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The Five The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

by Hallie Rubenhold

Biography / Autobiography History

The Five The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper Synopsis


Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888.

Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women.

Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories.

The Five The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper Press Reviews

Our fascination with true crime means we often focus on the perpertrator, such as Ted Bundy, rather than the victims. It's time to stop focusing on the killer and start remembering the victims: Polly, Annie, Catherine and Mary-Jane - Stylist

Becomes a passionate indictment of the true-crime genre, with its fixation on the minds of murderers and its shallow, glancing sympathy for the dead. Hard-edged and heartbreaking - Washington Post

A brilliant and important book that will reshape how this case is studied - anyone interested in social history or the history of crime owes a debt to @HallieRubenhold - EMMA FLINT

THE FIVE has received deservedly rave reviews. It's gripping. - New York Times

Urges us to look beyond the familiar stories... The Five challenges the accepted view of the five canonical victims of Jack the Ripper, and tells the untold stories of their lives. - History Revealed

An outstanding work of history-from-below ... magnificent - The Spectator

This confidently written book gives a rich insight into the world of the wretched in the late Victorian period. Rubenhold writes in a compassionate but unsentimental style... - Literary Review

Fascinating and hugely important book acts as a timely reminder of what happens when society ceases to care for its most vulnerable residents. - Herald Scotland

A Sunday Times must-read. - Sunday Times

A highly readable work of rigorous scholarship that plunges the reader into the claustrophobic world of late 19th-century London... The story of these five women - Mary Ann Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly - is not one of death, but one of life. -- Rebecca Rideal - NewStatesman

'Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly deserve to be thought of as more than eviscerated bodies on an East London street. This haunting book does something to redress that balance. - Sunday Times

Fascinating, compelling, moving, The Five makes a fierce, passionate argument about the ethics of how we engage with murder. A brilliant,properly thoughtful, responsible piece of political writing. - BRIDGET COLLINS, author of THE BINDING

Stupendous. The sort of work that keeps history vital. - IMOGEN HERMES GOWAR, author of THE MERMAID AND MRS HANCOCK

By collating these five deeply affecting biographies ... Rubenhold has given these women the immortality that their murderer does not deserve. - Daily Mail

Forests have been felled in the interests of unmasking the murderer, but until now no one has bothered to discover the identity of his victims. The Five is thus an angry and important work of historical detection, calling time on the misogyny that has fed the Ripper myth. . . This is a powerful and a shaming book, but most shameful of all is that it took 130 years to write. -- Frances Wilson - Guardian

Devastatingly good. The Five will leave you in tears of pity and of rage. - LUCY WORSLEY

What a brilliant and necessary book - Jo Baker, author of LONGBOURN

A Ripper narrative that gives voice to the women he silenced; I've been waiting for this book for years. Beautifully written and with the grip of a thriller, it will open your eyes and break your heart. - Erin Kelly, author of HE SAID/SHE SAID

How fitting that in the year when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, dignity is finally returned to these unfortunate women. - Professor Dame Sue Black, author of ALL THAT REMAINS

FIVE STARS: At last, the Ripper's victims get a voice... An eloquent, stirring challenge to reject the prevailing Ripper myth. -- Gwen Smith - Mail on Sunday

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781784162344
Publication date: 30/01/2020
Publisher: Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781784162344
Publication date: 30th January 2020
Author: Hallie Rubenhold
Publisher: Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 432 pages
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, History,
Categories: True crime, Social & cultural history,

About Hallie Rubenhold

Hallie Rubenhold is an historian and broadcaster and an authority on British 18th-century social history. She has written two works of non-fiction to critical acclaim: The Covent Garden Ladies and Lady Worsley's Whim: An Eighteenth-century Tale of Sex, Scandal and Divorce. Hallie lives in London with her husband.   Author photo © Johnny Ring

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