HALLIE RUBENHOLD, a social historian and frequent consultant for
period dramas, is the author of The Covent Garden Ladies,
the inspiration for the Hulu series Harlots, and The
Scandalous Lady W. She is also the author of the historical
novels Mistress of My Fate and The French Lesson.
A New York Times Book Review 'Summer Reading Best True Crime'
A Washington Post '20 Books to Read This Summer'
An Oprah.com '20 Best True Crime Books That'll Make You Want to Sleep With the Lights On'
"Rubenhold has produced a significant study of how poor and
working-class women subsisted in an unforgiving age."--The New York
Times Book Review "Hallie Rubenhold's hard-edged, heartbreaking
biographies of the five women killed by Jack the Ripper over two
months in 1888 offer a blistering counter-narrative to the 'male,
authoritarian, and middle class' legend of a demonic superman
preying on prostitutes... Her riveting work, both compassionate
group portrait and stinging social history, finally gives them
their due."--The Washington Post "The five London women murdered by
Jack the Ripper, in 1888, were long assumed to be prostitutes. This
history shows otherwise, presenting deeply researched portraits of
the victims as they lived: they were all poor, some to the point of
homelessness; they were all apparently killed while asleep; and,
with one exception, they were known by family and acquaintances not
to be prostitutes. Each had a distinct story that has never been
fully or truthfully told. Why Victorians preferred to embrace the
myth is one question that guides the book; why we continue
to do so is another."--The New Yorker "All too often, murder
victims' stories are relegated to the footnotes of history,
overshadowed by not only their violent ends, but the looming
specter of their killers. In The Five, historian Hallie
Rubenhold sets out to correct this imbalance, placing the focus on
[the victims] rather than the still-unidentified serial killer who
ended their lives in 1888."--Smithsonian "An effort to remedy the
Ripper imbalance."--Time "A must for Ripperologists."--Publishers
Weekly, starred review "Essential to students of
Ripperiana."--Kirkus Reviews "Focusing on [the victims] backstories
rather than the forensic details of their deaths, Rubenhold puts
them back into their larger social context."--Jezebel "Jack the
Ripper continues to be a mystery, but these women are now less
so."--Bust "Rubenhold does a commendable job in bringing these
women on stage and through their stories illuminating the appalling
reality behind the veneer of Victorian complacency. For these
women, and millions like them, life in Victorian England was not an
episode of Masterpiece Theater."--New York Journal of Books
"The Five is a long-overdue investigation that shines the
spotlight on [the victims], giving context to who they were and
what circumstances molded their lives."--Hypable "At last, the
Ripper's victims get a voice . . . An eloquent, stirring challenge
to reject the prevailing Ripper myth." -- Mail on Sunday "[A]n
angry and important work of historical detection . . . The
Five is not simply about the women who were murdered in
Whitechapel in the autumn of 1888: it is for them. This is a
powerful and a shaming book, but most shameful of all is that it
took 130 years to write." -- Guardian "Deeply researched and
powerfully told, The Five unearths the truth behind the
Victorian Age's most sensational crime: the 1888 murder spree of
Jack the Ripper. Hallie Rubenhold reaches beyond 130 years' worth
of lurid headlines and misleading reports to humanize the victims
and explore their lives--and tragic, untimely deaths. The
Five is a coruscating gem of a book, as necessary as it is
-- Karen Abbott, New York Times best-selling author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy "Meticulously researched and beautifully executed, The Five is a powerful and timely retelling of a story you think you already know. Rubenhold strips away decades of myths and misconceptions so that the women who were ruthlessly murdered by Jack the Ripper are no longer one-dimensional characters in a Penny Dreadful, but real human beings with very real struggles, hopes, and fears. With this important book, Rubenhold proves she is a master of narrative nonfiction: a historian with a novelist's soul."
-- Lindsey Fitzharris, author of The Butchering Art "Devastatingly good. The Five will leave you in tears, of pity and of rage."
-- Lucy Worsley, BBC presenter, chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces, and author "What a brilliant and necessary book."
-- Jo Baker, best-selling author Longbourn "A Ripper narrative that gives voice to the women he silenced; I've been waiting for this book for years. Beautifully written and with the grip of a thriller, it will open your eyes and break your heart."
-- Erin Kelly, best-selling author of He Said/She Said