The Canning Wonder

Front Cover
Kessinger Publishing, May 1, 2005 - 308 pages
1926. From the Preface: The case of Elizabeth Canning is one of the minor enigmas of the world. Like the song that the Sirens sang, and the name which Achilles bore when he dwelt among women, it may not be beyond all conjecture, but it is, assuredly, beyond all certitude. It is a puzzle. We may approximate, perhaps to the answer; but we shall never possess it. In our investigation, however, there is one palmary clue which we must seize firmly at the beginning, and never allow to escape us, and this clue is the sure and undoubted fact that Elizabeth Canning was an infernal liar. That is, the whole tale she told on her return after her month's absence was a lie from beginning to end; a lie as a whole, a lie in all its parts. She had never been to the house of Mother Wells, in Enfield Wash, in all her born days-till the morning of 1st February 1753, when she and her friends, and the power of the Lord Mayor of London proceeded to Enfield Wash, and put everybody found in Mother Wells's house under arrest-or, to be more precise, detention.

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