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The Five

The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper
Narrated by: Louise Brealey
Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)
Non-member price: $53.17
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Publisher's Summary

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London - the 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 coffeehouses and 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 time - but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

©2019 Hallie Rubenhold (P)2019 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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  • Overall
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  • Mr Scott Doutre
  • 10-03-2019

Fantastic Book

This is such a fantastic book, the story being told is one that everyone needs to know.
It is written in such a way that you can imagine living and breathing in Victorian London on every page.
I will be highly recommending

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-03-2019

Brilliant

Absolutely loved this. The lives of the women are so incredibly interesting, and significantly more so than anything I have read about their killer. Would highly recommend!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Katharine Richards
  • 28-02-2019

Superb

Can’t recommend this highly enough. The factual telling of the stories of these women’s lives and their humanity with such respect, treating them with the dignity they always deserved but, until now, had been denied. A really moving, layered, powerful book. ‬

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Bee
  • 19-03-2019

Very Interesting

Fascinating insight into the lives of women (and men ) in the Victorian era and a fitting tribute to the victims.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adela Terrell
  • 18-03-2019

well not a story...

but I give it 5 stars for in depth research; and giving the background information to help you place events securely in the time in History.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • anna
  • 12-03-2019

Enlightening, heartbreaking, fascinating, addictive.

This writer is a genius: she breathes life not only into her subjects, the murder victims, but into everyday life and attitudes of Victorian England and Sweden. Painstakingly researched historical facts presented with as much excitement and warmth as the best of novels. The lightness of style and ease with which Rubenheld relays the facts behind these women’s lives belies the astonishing amount of research that must have gone into obtaining the details that truly flesh out these women, restoring to them the dignity and humanity denied them by their killer and by history ever since. A glorious book celebrating and empathising with female struggles against disease, poverty and injustice but also championing female diversity, strength, choice, power and individuality which society -then and now-often seeks to quell. I would recommend this book wholeheartedly to any reader or listener.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • The Curator
  • 23-03-2019

An important book

I don’t know whether this is the first book to deal with the lives of these women but in that it doesn’t deal with their putative murderer this is a first and an important contribution to both women’s and general history. The fact that the author has drawn abuse from men for centring the women in their own stories just emphasises why.

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  • C. Hamilton-welsh
  • 15-03-2019

very good - narrator could have been better

I thought this was very well written and very interesting. didn't love the narrator - not a memorable voice - no gravitas. just ok. let it down a bit. recommended tho

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  • Maureen
  • 16-03-2019

AWFUL NARRATION

I was looking forward to this book, having read and heard about it. However, the narrator was like a schoolgirl reading aloud in class!! She gabble through the story, breaking the sentences in all the wrong places with short phrasing. Annoyingly amateur.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful