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The Five
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper | Hallie Rubenhold
78 posts | 37 read | 163 to read
Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian Londonthe untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper. Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women. For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that "the Ripper" preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong timebut their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.
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Augustdana
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I have never put a book on my TBR faster.

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Booksnchill
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Pickpick

This book may be my top read of the year. What a triumph- Hallie Rubenhold has done the research, spurred by the question “Why are the victims of The Ripper always referred to as prostitutes?” This is a book about the women, the social realities of lower class women in the 1880s with multiple pregnancies, dependency on men who may die or leave, work houses, and friends, lives of want and no social net other than the workhouses. Read this book!5⭐️

Booksnchill And if you like audiobooks this one is excellent! 23h
JanuarieTimewalker13 Good to know!! Great review!! 21h
Booksnchill @JanuarieTimewalker13 thanks- I just found out it won the Baillie Gifford prize for non-fiction 2019 so I am not alone in praising this work! 21h
JanuarieTimewalker13 I‘m not familiar with that prize. I‘ll look it up! Thanks! 7h
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Andrew65
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Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non- Fiction.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-50471880

Birdsong28 That's great news!! It was a wonderful book and she is such a lovely person in real life. 📚📖 2d
MamaGina Well Deserved! 👏🏼 1d
EadieB Looks interesting! Just recently read about the Yorkshire Ripper. That was a scary book! 8h
Andrew65 @EadieB A scary man, I still remember the time well! 4h
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Mitch
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I loved this book and I‘ve spent the best part of the year convincing everyone else to read it! So glad to see it win the Baillie Gifford tonight 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳

https://thebailliegiffordprize.co.uk/news/hallie-rubenhold-wins-baillie-gifford-...

MoonWitch94 Ohhh this looks so good. Stacked! 2d
LeahBergen I was glad to see it had won. 👏🏻 2d
Crazeedi I read this on your recommendation Mitch! It was very good! 2d
See All 8 Comments
Librarybelle I too talk this one up all the time. So good! 2d
Birdsong28 I have also been working on people to read it. This is great news and she is such a lovely person in real life . 2d
Mitch @Crazeedi so glad you liked it. I thought her meticulous research and storytelling skills were so strong. 1d
Mitch @Librarybelle yeah! Let‘s tell everyone! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1d
Mitch @Birdsong28 I‘d like to hear her talk. 🤞🏼🤞🏼 1d
67 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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bookandbedandtea
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Pickpick

I have read several books about the mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity but had only ever heard his victims referred to as prostitutes. Which was largely considered his "reason" for killing them. ? This book made me realize that everything else I'd read on the subject had entirely ignored these 5 women. Sure their names were recorded but no attempt had been made to learn anything more about them despite there being a great deal ⬇️

bookandbedandtea of information, as this book illustrates. This paints a very bleak picture of life in late 19th London, especially for women. It's painful to read at times but I'm glad I did. 2w
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bookandbedandtea
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I'm most of the way through the history of the 4th victim and have started thinking about which light, charming, amusing book I'll read next. I'm going to need it!

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bookandbedandtea
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@ljuliel asked what period in history we most enjoy reading about. My answer is: many. I love ancient Mesopotamian, Greek, Egyptian, etc. I like The Middle Ages. I like WWII. I like Georgian & Regency. I like American Civil War, Revolutionary War, westward expansion, Gold Rush, Wild West. I'm currently reading the tagged book & it is heartbreaking/fascinating. The same could be said of my recent read of The Midnight Watch.
#keeplitsyactive

ljuliel Thanks. You gave some great answers there ! I like westerns too. I just bought The Five today. 2w
Reagan-reads The Midnight Watch was really interesting. I am quite the Titanic buff, but I had no clue about the Californian. So, so tragic. 2w
bookandbedandtea @ljuliel The Five is really well written and is serving to reinforce my opinion that, no matter how interesting I find historical stories of both the the fiction and NF variety, I'm extremely glad to be living now! Despite our current problems. 2w
bookandbedandtea @rubyslippersreads @Reagan-reads I visited the Molly Brown House with my 5th grade class and I've been fascinated by Titanic ever since yet I had never heard of the Californian either. The knowledge that they were RIGHT THERE is horrifying. 2w
17 likes5 comments
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jenniferw88
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My Goodreads Awards Choices post 2.

