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‘The Five:

The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper’

Hallie Rubenhold


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.

Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women.  Now in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight and gives these women back their lives.

About the author

Hallie Rubenhold is a social historian whose expertise lies in revealing stories of previously unknown women and episodes in history.

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper


  • A brilliantly original piece of moving, investigatve detective work which revolutionises our view of one of the best-known episodes in modern British history.

Wolfson History Prize judges