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Uncovering Jack the Ripper's London Hardcover – 25 May 2007
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The crimes of Jack the Ripper have gone down in history as some of the most brutal and violent ever committed. These horrendous acts of serial murder confounded the police at the time, and the mystery of the Ripper's identity remains unsolved to this day. In addition to the sense of fear and panic the murders brought to the London streets of the late 1880s, they also shed a harsh light on the impoverished and dangerous conditions of the East End and brought numerous tensions to boiling point. This book examines the wider context of the murders, taking into account the social conditions against which they were committed, the animosity between police and press, the instances of anti-Semitism and the physical geography of the area now and then. Providing detailed analysis of the attacks and the investigation, the book also considers acts committed before and after that could also have been the work of the same person. Featuring previously unpublished documents and photographs, this book is a must for all Jack the Ripper enthusiasts.
About the Author
Owner of the London tour company 'Discovery Walks', Richard Jones is one of the UK's foremost authorities on Jack the Ripper. He is also the author of various other highly successful New Holland titles, including the best-selling Haunted Britain and Ireland and Walking Haunted London. He lives in South Woodford, East London.
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This book is a must for Ripperologists and also anyone who has a curiosity about Victorian London. I would have happily given this book TEN stars!
The book's strengths are that there is no silly speculation about the killer's identity which is a common failing of books on this topic. The author's opinions on various controversies, eg whether Martha Tabram was a victim of the Ripper, the Lusk kidney, the letters signed JTR, etc., are all sensible, though he remains silent about whether Elizabeth Stride was a Ripper victim - some think not. The book is best aimed at those new to the topic and those who want to refresh their memories over the salient facts of the case. To that extent it works very well.
However, there seems nothing new here. There is no evidence of any new research and the bibliography suggests that the information is solely taken from secondary sources (no footnotes, either). Nor did I find the opening chapters particularly revelatory for they attempted to cover complex topics in a simplistic way. Eg. the reader is told that Jewish MPs countered anti-immigrant slurs, but we're not told how.
Best for beginners, in my opinion.
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