Lives and Social Histories of the Ripper’s Canonical Five

Book review: The Five, by Hallie Rubenhold (Amazon / Book Depository) 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... Continue Reading →

They All Love Jack: The Ripper as Conspiracy Theory, Not Mystery

Book review: They All Love Jack, by Bruce Robinson (Amazon / Book Depository) ... there was nothing illaudable about being a Victorian Mason, any more than it was improper to enjoy membership of a tricycle club. But ... this narrative is about the bad guys, and about one in particular who went rotten, and what... Continue Reading →

Stop Romanticizing Victorian London

Book review: The Good Old Days: Crime, Murder and Mayhem in Victorian London, by Gilda O'Neill (Amazon / Book Depository) Author and historian Gilda O'Neill, well-known for her social history books exploring the changing face of London's East End, examines the problems that plagued the "good old days" of the Victorian era, using the thesis that problems of... Continue Reading →

Unsolved Murder in the Victorian Age

  Book review: Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane (Amazon / Book Depository) Interesting, quickly readable history with some modern interpretation of an officially "unsolved" Victorian murder. A teenage maid was murdered and the son of her former employing family is suspected and tried for it, police make some big mistakes, witnesses misremember, societal... Continue Reading →

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