On 20 July 2011, almost five years ago, I started this blog, and now and then I have been fortunate enough to publish a blog by scholars of Ricketts's work. Blog No 11, for example, was written by J.G. Paul Delaney whose 1990 biography of Ricketts is the most important source for the study of his life and work. His blog carried the title 'The Mysterious Hélène'.
The Hélène in question was Ricketts's mother, of whom no photograph seems to have survived.
Paul Delaney wrote:
Everything that I wrote in my biography about Ricketts’s mother was wrong. [...] The only true information in her English marriage certificate was that her father was of noble origin, though he was not the marquis de Sousy.
Five years later, the mystery of her identity has not been resolved. It is time the story was told, and Paul has agreed to write it. The title will be: Charles Ricketts's Mysterious Mother. It is scheduled to appear on 2 October 2016. That day, 150 years ago, the mysterious mother gave birth to Charles Ricketts.
The book will be designed for us by Huug Schipper|Studio Tint, who recently designed my new book Artists & Others. The Imaginative French Book in the 21st Century (Vantilt Publishers, Nijmegen).