7.7.6 Glamuzina & Laurie “Parker & Hulme.”

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Glamuzina, Julie and Laurie, Alison J.
"Parker and Hulme: A Lesbian View." New Women's Press, Auckland, NZ, 1991. Accession 25654735. ISBN 0908652542. 214 pp., ill., 22 cm, incl. biblio. and refs. pp. 197-208, index.

This is the only major scholarly work to have been written on the case. It is an invaluable source of background material related to the case, the times and the society and for its unique, modern feminist perspective on the case. The book has been reprinted in North America by: Firebrand Press, 141 The Commons, Ithaca, NY 14850 ($12.95).

I have only recently (June '95) obtained a copy, so my comments here are preliminary. This is a meaty little read, and there is much to ponder, debate and go over. Contributions to this section are particularly welcome. [jp]

Table of Contents: [incl. subheadings not listed by G?. jp]

                         Acknowledgements. .  . .  . .  . .  . .6
                         Preface .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .9
                           Alison.  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . 12
                           Julie .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . 13
                         Introduction .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . 18
                         The Killing. .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . 20
     Chapter One         The Place  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . 28
     Chapter Two         The Families .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . 36
                           The Parker/Rieper Family. .  . .  . 36
                           The Hulme Family.  . .  . .  . .  . 40
     Chapter Three       The Time.  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . 48
                           What were the 1950s like? .  . .  . 48
     Chapter Four        The Relationships .  . .  . .  . .  . 61
     Chapter Five        The Diaries. .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . 76
     Chapter Six         The Trial  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . 82
     Chapter Seven       The Punishment  . .  . .  . .  . .  .100
     Chapter Eight       The Stories. .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .110
                           Newspaper and magazine stories .  .111
                           Popular crime stories.  . .  . .  .117
                           Medical stories .  . .  . .  . .  .120
     Chapter Nine        Why Was Honora Parker Killed?  . .  .134
                           Women who kill. .  . .  . .  . .  .134
                           Children who kill  . .  . .  . .  .139
                           A Maori interpretation  . .  . .  .147
                           Conclusion .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .148
     Chapter Ten         Lesbians in New Zealand.  . .  . .  .150
     Chapter Eleven      Impact of the Case on Lesbians . .  .165
                           Personal accounts  . .  . .  . .  .166
                         Conclusion . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .182
                         Notes . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .186
                         Bibliography .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .197
                           Unpublished sources. .  . .  . .  .197
                           Published sources  . .  . .  . .  .197
                             Newspapers  . .  . .  . .  . .  .197
                             Official publications . .  . .  .198
                             Periodicals . .  . .  . .  . .  .198
                             Articles, Books, Pamphlets, Theses
                                 .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .199
                         Index . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .209


G? clearly state their perspectives and the scope of their study in the Introduction. They state that they do not agree with the simplistic choice presented by the Judicial process at the time of the crime, namely, that Pauline and Juliet were either 'mad' or they were 'bad.' G? condemn the association made then and propagated since the crime between lesbianism, mental illness and murder. They state that they believe the events surrounding the crime have not yet been placed in an appropriate social or political context in the analyses which have been presented to date. They go on to say "We use a pro-lesbian, feminist view to illuminate the case. This viewpoint is particularly helpful when considering issues of sexuality and gender." (p. 18).

The chapters on "The Place" and "The Time" are slim, but are very useful for providing a thumbnail sketch of Christchurch and New Zealand society in the 50s. There is additional information in this FAQ about Christchurch, CGHS and the times which may also be useful.

The sections and chapters which provide information on the life of lesbians and the public perception of lesbians in the 50s are absolutely invaluable for providing perspective. This material would be hard to find anywhere else in such a readable and condensed form. This is really a very positive attribute of the book. I was particularly taken by the personal anecdotes; these concrete examples made everything much less 'academic' and much more immediate and understandable, for me.

The chapter on "The Punishment" provides details of the prisons and the particulars of Pauline and Juliet's experiences during incarceration which are unique. This information is not available anywhere else in the literature.

The bibliography is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to pursue the case in any detail. [jp]


My biggest criticism of G?, and my biggest disappointment in the book, is the treatment of the diaries and writings. Given that G? were permitted to view and use the official diary transcripts as sources, I was amazed to find very few new diary quotes in the book. In fact, the total amount of quoted material in G? is far less than that to be found in this FAQ.

This omission of diary quotes is especially frustrating for the reader since G? contend that a biased and distorted portrait of Pauline was painted in the press and during the trial by the selective quotation of sensational material most related (or perceived to be most related) to the murder... and we must simply take their word for this. I happen to agree that much information of value has been omitted by this process of selective quotation, so I was disheartened to find G? indulging in the same thing.

I was also very disappointed with the extremely superficial analysis of the diary material and the writings in the very slim Chapter Five and elsewhere. In particular, it surprised me to realize that G? didn't appear to consider the possibility that Pauline Parker would use sarcasm or irony in her diary entries; everything seems to have been taken pretty much at face value.

