The Ripper’s Victims in Print

The Rhetoric of Portrayals Since 1929

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About the Book

Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Katherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly—the five known victims of Jack the Ripper—are among the most written-about women in history. Hundreds of books on the Ripper murders describe their deaths in detail. Yet they themselves remain as mysterious as their murderer. This first ever study of the victims surveys the Ripper literature to reveal what is known about their lives, how society viewed them at the time of their deaths, and how attitudes and perceptions of them have (or have not) changed since the Victorian era.

About the Author(s)

Rebecca Frost teaches at Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College in Baraga, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Rebecca Frost

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 247
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6989-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3143-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Introduction 1

One • Enter the Victims: The Ripper Crimes of 1888 5

Two • Fifty Years Later: The Earliest Ripper Books 20

Three • “Ladies of the pavement”: Ripper Narratives of the 1950s and 1960s 37

Four • Royals, Freemasons and Schemes: Presenting Victims in the Conspiracy Theories
of the 1970s 59

Five • One Hundred Years Later: Writing for the Anniversary of the Crimes 77

Six • More Than a Century Later: Discussing Murder in the 1990s 113

Seven • More of the Same? An Introduction to the 21st Century Books 146

Eight • Enter DNA: Victim Descriptions in Light of 21st Century Uses of Technology in
Ripper Theories 165

Nine • Crimes for a New Age: Variations and Changes in Victim Representation of the
21st Century 188

Conclusion: What Possible Use? 207

Chapter Notes 227

Bibliography 233

Index 237