Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction

Five devastating human tales and a depressing and transferring portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the ladies killed by way of Jack the Ripper.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are well-known for a similar factor, even though they by no means met. They got here from Fleet Boulevard, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran espresso properties, lived on us of a estates, they breathed ink-mud from printing presses and escaped folks-traffickers.

What that they had in not unusual used to be the 12 months in their murders: 1888. The individual accountable used to be by no means known, however the persona created by way of the clicking to fill that hole has turn out to be way more well-known than any of those 5 girls.

For greater than a century, newspapers were willing to let us know that “the Ripper” preyed on prostitutes. No longer best is that this unfaithful, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has found out, it has averted the actual tales of those attention-grabbing girls from being instructed. Now, on this devastating narrative of 5 lives, Rubenhold in the end units the report immediately, revealing an international No longer simply of Dickens and Queen Victoria, however of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died as a result of they had been within the incorrect position on the incorrect time—however their largest misfortune used to be to be born a lady.