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The Silent Twins

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Silent Twins.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Marjorie Wallace(Author)

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When identical twins, June and Jennifer Gibbons were three they began to reject communication with anyone but each other, and so began a childhood bound together in a strange and secret world. As they grew up, love, hate and genius united to push them to the extreme margins of society and, following a five week spree of vandalism and arson, the silent twins were sentenced to a gruelling twelve-year detention in Broadmoor.

Award-winning investigative journalist Marjorie Wallace delves into the twins' silent world, revealing their genius, alienation and the mystic bond by which the extremes of good and evil ended in possession and death.

"Strange, riveting... Thanks to Marjorie Wallace, thanks to the twins' incorrigible brilliance, we now have some idea of what it is like to stand in front of a dark mirror" (London Review of Books)"A remarkable (and finally tragic) story which, in its depth, penetration and detail, no less than its extraordinary subject matter, must be seen as outstanding, a testimony to something extraordinary in the author herself" (New York Times Review of Books)"A compelling and tragic story" (Mail on Sunday)"Breathtaking" (Independent)

2.5 (9482)
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Book details

  • PDF | 320 pages
  • Marjorie Wallace(Author)
  • Vintage; New Ed edition (18 April 1996)
  • English
  • 5
  • Society, Politics & Philosophy

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Review Text

  • By R. D. Winter on 9 August 2017

    The Silent Twins is a truly jaw dropping tale that once read will never be forgotten, and Marjorie Wallace does it justice. This is a well written and well researched book and it is generously interspersed with precious excerpts from the prolific diaries kept by the twins.This is a mystical story. The two ‘silent’ twins turn out to be anything but, and, whilst in their physical selves they were contained to two small cells in Broadmoor, in fact travelled further in terms of alchemical quest than pretty much anyone. The author was deeply affected by these girls, and it really shows in her writing. I really like how Wallace naturally turns to descriptions of water and the sea, when talking about the girls. Her likening of the journey that the girls set out on as a compulsory cruise sent chills through me, it was so apt, casting an eery Titanic like atmosphere as the girls sailed away from the outside world. The girls too, in their poetry, often turned to the sea. The sea is a powerful motif for the unconscious mind and for guilt and the girls often brought out such metaphors in others, showing the profound effect they had on other people’s unconscious minds.Jennifer and June Gibbons wanted to be writers, but, they were the story themselves. The story is fascinating throughout but, to quote Joyce, ‘there’s a hole in the ballad’. And it is the most frustrating piece of the jigsaw to be missing, right at the centre of what went on here. Where is the diary material of Jennifer in the weeks preceding her strange and unsettling death? We are given just one, and it is small, and tantalising : ‘I have at long last conquered my fear of death and now I am no longer a baby but a woman. I can see, oh yes, Lord, now I can see’.One only has to glimpse their diary material to know that these girls had extraordinary depth, and unusual insight and perception. Yet all this scope and potential was destroyed by what can only be described as a curse. I’m not much a one for all that and seek psychological explanations for most things, but, like a lot of the case workers, staff, and doctors, by the end of this tale I was questioning it. It was quite uncomfortable.Obviously these two take pacts very seriously- although intriguingly they do break them on occasion, which results in all out war. What I don't understand is why they couldn't negotiate a new pact- that allowed for them both to live. Who set the rule that one had to die? There is so much mystery here. For instance, June tells us, many years after Jennifers sacrifice, that Jennifer had a 'cold, cold heart'. It is difficult to know what to make of this, since the act of sacrifice itself is thought of as a loving one. . What else could be traded here? I would dearly love to get my hand on Jennifers diaries and known what she thought. That is the testimony that would answer a lot of questions.When Jennifer died, she seemed to take the prolific creativity with her. After an initial flood of relief, June lost the desire to write. This shows in Jennifer the alchemical journey of the anima, the original archetype of Lilith, 'she who stole the light'. I have no doubt Jung would found the sheer amount of mythological themes here exhilarating.How could two intelligent, creative, and principled young ladies go so wrong, and, how did they end up with such a harsh sentence at the most notorious institution in Britain, Broadmoor? These questions are answered but there is an uneasy feeling throughout. Wallace does ask some tough questions that I respected, and she was not afraid to say that she thought the diagnosis of schizophrenia at Broadmoor was convenient since it allowed a wide prescription of drugs.Jennifer and June give us a quite extraordinary glimpse of deeper forces or as Wallace described it ‘deeper tides’. This is a look into the world within, a reality within a reality, a fight to the death with one’s mirror image who in this startling case, is made flesh. In the chilling words of June Gibbons ‘Only one should lose, not both. That is the Game’.

  • By rebekah dasilva on 25 May 2017

    Both dark and light at the same time and written with such literary professionalism with special attention paid to each detail surrounding the lives of the 'Silent Twins' whom loved and hated each other in equal measure.I especially appreciated the genuine nature and non-judgemental tone of the author and would highly recommend to all readers that enjoy non-fiction/biographical stories with an almost mystical twist and tragic but beautiful ending.5* rating does not do it justice, however, this is the highest rating Amazon will allow therefore, it must remain.#RIPJenniferGibbons #GodBlessTheGibbonses

  • By Marceline the vampire queen on 27 April 2017

    I got this as a gift for a friend who says she has found this book to be a intriguing read.

  • By jennifer g on 5 June 2017

    VERY INTERESTING BOOKGOOD READ.

  • By Miss K. Walford on 21 June 2017

    I cannot put this down. It is so well written, you get sucked in from the first page! Absolutely fascinating account

  • By Alex W. on 7 April 2017

    Haunting. A hidden gem.

  • By .Murphy on 2 July 2017

    I liked it just needed bit insite to why the twins didn't speak would recomend to others will read more like it


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