A review by beardedwhelk
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

dark informative medium-paced


To turn the question often asked of who is Jack the Ripper? To fascinate upon the crimes in Whitechapel, only to burst that bubble and focus on the humanist element of the victims as women, who have struggled with the hardships and attitudes of their times. This is a very deep piece of research, and well constructed to tell 5 unique stories from Victorian Britain.

It leaves you asking questions of how you would have lived at the time, what class? What work? What attitudes? How and what would I have done to survive?

The vitriol the author received by the researchers of the Ripper story in real life further illustrates while we have come so far in over a 100 years in attitudes towards women; some things cannot be changed or challenged in traditionalist minds.

This has challenged me to take a look at myself and question my interactions to see if there are unconscious biases to address, be diverse and inclusive of those around me, and to look at a story with the lens of the bigger picture, rather than the headline at the centre.