The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper
Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London - 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 count...more
I thought the women's stories were very moving. They were written with style, ...more
The book supplies ...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
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
However the author seems, like a victorian snob, obsessed about elevating social status of the victims.
For example she speculates that Mary Kelly was from a higher class. This seems to be solely based on a comment that she was, 'an artist of some measure'. On this basis the author jumps to conclusion that she had artistic training, and was therefore posh, without any particular evidence. What else could ex ...more
I've been excited about this book from the moment I heard about it, and it didn't disappoint. Rubenhold has done a staggering amount of research on these five women, and the book is equal parts their stories and the social history of women in the 1880s. They were victims of circumstance as much as they were victims of the Ripper.
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
This book puts the whole killing spree into perspective as Hallie brings the victims to life, makes them people who lived and fought to survive. What I liked was her focus was on the ladies, not one bit gave time or attention to the murderer. It broke my heart to read about these women but, in all, I admired their strength and determination. Yes they made mistakes, they made the ...more