A few weeks ago, I meticulously collated a list of all the primary sources I wanted to look at on my next visit to Dorchester. I rang the History Centre, emailed them the list...and then the Beast from the East completely messed up my plans.
However... it transpires that the delay was for the best! As I was working through the latest set of references I'd found, I discovered that one was an MA thesis from the late 1990s. After a brief initial moment of frustration, I realised that it was an Exeter thesis. Did the University still have a copy, I wondered.
Through the kindness of two of the university lecturers, who were incredibly accommodating and helpful, I have been able to meet with the author of said thesis, who is a lovely lady. We had a brilliant discussion about the case and it was simply wonderful to talk about it with someone else who has studied it in depth. She very generously offered to lend me the thesis to work on, so I have been carefully working my way through the primary sources she lists, double-checking those I have already seen and those which were on my Dorchester To Do list. As a result, I've added a few things and been able to prioritise some over others, so I'm now very well-prepared!
I cannot put into words just how much her act of kindness means to me. Anyone who has been following my work on this case will know that Deanes Grimmerton quickly changed from an inspiration to an obsession and the new leads *should* enable me to declare the research complete.
The best thing was seeing tiny snippets of Deanes's character finally springing from the page. It's clear that there is little record of her, but these hints have confirmed quite a few things which I suspected, having studied the depositions in her case. It's going to be wonderful to settle down with the original documents and see the details for myself. She has always been just beyond my reach thus far - but no more.
The only thing that slightly concerns me is the length of my To Do list...It looks like this research session will involve an overnight stay!
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