Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize
Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London - the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.
"An angry and important work of historical detection, calling time on the misogyny that has fed the Ripper myth." 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.
"Devastatingly good. The Five will leave you in tears, of pity and of rage."
"How fitting that in the year when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, dignity is finally returned to these unfortunate women."
Prof. Dame Sue Black
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