There are plenty of reasons for not believing that James Maybrick was Jack the Ripper, and this account of the life and trials of his wife Florence is far too convinced on far too little evidence that the journal attributed to him is both genuine and accurate. Nonetheless, the story of Florence is interesting in itself--sentenced to death for the poisoning of a man who regularly took dangerous doses of arsenic to improve his skin tone and hair, she was kept in prison more for her adulteries than because anyone was sure of her guilt.
The subject of diplomatic protests from the US and an extended campaign by her defence lawyers, Florence was victimised in the first place by a brilliant misogynist judge on the brink of mental collapse and in the second by the obstinate prudishness of Queen Victoria herself. Graham and Emmas make a coherent case that she was framed by her brothers-in-law, and less convincingly argue both that they were aware of their brother's murders and were able to call in Masonic favours.The Maybrick case is interesting enough without unconvincing paranoia added to the mix; this is a flawed but still useful book. --Roz Kaveney
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'An intriguing biography.' -- Weekend Telegraph