7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
excellent east end history. not a ripper book per se.,
This review is from: The Worst Street in London (Paperback)
I am not sure why so many previous reviews mention Jack the Ripper. They could put people, who have no interest in the Whitechaper murders, off reading this fine book. The murders form only a small part of this book, which is as it should be given it's a history of a street over centuries. This said, the information on Mary Kelly, a Ripper victim who lived and was murdered in Miller's Court, just a few feet off Dorset Street, is very interesting. As is the information about the overcrowding in Dorset Street in the 1890's due to the slum clearance without sufficient rehousing, brought about by the murders. And there are some great little snippets such as John McCarthy, Mary's landlord, being the great grandfather of Kay Kendall, the lead actress in the film Genevieve!
The book has been very well researched, is well written, interesting throughout and I throughly recommend it. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is that Fiona Rule's other book, about the history of the London docks is better, a real tour de force, so that gets 5 stars, and in comparison this gets 4.
The previous 3 star reviewer seems very harsh. The book obviously can't be literally just about one street. It has to broaden things out, both to give historical context and to simply add interest for the reader, so I think it's unfair to call this element of the book "padding".