The other point which stood out for me was that G? appear not to have constructed a time line like that given here in section 7.3, apart from the one they constructed for the day of the murder. Some of the points they raise in their analysis of events appear to have been made out of context of the immediately surrounding circumstances and events. Just as a simple example, G? mention on p. 164 that Hilda Hulme had probably given Juliet (and, through her, Pauline) information about sexuality and sex education, making the point that the pair may not have been completely ignorant of lesbianism, though it seems doubtful they had accurate information about the subject. But, incredibly, G? make no comment at all about the date of Pauline's diary entry describing this... June 10, 1954! G? don't mention another part of Pauline's diary entry made on that day: "I am feeling particularly close to Deborah" nor do they mention that the very next night was apparently Pauline and Juliet's first full 'consummation' of their relationship. Or any of the other surrounding events.

And, since Henry Hulme has become something of a side- project for me, I was also disappointed in G?'s superficial (and somewhat error-riddled) treatment of Dr Hulme's career, life, character, motivations and his relationships with the other principals in the case. I, too, tend to believe that family dynamics, relationships and social context are more important in this case than have been stressed to date, so I was also somewhat disappointed with G?'s treatment of these aspects, especially given their strong statements at the beginning of their book.

However, I must say it is refreshing to have a work as substantial and thoughtful as G? to sink my teeth into. I shall continue to think about this material for future editions of the FAQ. [jp]


There aren't too many factual errors in G?. Here are some I have picked up on my first pass through the book: [jp]

p. 21
G? offer some rather speculative interpretation of the forensic evidence when they assert that "Honora lost consciousness quickly and died within minutes."
p. 25
Hilda Hulme testified that Juliet herself read aloud and recited poetry before falling asleep in her mother's arms the night after the murder, and Juliet also recited poetry when she awoke the next morning.
p. 26
The initial inquest was held in Magistrate's Court on July 16, 1954, not July 14. G? consistently state throughout the book that the initial inquest was held on July 14 (which is Bastille Day).
p. 41
There are several errors in Dr Hulme's biography. Dr Hulme did not graduate (in '32) with a ScD from Cambridge (it was awarded later, in '48); he was a Fellow of Caius College from '33-'38 (not '31-'37); he was Chief Assistant at the Royal Observatory from '38- '45 (not '36-'38); he was Scientific Advisor to the Air Ministry from '46-'48 (not '45-'48). [note: G?'s erroneous data coincide with the entries in "Who's Who in New Zealand," G.H. Scholefield, ed., A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington, 1951. ad]
p. 42
Juliet Hulme was born in Greenwich, London, not in Liverpool. According to Anne Perry, she was also sent to a sanatorium in New Zealand's North Island before her parents moved to New Zealand in '48 and there are other errors and omissions in G?'s version of JMH's early years.
p. 43
The name of the sanatorium where Juliet was confined is given as Christchurch Sanatorium and as Cashmere Sanatorium. Cashmere Sanatorium appears to be correct.
p. 45
G? state that Dr Hulme secured a position at Aldermaston before leaving the Rectorship (anecdotal evidence). This may not be correct since he did not start his appointment until 1955.
p. 45
Dr Hulme may have returned to England on the date originally scheduled, July 3, 1954 (unconfirmed). He did attend the initial arraignment on June 25, 1954. G? state that Dr Hulme did not attend any judicial proceedings and that he sailed on the planned date.
p. 46
G? state that the Hulmes returned to England in 1953 "on holiday." This is inaccurate, and slightly malicious because the official answer is in a book contained in G?'s bibliography (see My best guess is that Dr Hulme was on a hunt for a top academic post in England, probably at Cambridge.
p. 62
G? state that Pauline referred to the Ceylonese University students as 'THEM' without giving a supporting quote. According to Pauline's chart of the 'Saints' in the front of her 1953 diary, this doesn't seem to be correct.
p. 74
There are several diary quotes and their interpretation which may contain assumptions or small errors. This is too bad, as the quotes are key ones, referring to the premediatation of the murder and the nature of the planning and the timing of it.
p. 75
The critical diary entry for the last day, June 22, 1954, contains many typographical errors -- unexpected, because G? had previously criticized Medlicott and others for being sloppy in their reporting of entries, and this entry in particular.
p. 82
Throughout Chapter Six, "The Trial," G? mis-spell several names of the legal counsel, including Alan Brown, the Crown Prosecutor, and the expert witnesses, including Dr Saville.
p. 90
G? state that "Medlicott's contention was that the girls' madness was in inverse proportion to the time they spent together" when, of course, Medlicott stated there was a direct correlation, not an inverse one (an inverse relation would have implied that separation of the two would result in madness; formally, folie a deux, Medlicott's diagnosis, requires an extremely close association for the 'transmission of delusion' to occur).
pp. 88,92
G? apparently did not recognize the considerable difference between simply being a Member of the Royal Austral(as)ian College of Physicians (Medlicott) and being a Fellow of the RACP (Bennett); the latter is by far the more prestigious.

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