) into it. My housemate said to me this morning that he'd heard Fort mentioned "somewhere" in "the last month"...maybe on a radio play?

Ian
 

Jerry_B

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#13
Hmm - I still think people's reactions are all being taken a bit too far. It would only be something with a tabloid flavour etc. if it were being dressed up as hinting that it actually happened. Perhaps, as it seems to me, the researcher merely came here to check that the story didn't have any basis in truth - and, after all, this is probably as good as place as any to ask that sort of question.

Either way, it's still a work of fiction and thus should perhaps not be taken so seriously.
 
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Anonymous

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#14
JerryB said:
Hmm - I still think people's reactions are all being taken a bit too far. It would only be something with a tabloid flavour etc. if it were being dressed up as hinting that it actually happened. Perhaps, as it seems to me, the researcher merely came here to check that the story didn't have any basis in truth - and, after all, this is probably as good as place as any to ask that sort of question.

Either way, it's still a work of fiction and thus should perhaps not be taken so seriously.
What? Excuse me... I've just been given a piece of scandal, that someone made up to liven up a crap play, to check up on. I'm just checking to make sure it's not true.

:hmm:
 

Stormkhan

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#15
If they intended it to be fiction, why use Charles Fort? Why not use a fictional character, making him a pioneer in the paranormal? The only reason they'd use Forts name (who isn't really well-known to many Radio 4 listeners) is to 'loosely' base it on fact.
To be fair, was it announced as fiction? In the Radio Times, there was no hint of it being fiction.
 

Jerry_B

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#16
AndroMan said:
What? Excuse me... I've just been given a piece of scandal, that someone made up to liven up a crap play, to check up on. I'm just checking to make sure it's not true.
And it's not tue - so what's the problem? Who's to say it would've been used at all as a plot device if it were indeed true?

Blimey - it's only a radio play. And apparently not a very good one. I think that does more to make Fort look a bit silly more than anything else, if at all ;)
 
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