@Cinfhen similar reasons to post 1 for my decisions, except for Chronin, as I've actually read that one! And all the children's/young adult books are blind guesses as I hardly read them now!

Cinfhen 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2w
Birdsong28 Glad to hear you voted for The Five!!! 📚 📖 2w
72 likes2 comments
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Debblyliz
Pickpick

A book which discusses in detail the lives of the five victims of Jack the Ripper, a Victorian serial killer. Thoughts about these women are challenged and questions raised about society‘s views on women which continue today. Full review here: https://thecuriousmagpie2018.wordpress.com/2019/10/30/audiobook-review-the-five-...

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MallenNC
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I love nonfiction and am looking forward to #NonfictionNovember so this is a perfect challenge to help keep me focused! #nfnov Link to sign up: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfBVYCLpiUfCfne0bs0kkU99tzHQ-5hrJCpRtn0...

Clwojick woohoo! thanks for joining! 3w
MallenNC @Clwojick I‘m excited about it! 3w
29 likes2 comments
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coffeeandwashitape
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The best kind of true crime book. Victim focused, this book tells the life stories of the 5 women who were Jack the Ripper‘s victims with nothing but a suggestion in a single sentence of the murder itself. What a great book, truly.

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Mitch
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The Baillie Gifford Prize shortlist is out today ( always a good place for fab non fiction recommendations- last years winner was Chernobyl by Serhhi Plokhy).

I‘m rooting for Five to be the winner

https://thebailliegiffordprize.co.uk/news/shortlist-announced-baillie-gifford-pr...

Anna40 Lucian Freud sounds interesting too! 1mo
Mitch @Anna40 This is a prize I always like - such interesting titles 4w
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BeththeBookDragon
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Pickpick

Amazing book! The five canonical victims of Jack the Ripper, as people. Women, wives, mothers... all they were allowed to be in Victorian London.

Cinfhen Been meaning to read this one ☝🏾 thanks for the reminder 1mo
Foxyfictionista I'm listening to this one on audible right now. It's so good! 1mo
36 likes1 stack add2 comments
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EllieDottie
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Still working on moving and getting our place together so ALL of my books are just chilling in the middle of my room! I can‘t wait until I get all these put away and my nights just consist of reading 😉

kathedron They're not even my books but I just want to hug them! 😀 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Wow!!! I sent you a card and it came back! I forgot you were moving 🤣🤷🏼‍♀️ 2mo
EllieDottie @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ahh!! Thank you for the card! Sorry about the upheaval in my life!! I meant to send you a card with my new address, but with everything moving around I accidentally shredded the envelope with your address! I always save the card but the envelope ended up in the shredded pile! Could you email me your address: thoe0064@gmail.com? 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @EllieDottie no worries!! I know how it is!! I‘ll send it now ☺️ 2mo
62 likes4 comments
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veritysalter
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melissajayne
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29 likes3 stack adds
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MicheleinPhilly
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Pickpick

I was absolutely fascinated by this. Rubenhold‘s level of research and ability to so convincingly transport us to Victorian era London was quite remarkable. 4⭐️

LeahBergen I liked this one. 👍🏻 2mo
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

We all “know” that Jack the Ripper‘s victims were prostitutes. Only, apparently, most of them weren‘t, according to this well researched book. Alongside descriptions of life in Victorian-era London, Rubenhold humanizes these 5 women and places the focus on their lives and who they each were, rather than on their deaths and killer. A fascinating book and a mirror into how we continue to objectify women.

mreads ❤🐕 2mo
Hooked_on_books @mreads Oh goodness, I forgot! Thanks for the reminder: #dogsofLitsy #Greta 2mo
Foxyfictionista This might be the next audio book I "read". It looks interesting . 2mo
52 likes3 comments
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Crazeedi
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Mehso-so

3 ⭐
This book tells about the women murdered by Jack the Ripper in 1888. The author posits that 4 of the 5 women were not prostitutes as the papers of the time labeled them. At the time of their deaths they were all destitute, only one found in a bed, the others lived on the streets. The book shows how women of that era had no options, the author has an extensive bibliography attached.

