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"The Silent Twins"- June & Jennifer Gibbons

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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 07:00 PM
Original message
"The Silent Twins"- June & Jennifer Gibbons
I re-read the book by Marjorie Wallace for the umpteenth time this vacation. From childhood into adulthood, these two girls were ensconced in their own world; they had a secret, squeaky language no one could understand. They locked themselves into their room and drew comics and wrote novels.

They've been compared to the Bronte sisters. You should see one page of their journals. The writing is so tiny and concentrated.

They were so desperate for love that their mute dealings with the world were met with confusion. They drank, sniffed glue, smoked pot, anything that would take them away. They wanted attention & they got it from a couple of boys. When the boys left town they were in agony. They started committing arson and tried thievery. They had bulimic tendencies. They were finally caught and put in prison, where June wrote a published book, "The Pepsi Cola Addict".

Then they turned on each other, using witchcraft to lure girls into their lives and to try and kill each other. Their shyness and total control over themselves had EVERYONE completely confounded. Once, they cut pictures of bracelets and rings out of magazines and gave them to a girl to whom they were attracted. They would double up on each other's meals & purge, and one would starve.

I never had a twin, but I have a brother. I wonder- do the twins in DU have any sort of craziness running through their families because of the closeness? Are you co-dependent, like Jennifer & June? Is there a dominant twin?

To me, this is one of the most fascinating stories ever, and I'd love to talk with anyone who knows this case.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. "The Pepsi Cola Addict!" Wonderful. Such bad girls!
I love the story of the silent twins, though it has been years since I read that book. Did you ever see the British-produced TV film of their misadventures? Really well done.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. NO, I have never. Jesus, what else am I missing?
SUCH bad girls. Sneaking into their beloveds' house and trying on their clothes. Fixing PB&J sandwiches and reading every single thing they could get their hands on. And the seduction was successful because they were both very passionate virgins.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I think the book is the best, really, though the film is quite faithful.
First read about them in the New Yorker years ago. The article might have been done by Marjorie Wallace.

Thanks for the reminder to reread that book.


Off to the wine-shop. I will watch the thread with interest.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Well then I must see that film. If it is what you say-
faithful to the story- I will gladly see it many times! Thank you for the heads up, baby, and enjoy your wine.

PS- Sirah is the way it is because of PEPPER! Did you know that? I had no idea!
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Here's an all-too-brief IMDB entry.
I haven't searched PBS yet.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0311808 /

Also, I remembered that a few years ago either the New Yorker or the NYT had a follow-up on one of the twins (can't remember whether it was June or Jennifer) who had been released from Broadmoor and was making a furtive entry into society. I think she trashed her sister in the article (it may have been the submissive one trashing the dominant one, though it was five or ten years ago, and I just don't quite recall).

I will try to scare up that article. I think our luxury budget item next month is that DVD-ROM thing with all the back issues of the New Yorker, so it may be in there.

Oh, my lord, look at this: Wikipedia excerpt:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_and_Jennifer_Gibbons

Jennifer's Death

According to Wallace, the girls had long had an unspoken agreement that if one died, the other must begin to speak and live a normal life. During their stay in the hospital, they began to believe that it was necessary for one twin to die, and after much discussion, Jennifer agreed to be the sacrifice (Wallace 2003). Within hours after their release in 1993, Jennifer died of sudden inflamation of the heart (reported initially as viral myocarditis). There was no evidence of drugs or poison in her system. To this day, Jennifer's death remains a mystery.

After Jennifer's death, June gave two interviews with Harper's Bazaar and The Guardian. She became more communicative and was able to speak with other people. She lives at home with her family. She contemplates resuming her writing, although she describes her early books as "all over the place" and not very good. After Wallace's book appeared, Pepsi-Cola Addict became a valuable collector's item, and the novel has been reprinted several times.


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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 05:37 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. My God, I wonder if they inspired the characters Bev and Elliot
from Dead Ringers. I have never read that summation of Jennifer & June's lives. I knew one of them had died, but I'd had no idea it was the dominant one, Jennifer. It seems from Marjorie Wallace's book that Jennifer had more of the control they both coveted. June seemed to be more full of unchecked rage.

Thank you for that snippet, b/c I had honestly thought June had died too sometime afterward. I presume she's fluctuating between trying to be normal and fighting a history worthy of Oliver Sachs's attention.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. Bad girls. Free on this thread.
:kick:
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In_The_Wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. ~
Were you calling anyone special?
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. You, Joani~~~~~
Special, bad, and dear. :* :*
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
7. Wow I never heard of them
I am going to have to check them out. Sounds like a fascinating story.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 05:46 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. It really is, because Marjorie Wallace gleaned
what she did out of both of their Jornals- I'll bet she pored thru thousands of pages to get exactly the most telling details. Next, there's the British dialect and vocabulary used in their Journals. I loved that.

It's a wonderful book, one that I've read a dozen times. :D
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. My 14 yr old daughter is one of an imaginary quintuplet
Here is her myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/teddyguh I hope they don't start sniffing glue, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Seriously though, I think she'd like this story, I'll have to get her this book and let her have it after I read it.


About teddyguh

So I got bored with my sisters, Teddy, Teddy, Teddy and Toddy(It was misspelled on the birth certificate so she's stuck with it now), and we started the band. So...yeah. The name is kind of self-explanitory and everything - our parents weren't creative and Teddy G. was the only name and middle initial they could think of. Our band name honours the utter confusion that was(and is) our childhood as identical quintuplets all named Teddy G. except the other one who is usually excluded because her name isn't quite the same as the rest of us, but she got in the band, didn't she? Toddy G. is the one of us that just does vocals and doesn't play an instrument...she's lucky she's in the band - the rest of us can sing, too, and she can't even play bass or something. We haven't really recorded anything yet, but we will...don't worry - it won't be too girly or anything. We'll probably cover some random songs we like and then write some weird song like "Bisexual Socks" or "She's An Old Man, Baby" or some kind of horrible attempt at a good song with too much imagery and a lot of angst. Blah. Don't blame us if we suck...blame heredity. Nothing in our personalities and nothing we do is ever our fault. It's aaaall been traced back to our drunken opium addict great-great-great-great-brother-in-law from the 17th century. We hear he's a bitchy one. So, yeah - everything's his fault. Thanks for skimming our bio. The Teddy Gs wouldn't expect anyone but us to find interest in our story. This is hardly our band story...this is the crappiest band bio ever written. Sorry.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 05:51 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. She's FOURTEEN? She's wonderful!! Look at that writing.
I like her imagination & her curiosity. She'll go far in the world.

Thanks for sharing that!
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Thank you, I made her myself :-D
:P


It's the stuff she wrote when she was 10 or 11 that blows me away.
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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-05 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. My twin died at birth.
I can't say that something's always felt wrong, but I often wonder what my life would have been like had he lived. There is a feeling of loss sometimes - I used to wake in the night reaching for someone who wasn't there, and as a small child I had to sleep with a pillow in my arms.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. Oh, wow. I don't know just how I'd be
if I heard I had a twin who'd died. I expect I'd also have the feeling of loss and of a part missing. I've heard others like you say the same. :hug: :hug: :hug:
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