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The Prince, His Tutor and the Ripper: The Evidence Linking James Kenneth Stephen to the Whitechapel Murders Paperback – 30 Aug 2007
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"excellent...highly recommended"--Whitechapel 1888; "a penetrating look at whether James Kenneth Stephen was the Ripper...well-researched biography...using sources such as his mother's diary...a superbly researched biography...about one of the suspects"--News Shopper; "well written, well researched...impressive...the author offers us much new and fascinating information"--Ripper Notes.
About the Author
British writer Deborah McDonald lives in England.
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Additionally there are excellent chapters giving details about life at Eton and Cambridge in the 1880s and the very openly homosexual and often paedophile lifestyles many of the boys were subjected to.
It would be good to see Deborah McDonald research and write books on the other Ripper suspects.
A very interesting and enjoyable read. I would highly recommend this refreshing look into the subject.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As has already been noted, this book only has tenuous connections to Ripperology, and is more a history of homosexual culture and socratic relationships in the English upper middle class and their educational institutions of the time. As a light biography of the lives of Montague Druitt, James Stephen (Virginia Woolf's cousin) and Prince Albert Victor, this is an engrossing read. These three younger men, who all died in tragic circumstances before their potentials could be fully realized, have unfortunately since become collateral in the hunt for the 'perfect' Jack the Ripper suspect.
To her credit, McDonald provides further detail of their lives and friendships in a sympathetic fashion, more so about Stephen and his family and social relationships (Stephen's father was a judge who presided over the controversial trials of Israel Lipski and Florence Maybrick). Stephen, like his later celebrated cousin Woolf, was intelligent and creative but suffered from mental illness in an era when there was little understanding of the causes or any effective treatment. There are still unresolved questions about Druitt's life and the reasons that he posthumously became a Ripper suspect. If anything, the information about the Ripper homicides, discussions of which can be found in other books, felt like an intrusion into an otherwise interesting history of these men.
Absolutely a MUST for any serious researcher who wants to know more about the relationship between Eddy, J.K. Stephen and Montague John Druitt.
Here McDonald has done a forthright job of weaving the family backgrounds of each with the facts of their young lives that are known. Most of "Prince Eddy"'s correspondence has apparently been destroyed, a sad fact that must have presented quite a challenge to the author, but there is more in this book about him than I've seen before. Montagu and Stephen, especially, come to life really for the first time.
All three came from privilege but died as young men. There are eerie parallels between them involving money, madness and homosexuality.
Of course, J.K. Stephen and Prince Eddy knew each other very well. McDonald explains what ties the three of them could have had and what possible tie, though unlikely, to the Ripper killings. Indeed, these three must have been more than ships passing in the night. Were they, any of them, the killer?
This rare window into the late Victorian world is highly recommended.