Hi Allen:--

You wrote:

"It would be helpful if we could find out if the crying child/tinfoil had any 
historical roots, or at least when it was first told as such (i.e. how soon 
after 1878)."

In my own writing (still just in manuscript) I've been treating this as a story 
first published at the end of 1888 about something that had supposedly happened 
earlier that year.  So far I'm not seeing any reason to suspect it's any older 
than that -- are you?  It strikes me that the 1895 story can be explained as a 
retelling of the 1888 story that left out key details, and the 
twentieth-century story as a retelling of the 1895 one that filled in the gaps 
with guesswork.  That doesn't seem to leave anything unaccounted for, although 
I think you're definitely onto something interesting here with the later 
evolution of the story!

"Shall I/we assume that Gouraud's version in 1888 of a crying baby was 
apparently anonymous (or just not identified)?"

The baby isn't named, as far as I've seen -- any connection I've been toying 
with is based on bits of circumstantial evidence, and there's no smoking gun.

- Patrick

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