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Title: Buried / a novel by Yvonne McGivern ; and an historical forensic analysis of contested letters in the Forrest Reid manuscript collection
Author: McGivern, Yvonne Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 0646
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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The thesis consists of two parts: a creative element and a critical element. The creative element is an historical novel, Buried; the critical piece is an historical forensic analysis of two contested letters from the Forrest Reid Manuscript Collection. The novel is set in Belfast in 1923 and draws on real events. The protagonist, District-Inspector Michael Carrington, has returned from leave of absence. He is appointed to run a barracks and help colleagues prepare for a War Office inspection of the new Northern Ireland police force. He becomes involved in an investigation into the deaths of two infants and, troubled by past events, he attempts to bring to justice members of a gang he believes were responsible for two atrocities. The contested letters of the critical piece are dated 1926 and are recorded in the Forrest Reid Collection catalogue as, 'Short pencil manuscripts by FR purporting to be love letters from Sadie. Melodramatic in tone. Perhaps notes for character FR developing.' There is no unequivocal evidence from within the Collection or in the biographical or critical work on Reid to support the claim that they are creative-developmental work or that they were authored by Reid. Nor is it likely that Reid was the 'Beloved' addressee of the letters. Using methods from forensic linguistics and forensic document examination I investigated the probability of Reid being the author. The analysis, in comparison with documents known to have been written by him, comprised an examination of stylistic markers including grammar, syntax and sociolinguistic features as well as handwriting. It revealed significant differences between the letters and the known writing, leading to the conclusion that Reid probably did not write the letters. Further work on particulars within the letters strongly indicates that they are genuine personal letters written by 'Sadie'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available