Prairiegirl_reading Why only three stars? 2mo
Crazeedi @Prairiegirl_reading I thought it was good, not great 2mo
Prairiegirl_reading @Crazeedi just curious because I want to get this one. Probably going to wait for the paperback. 2mo
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awishman
Pickpick

I was mesmerized by this book, a meticulously researched portrait of the five canonical victims of Jack the Ripper. By focusing on their lives and the social norms of the time, Rubenhold restored humanity and dignity to Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Kate, and Mary Jane and also demonstrated how the misogyny of the time is still rampant today.

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Mitch
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Not my biggest reading month but what I‘ve read has been quality! Ive been inspired by the research that went into bringing the stories of the Rippers victims to life to enable them to be more than victims. I‘ve been transported to a remote Russian enclave and encouraged to make more photographs. I‘ve chewed over how I feel about desire and male views of what it should look like and I‘ve relaxed with math and space dreams. #augustinbooks

catiewithac How was Disappearing Earth? It's on my TBR list. 3mo
Mitch @catiewithac I liked it. It was less a mystery / thriller and more a portrait of a place and the women who live there. ✔️ 3mo
Birdsong28 The Five is my best book of 2019!! 📚📖 3mo
erzascarletbookgasm Some great quality reads! 👍 3mo
86 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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MzTownsend
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Finally about to start this!!!!!

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Mitch
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Pickpick

An amazingly detailed & meticulously researched book. A lucrative industry has been made on the misogyny of the myth, sensationalising the horror and failing to understand who the women were. This book puts that right. But it does more than that. It also seeks to understand what life was truly like for working class women in Victorian England. Honest, sympathetic, empathetic and intelligently written it was amazing!

megnews I love this cover. Very atmospheric. 3mo
catebutler Can‘t wait to pick this one up! Great review, Mitch! 👍🏼 3mo
iread2much Ooo, sounds like a good read! 3mo
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Librarybelle One of my favorite reads for 2019, though it‘s such a harrowing topic. Great review! 3mo
Crazeedi Very nice review! Intriguing!! 3mo
LeahBergen I liked this one, too. 👍🏻 3mo
97 likes9 stack adds6 comments
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Mitch
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Really enjoying this one. It‘s tracing the lives of the Rippers victims- giving them their story and visibility for who they were not what they were victim of. Didn‘t think I‘d like it as much as I do. Settling on for a Sunday evening read....

veritysalter I found it fascinating. Such a different, and refreshing, take on a familiar subject. As much as the past is romanticised in poppy last culture, I don‘t think I would have enjoyed being a woman in Victorian England. 3mo
Mitch @veritysalter I agree! The precipice between survival and ruin is so fine ☹️ 3mo
Mdargusch I‘m glad to hear you like this one since I have seen mixed reviews. 3mo
Mitch @Mdargusch Ive just finished it and really liked it - its a 5 star read for me! 3mo
Mdargusch Yay! Stacking then! 3mo
85 likes11 stack adds5 comments
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AprilMae
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Looks like fun!!!

Clwojick Top five things that aren‘t a traditional bookmark that you use to hold your page. 3mo
4thhouseontheleft Top 5 literary villains. 3mo
21 likes2 comments
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Mitch
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The English language is so lacking at times- there should be a special word for that feeling of starting a new book, just opening page 1 and getting reading to meet everyone.

