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576 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1999
”What spirits are these, labouring in what heavenly light? . . . . No, this is dazzle, not yet divinity. Nor are these heathen wraiths about me spirits, lacking even that vitality. . . It would seem we are to suffer an apocalypse of cockatoos...morose, barbaric children playing joylessly with their unfathomable toys. Where comes this dullness in your eyes? Has your century numbed you so? Shall man be given marvels only when he is beyond all wonder? . . . With all your shimmering numbers and your lights, think not to be inured to history. Its black root succors you. It is INSIDE you."Another contradiction is in Moore’s (and artist Eddie Campbell’s) treatment of the women who are the “Ripper” victims. The depiction of the murders themselves—particularly their climax, the murder of Mary Kelly, which takes up an entire chapter—is horrific and merciless, explicit and graphic. Yet one of the most moving aspects of Moore’s book is his detailed presentation of the day-to-day lives of these women: their comradeship and their recreations, their fears and hopes for the future. Moore and Campbell never forget for a moment that Gull’s ceremonial pawns are also real human women. In fact, Moore dedicates the work to them:
You and your demise: of these things alone are we certain. Good night, ladies.“Of these things alone are we certain”: the phrase calls to mind another of From Hell’s contradictions. Moore’s scrupulous adherence to the facts in the case gulls the reader into thinking that Moore himself must be scrupulously recreating a scenario he believes to be true, and yet in the final pages of his work—”The Dance of the Gull Catchers”, a history of “Ripperology”—he adopts a pose of profound skepticism:
The complex phantom we project. That alone, we know is real. The actual killer’s gone, unglimpsed, might as well not have been there at all. There never was a Jack the Ripper. Mary Kelly was just an unusually determined suicide. Why don’t we leave it at that?
FROM HELL by Alan Moore is a monster of a hard cover (comic) book depicting the gruesome Whitechapel murders committed by the notorious Jack The Ripper and investigated by Scotland Yard in the late 1800's.
While a work of fiction, this book includes a greatly expanded and detailed Appendix with factual notations as well as educated speculation (from the author) for each chapter and a period map of London giving the reader much food for thought.
But BEWARE........Visually morbid and x-rated illustrations of various sexual acts including autopsies and dissections are pictured throughout the story.
Bang-tails (whores).....Blackmail.....Treason.....and scandalous activities combined with the evil doings of the Freemason Brotherhood come together to tell Jack's bloody story of butchery. 4.5 Stars