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

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£9.99

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.

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Description

***WINNER OF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NONFICTION 2019- THE No. 5 Sunday Times BESTSELLER

‘An angry and important work of historical detection, calling time on the misogyny that has fed the Ripper myth. Powerful and shaming’ GUARDIAN

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.

__________________

PRAISE FOR THE FIVE

‘Gripping’ New York Times

‘At last, the Ripper’s victims get a voice… An eloquent, stirring challenge to reject the prevailing Ripper myth.’ MAIL ON SUNDAY

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

‘Dignity is finally returned to these unfortunate women.’ PROFESSOR DAME SUE BLACK

‘Haunting’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘What a brilliant and necessary book’ JO BAKER, author of Longbourn

‘Beautifully written and with the grip of a thriller, it will open your eyes and break your heart.’ ERIN KELLY,

‘An outstanding work of history-from-below … magnificent’ THE SPECTATOR

‘Deeply researched’ THE NEW YORKER – HAY FESTIVAL BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019-

A New York Times, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, GQ, Washington Post, Oprah Winfrey Magazine and Independent Summer read/History Book of the Year- Shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction- Shortlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association Non-Fiction Crown Award

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
ISBN

9781784162344

Author

Rubenhold, Hallie

Publisher

Doubleday

Binding

Paperback

1 review for The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

  1. Bob Pickett

    I was born and spent the first few years of my life about a mile and a half from Whitechapel. Of course, from quite an early age I got to hear of Jack the Ripper. Over the years I’ve taken an interest (not least fuelled by my father having worked in Buck’s Row as a young man). I’ve been on walks, I’ve read books, I’ve been to exhibitions, watched documentaries and dramatisations. And they all have something in common.

    The five women who lost their lives are almost an afterthought.

    The Five addresses this. Hallie Rubenhold specialises in female history, making her the perfect person to piece together the lives of five women whose only common links were ending up in Whitechapel and losing their lives to a monster.

    The depth of research is obvious from the first few pages of Polly’s story. But this is much more than a compilation of dates. The dubious morals and astonishing legal double standards of the day are woven into each of the women’s stories. It was so easy for your place in society to slip… for a woman more so.

    These women came from different locations, lived very different lives, but each one ended up in the hellhole that was Whitechapel in the 1880s (Dorset Street and Flower & Dean Street were known as the worst streets in London).

    For those wanting to read about the final fate of the women, look elsewhere. There are plenty of books that deal with the murders in forensic detail. The Five is about the women and their lives, and it brings them back to life vividly, their stories are compelling reading.

    As I read this book, I just wanted to talk about it with others. I wanted to discuss what had happened, the injustices and double standards.

    That it has taken 130 years for their story to be told is appalling. This is an important and necessary book, thankfully it has been researched, compiled and written by such a skilful and sympathetic author.

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