Book Reviews

1888: London Murders In The Year Of The Ripper by Peter Stubley

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List Price: £9.99

 

Paperback: 280 Pages.

Published: 01 September 2012 by The History Press

ISBN: 0752465430

EAN: 9780752465432

In 1888 Jack the Ripper made the headlines with a series of horrific murders that remain unsolved to this day. But most killers are not shadowy figures stalking the streets with a lust for blood. Many are ordinary citizens driven to the ultimate crime by circumstance, a fit of anger or a desire for revenge. Their crimes, overshadowed by the few, sensational cases, are ignored, forgotten or written off. This book examines all the known murders in London in 1888 to build a picture of society. Who were the victims? How did they live, and how did they die? Why did a husband batter his wife to death after she failed to get him a cup of tea? How many died under the wheels of a horse-driven cab? Just how dangerous was London in 1888?

Reviews

4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Anne

A very clever idea and an interesting book

The year 1888 was the height of the Jack the Ripper murders in London. This author has taken that year and looked at the other murders which took place in the city at the same time but which didn't get the same degree of publicity. This is a clever idea for a book and a fascinating study if you are interested in social history.

The murders are collected together in types - murders of children, gang murders, etc. and a few are picked out for more detailed study and presented in the context of the period. The book is not written in a gory way and the author compares social conditions at the time with the modern day. It is actually surprising how few murders there are compared with what we might have assumed, based on our general knowledge of Victorian crime and even more surprising when we see how few people were convicted and hanged. The main factor in very many of the case studies is alcohol dependency but extreme poverty and desperation play their part too.

The author also gives a brief overview of the Ripper murders but they don't play a particularly large part in the book although it would have been neglectful to exclude them. There is also a lot of interesting material about the policing of crime at the time.

The book is well written and interesting. Recommended for anyone who likes social history.

 
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