Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 9, 2019
Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
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 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. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.
For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that "the Ripper" preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time—but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.
Ok let me explain, I thought this was a fantastic, historical biography of the woman that Jack the Ripper killed, I skimmed this book because I don’t have the focus to read biographies. I sort of got a little bored with all the history, I really just wanted to know about these woman and their lives, I don’t think there is real information so it is sort of an overview of each woman’s life, while interesting, I wasn’t able to read the book like I wanted. I do want to go back and read each woman’s section, to learn more about them but probably when I am in between books or need something different to read.
So with that being said, for a biography about these amazing woman that really got the shit end of the stick with how their stories were told throughout history, it was interesting and I would love to read each woman’s story over time. Maybe this would be better as an audio book….just thought of that now. hmmmm…I might have to try that. 🙂
Otherwise if you love an in-depth biography, filled with historical information and details about London in the 1800’s you will LOVE this book. Again, i still want to fully read this and I will over time. I will also write a review when I do because regardless this will for sure be 4 star read for me. Highly recommend.
Please Note: Sorry this review is so confusing, I don’t know how to explain how I felt about the book, it wasn’t really a story which was what I was expecting so I was a bit thrown off. Going by the research of the author and the writing of all the details, I can’t see myself giving this less than 4 stars.
Thanks for stopping by to check out my review.
Have a great day and Happy Reading!