AlaMich German probably has a word for that. German seems to have a word for everything. 😉 3mo
Crazeedi This is so true, one takes a deep sigh, a sniff of the book, and a warm heart feeling. Ready set go.... 3mo
Crazeedi Btw this book looks good 3mo
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Hooked_on_books @AlaMich 😆 So true! 3mo
Mitch @AlaMich @hooked_on_books I‘m sure they do! (edited) 3mo
Mitch @Crazeedi precisely! 3mo
Birdsong28 This is such a good book. I read 15/18 chapters in an afternoon as it just flowed. Going to listen to her talk about this in October can't wait!! Enjoy!! 3mo
Birdsong28 My best book of 2019!! 📚📖 3mo
86 likes3 stack adds8 comments
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StellaDz
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Pickpick

If you ask people if they know of Jack the Ripper, the almost always say, of course! If you ask them to name the victims, they are generally referred to as ‘prostitutes‘. This book is a venture in women‘s study, as well as victimology. It is about the people tragically taken from this world. It is about the women that we should remember. Both enlightening and heartbreaking, it removes the spotlight from someone that doesn‘t deserve it.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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melissajayne
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Pickpick

I know I normally put the cover of the book I just read, but I felt that putting their names up was more important. A very fascinating book and timely book, as the author brings the crux of the book to the present in that women still have to fight a double standard when it comes to drinking heavily or sex. Excellent book 5 ⭐️#2019 #bookreview #bookstagram

Birdsong28 Best book of 2019 for me! I read 15 chapters in 4 hours as it just flowed and I didn't realise that I had got so far in the book (I know it only has 18 chaps). It is so good. Did you read the American copy or English copy? As the English copy has a dust sleeve that enables you to see the underneath where all the names are white on black background. 📚📖 4mo
melissajayne @Birdsong28 American version. I have seen photos of the UK copy. (edited) 4mo
21 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Librarybelle
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Thanks for the tag, @DaveGreen7777 !

1. Part of my job is recommending books and talking about books. The tagged is a more recent book I can‘t stop talking about to anyone who cares to listen. Haha!
2. I rarely go to the movies! I‘m thinking it may have been the Johnny Depp version of Dark Shadows...
3. Berries
4. 3, the youngest being at least 12 years older than me
5. ❤️❤️❤️ #Friyayintro

saguarosally My cousins are all older also. I‘m mostly the age of my cousins‘ children. 4mo
Librarybelle @saguarosally Me too! My oldest cousin‘s oldest child is only 2 years younger than me, I think. 4mo
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StellaDz
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The cover first caught my attention, and then the topic sealed it. #currentlyreading

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melissajayne
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Am about 1/2 way through and it struck me that much like it was in 1888, women murder victims are still often marginalized and forgotten. I think about Nicole Brown Simpson, the women murdered by Robert Pickton, the missing and murdered indigenous women here in Canada & the other murdered women who are often forgotten, no matter their social status.

Birdsong28 I have just finished this today. It's so good. I will be seeing the author in October and she will be discussing this. I did my review under the tagged book if you want to check it out, it's still the same book but I did it on this one as it had the English cover 4mo
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Birdsong28
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Cathythoughts 😱sounds good ! Thankyou 😘 4mo
Birdsong28 @Cathythoughts It's ok. It only came out in Feb and should be £30! I have the hardback but I couldn't resist this. This book has changed the way people have thought about these women. Also I am seeing this author talk in October can't wait! 4mo
Cathythoughts Brilliant! Just got it 👍🏻👍🏻 4mo
See All 6 Comments
Andrew65 Thanks for the tag. 👍 (edited) 4mo
Ms_T Sounds wonderful! Thanks for the tag 😘 4mo
Birdsong28 @andrew65 @Ms_T It's ok I don't want you to miss out on such a good deal on such a good book. 😘📚📖 4mo
50 likes1 stack add6 comments
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melissajayne
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My books for #24in48. I will do the best I can for starting this late (it‘s noon Pacific and I have to work tomorrow). @24in48

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MallenNC
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I went upstairs and it looks like one of my cats is living her best life with a stack of books and the tv controllers. #catsoflitsy

AlaMich 🤣 all that‘s missing is a 🍷 or a 🍺!! Or maybe a 🍹, it being summer and all. (edited) 5mo
MallenNC @AlaMich She probably would love a pina colada! 5mo
StayCurious We have an identical cat named Kacy 😄 5mo
MallenNC @StayCurious Mine is named Kate! Torties are fun. 5mo
41 likes4 comments
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melissanorr
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Pickpick

