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

2020, REVIEW


Author: Hallie Rubenhold
Pages: 336
Star Rating: ✪✪✪✪


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, but it has also 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.

My Thoughts

I am not very good at rating Non-Fiction books, I always find them difficult to rate.

I did really enjoy this book and the amount of research the author has put into this book. The woman that Jack the Ripper murdered were actually made to be a woman. I really enjoyed reading about the victims lives, even though they were upsetting and not at all easy lives.

The one little issue I had was that the notes were at the back at the book which made it difficult to keep flipping back and forth as I was reading. some of the notes had extra information and others had the resources the author used.

I would recommend reading this if you are interested in this type of book.

2 thoughts on “Review: The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

  1. I was already quite interested in reading this, good to hear you enjoyed!
    And I agree, reviewing non-fiction is so hard!


    Liked by 1 person

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