The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper
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 ...more
What did you enjoy the most/least about this book?
What did you find the most surprising?
Which of the five victims' stories did you find the most intriguing or resonating? Why? Have you previously read any other books about the crimes of Jack the Ripper? How did this book vary?
Do you feel a basic knowledge of the Ripper crimes is necessary to get the most out of this book? Why or why not? Did this book change your perspective on the crimes of Jack the Ripper? If so, how?
What do you think about the author's research for this book? Did you feel the sources the author used were credible and well-balanced?
How do you think female victims of violent crime are represented in the media?
How are they perceived by members of the public and the justice system?
Do you think this has changed significantly since the late 19th century? If so, how and why?
Why has the mainstream Ripper "narrative" assumed that all five victims were prostitutes and why is this relevant?
The author has received substantial criticism from "Ripperologists" since this book was published, principally because of her suggestion that three of the five victims were not at the time of their deaths, and never were, prostitutes (see: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...). Why do you think the book has prompted this reaction from some quarters? Do you think it is justified?(less)
"She had been brought into the world along the Street of Ink, and it is to there, riding on the column inches, its illuminated plates, its rumor and scandal, that she would return: a name in print.”
The canonical five Ripper victims:
Mary Ann -Polly- Nichols
Catherine- Kate- Eddowes
Mary Jane Kelly
Ask your friends, relatives, or collea ...more
This is the tale of 1887 that most chose to forget.
Tatiana already wrote the perfect review for this book, so a lot of my review is just going to be reiterating her points.
I thought The Five was genuinely hard to put down. Rubenhold takes us back to the grim, dingy streets of Victorian London and attempts to follow the life stories of each of the five confirmed victims of Jack the Ripper. Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane: women who have been largely buried by history, forgott ...more
Ask yourself this question: how much do you know about the five women that Jack the Ripper killed in 1888? If you answered anything at all, it was most likely that they were prostitutes. You probably don't even know their names. What if I told you that the one thing you thought you knew might not even be true at all? What if I told you that some of these women were actually mothers, wives, sisters and daughters. Poor souls who fell on hard time ...more
I thought the women's stories were very moving. They were written with style, ...more
But . . .
A big part of Rubenhold's thesis in this book is that four of the five women were, in fact, not sex workers, and that they had been unfairly classified as such due to Victorian prejudice against the ...more
At its very core, the story of Jack the Ripper is a narrative of a killers deep, abiding hatred of women. Our cultural obsession with the mythology surrounding Jack the Ripper only serves to normalise its particular brand of misogyny. We've grown so comfortable with these stories - the unfathomable male killer - that we've failed to recognise that he continues to walk among us."
I really really admire what the author did here. The Five is such an engaging book, highlighting not only some of ...more
The purpose of this work had been to shine a light on the lives of Jack the Ripper's victims rather than the killer himself, and to disprove the popular assumption of all his victims being prostitutes. Did the author succeed?
What Rubenhold uncovered was that only one of the victims was a self-proclaimed prostitute, and the other four - homeless women suffering from mental issues and addictions and making their living any way they could, which included selling themselves or whatever skil ...more
The book supplies a hu ...more
The first thing to know about The Five is that it is a book defined by its approach; the second thing is that the approach is long overdue. The facts are these: in the late summer and autumn of 1888, from the end of August to November, five women were murdered in London’s Whitechapel neighbourhood. They appeared to have been killed in the same way, and presumably by the same person. That person was never caught, but the persona that solidified around him (though, of course, we can’t know fo ...more
“It is for them that I write this book. I do so in the hope that we may now hear their stories clearly and give back to them that which was so brutally taken away with their lives: their dignity.”It’s such an eye-opening book. It portrays a gloomy picture of Victorian England that sometimes I cringed, that how bad a life was for the working class at that time. It portrays everything in such a vivid manner you’ll actually feel the atmosphere of that age as if you are standing there ...more
A triumph that results in new information and insight into the victims of "Jack the Ripper".
Ms Rubenhold's work is successful on a number of levels: her ability to research numerous sources to derive background and until now unknown information; her skill in taking what must have been numerous strands and small pieces of often unrelated information and detail together; her craft as an author to weave these together and bring five murdered women to the pages a ...more
However, by the end of this book I was crying for the women who "began ...more
The Five by Hallow Rubenhold is such a deep and moving account of the biography of the last five women killed by Jack the Ripper. It follows each women from birth of possible, on up to death. My heart just ached for each of them. The society failed them. I had to read this book twice. The first time I was just emotional overwhelmed. The second time I was anger. If they had been born at a different time, or had different laws for women, had gove ...more
THE FIVE: Polly - Annie - Elizabeth - Kate - Mary Jane.
THE PLACE: White Chapel 1887.
THE UNTOLD LIVES OF THE WOMEN KILLED BY JACK THE RIPPER
"There are two versions of the events of 1887." The one here is not about THE Ripper, but follows the lives of five women who struggled to survive in hard times....in a man's world....and died a violent death.
Tennyson's poem, The Princess:
Man for the field and woman for the hearth; Man for the sword and f...more
“The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper” by Hallie Rubenhold is the first historical non-fiction novel I’ve ever read and I thoroughly enjoy ...more
|Non Fiction Book ...: The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper (Feb 17-Mar 17, 2020)||52||44||Jun 09, 2020 11:24AM|
|The Book Vipers: Group Non-Fiction Read Q2 2020 - The Five||7||22||Jun 09, 2020 02:48AM|
|Tweacher Book Club: The Five: further reading||7||5||Jun 03, 2020 03:58AM|
|Tweacher Book Club: The Five||1||5||Jun 02, 2020 05:20PM|
|Crime, Mysteries ...: The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold - April 2020||11||35||Apr 27, 2020 12:55PM|