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1888: London Murders in the Year of the Ripper
 
 

1888: London Murders in the Year of the Ripper [Kindle Edition]

Peter Stubley
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In 1888 Jack the Ripper made the headlines with a series of horrific murders that remain unsolved to this day. But most killers are not shadowy figures stalking the streets with a lust for blood. Many are ordinary citizens driven to the ultimate crime by circumstance, a fit of anger or a desire for revenge. Their crimes, overshadowed by the few, sensational cases, are ignored, forgotten or written off. This book examines all the known murders in London in 1888 to build a picture of society. Who were the victims? How did they live, and how did they die? Why did a husband batter his wife to death after she failed to get him a cup of tea? How many died under the wheels of a horse-driven cab? Just how dangerous was London in 1888?

About the Author

Peter Stubley is crime journalist who has spent the last ten years covering murder cases at the Old Bailey, whether famous, infamous or quickly forgotten. He is also the founder of, and main contributor to, the London murder map (www.murdermap.co.uk), which aims to catalogue every Victorian murder in London. Specializing in court reporting, he is currently Assistant News Editor at Central News.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1483 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (30 Sep 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00994UIX2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #53,376 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By C. Ball TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The year 1888 is most notably known as the year Jack the Ripper created terror in the streets of Whitechapel, murdering five, possibly six prostitutes and escaping from justice, the mystery of his identity lingering on through the years. But, as Stubley quite rightly points out, Jack's were not the only murders in London that year, and perhaps it is these others, lost to history, that are far more indicative of a particular time and place that the more celebrated ones of Jack the Ripper.

Stubley takes a relatively thematic approach, looking at the different kinds of murders and manslaughters committed in 1888 - vehicular accidents, street fights, illegal abortions, insanity pleas, husbands murdering wives, parents killing children, teenage gangs. With this approach he looks at the context surrounding the crimes, and it is telling just how often poverty and alcoholism play a major part.

What I found interesting is just how few of these cases resulted in the death penalty. The stereotypical view of Victorian justice was that it was harsh and extreme, the hangman's noose the inevitable end - but the majority of the cases involved pleas for mercy and only one ended up making the final drop.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1888: London Murders in the Year of the Ripper 30 Sep 2012
By S Riaz HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book gives a fascinating account of London in 1888: a time of depression, strikes and protests and panic over a series of murders by Jack the Ripper. The author looks at a number of other murders, and cases of manslaughter, that happened during that year; revealing a portrait of London that is very different, and yet very similar, to our own time. We too have a time of economic depression, a Queen who has just celebrated a Jubilee, a government led by an Old Etonian Conservative, gangs and knife crime. In many ways, 1888 mirrors our present age in a distorted image, although there are also interesting, and important, differences. In London today, you are more likely to be a victim of murder if you are male. In 1888, women made up a greater percentage of victims, and children were also, tragically, often killed - especially as babies.

The author gives a wonderfully vivid account of those times, presenting cases of murder which range from those which caused media outrage, to those which aroused little interest at the time. He recounts the stories of drunken brawls which led to murder, omnibus accidents which resulted in charges of manslaughter, domestic violence, the murders of prostitutes (including those attributed to the Ripper) and many other cases. There is also a lot of detailed information about how the city was policed (including the discovery of the torso of a woman hidden in the foundations of the building which was to become New Scotland Yard). Links between then and today are always with us. Whitechapel, still a cosmopolitan area, was under attack from complaints of immigrants driving down wages and taking jobs, with intolerance and racism rearing its ugly head.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mention the year 1888 and 'murder' and only one moniker springs to mind.

But there were hundreds of other murders and unexplained and violent deaths in the metropolis in that year. People were killed on the roads, drowned in the Thames, were killed for money and in domestic arguments and crimes of passion, and, sadly, at the hands of the mentally ill. Unlike the victims of Jack the Ripper, most of these victims are forgotten. Really, 1888 was not a special year for death.

This is a great study in social history, and a good read - if rather depressing. The poverty of the East End and the impotence of the poor, particularly women, to survive in such a cruel world is truly horrific. The lot of servant girls, driven to kill and conceal their newborns just so that they could keep their jobs, made my blood boil. Women today don't know how lucky we are.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True crimes, skillfully told. 29 April 2013
Format:Paperback
I endorse the other favourable reviews this book has received. It is a portrait of London as revealed by a year's sample of homicide. Violent crime, possibly more than one serial killer, existed side by side with the tragic consequences of deprivation, alcoholism, intolerant social attitudes, primitive health care and the eternal unpredictability of human behaviour and thoughtless action.

Although mainly mined from contemporary newspapers, the author has taken the trouble to re-write the stories as seamless narratives. He has struck a good balance between various types of death and adding relevant details on matters such as industrial unrest, or the state of the Police. There is interesting incidental information about the invention of the pneumatic tyre, ambulances and the LCC etc. which bring the late Victorian age to life. I also liked the way he has gone the extra mile in researching the afterlives of those involved in various crimes, as shown in censuses.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From manslaughter to murder... its covered! 21 Feb 2013
By Bryan VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
London, 1888 was over-shadowed by the serial killings of Jack the Ripper in the East End. However, while Jack was preparing his campaign, other crimes were taking place and this book certainly covers them. The book covers street brawls outside pubs, abuse by drunken husbands and crimes committed by those living in poverty and squalor in a city that was beginning to expand beyond its confines. Despite the threat of hanging for crimes committed, it is surprising how many criminals escaped death due to jury decision and cases thrown out of court. I certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in the lives of people who lived in these Victorian times as it gives a vivid account of what life was really like in comparison to today's standard of living.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love reading history books and this did not disappoint
I love reading history books and this did not disappoint. It could have been darker but I doubt it would have been as enjoyable. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Carol Anne Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Always find this interesting
Published 25 days ago by Gemma
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Jack the ripper overshadowed crimes of that particular year.
Interesting book.
Published 1 month ago by Kenny D
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thoroughly researched and well written. A unique perspective on society and criminal behaviour of the period.
Published 1 month ago by DR M ROBERTS
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucky to be born now
I thought that the story flowed. I described life in 1888 which makes you think especially regarding the lives of children compared to now.
Published 1 month ago by lucy
2.0 out of 5 stars 1889 London Murders
On and on and...More like a logbook of murders without any dramatic interest or background. Found it rather boring.
Published 1 month ago by Peter H Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
informative book
Published 2 months ago by karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a look.
I have to say that, over the years, I've followed the ever changing tale of Jack the Ripper and, even though I've got my own theories about his identity, I never get bored of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. Supward
4.0 out of 5 stars hard lives being born then
good read, hard to belive just a hundred years ago life was so awful and crime rampant.immigration problems as now.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting content
This book provides an interesting view of the hazards of everyday life in Victorian London, even when simply walking its dirty, busy streets! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. M. Clement
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