A very well researched book about the confirmed victims of Jack the Ripper. I had some quibbles with it but overall it's a solid piece of scholarship and an engaging read. #TrueCrime #JackTheRipper

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danimgill
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Bailedbailed

I think this is a case of “it‘s not you it‘s me” - this book is jam packed with minutia of the social situation of Victorian England that Jack the Ripper‘s victims were enmeshed in and I just couldn‘t keep my attention on all those details. I‘m glad this book exists, I‘m always glad to learn more about the victims and not the murderer but it just wasn‘t the right fit for me.

tracey38 It happens. And there are too many good books out there we each will enjoy personally to worry about finishing a story we just aren't that into. 5mo
GingerAntics I‘ve only managed to get through the first victim, and I haven‘t progressed beyond that in over a month now. I wasn‘t quite sure why I would rather read other things right now besides RL being weird right now, but I think I‘m with you on this. She could cut out all the little details and just get to the point and I‘d be happy. I think I may be with you on this one. 5mo
danimgill @GingerAntics I only got through the first victim‘s section too! Glad to have someone else with me on this one, I keep seeing this book on “best of 2019 so far” lists and thinking I must be missing something 😂 5mo
GingerAntics We can‘t be the only two. 5mo
30 likes4 comments
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DGRachel
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Pickpick

3.5⭐ Remember their names: Polly, Annie, Elisabeth, Kate, and Mary Jane. It's so important to give victims their voices and return their humanity back to them. I wish we'd refuse to name evil people in the media and instead focus on the lives that were stolen. This is a well-researched, highly readable book that provides insight into the lives of the canonical victims of a notorious serial killer. A little repetitive, but worth reading.

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Verity
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Pickpick

Really really good. This recenters the Ripper story on the women. I don‘t care who the ripper was and I don‘t think it‘s possible to know. But I do care about what was like for women in the past. And as well as the stories of the five women, you get a real sense of what it was like to be poor, female and women undereducated in Victorian London. Brilliant - but not uplifting.

Lea I want this to come out in audio so badly 5mo
Verity @Lea audible uk have the audiobook listed and available so hopefully you should be able to get it soon? 5mo
27 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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TheRomantiCate
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Thank you so so so much to @Chili for my jam-packed package!! I love it all!! I‘m such a sticker fiend 🤩🤩 and the origami is incredible! You really nailed all of the things I love to collect 🥰🥰🥰

Plus I‘m so excited to read these books!! 🤓🤓

#mysterymessageswap

Chili @TheRomantiCate I‘m glad you like it. I had a lot of fun putting it together, although I had help with the origami. (Thank you Laura) 😁 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Evelyn 💚💚💚💚 5mo
24 likes2 comments
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TheBookStacker
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I just got this book because I‘ve been on a low key late night insomnia binge of Ripper and I wanted to know more about the victims themselves. I am taking recommendations for books that are more strictly about the ripper himself. My book model for this evening is a very sleepy Ginny.

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Verity
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Look which library hold just came in. I can‘t wait to read the book that has made so many (male) “ripperologists” get so angry...

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DGRachel
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😢

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DGRachel
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Of course. 🙄

AshleyHoss820 Lawd. 🙄🙄🙄 6mo
Susannah I‘m reading a book on Henry VIII‘s wives, and it‘s the same thing. 🤦‍♀️ 6mo
DGRachel @Susannah It feels like it‘s still the same thing. 😢 6mo
63 likes3 comments
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melissajayne
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#libraryhaul no. 1 from Surrey Libraries
From top to bottom:
• Paper Magician
•Secrets of a Charmed Life
• The Hunchback of Notre Dame
• The Five
• The Kennedy Debutant
• Beauchamp Hall

Special_K I love the Paper Magician series 6mo
15 likes1 comment
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10MoreMin
Bailedbailed

It is well researched but dense and dark. I gave up. If you are interested in subject I'd recommend the interview with the author on the podcast "Criminal Broads". Victorian England was a sad tough time for women and even worse for those barely surviving, due to poverty, illness, and lack of rights.

2 likes1 stack add