• The Five
  • The Five
  • The Five
  • The Five

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

True Crime, Biography & True Stories, Literary Biographies, Non-Fiction
Paperback Published on: 30/01/2020
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Five
Rubenhold Gives the Canonical Five Their Stories Back
The Five is a book like no other, and it is long overdue. The story of Jack the Ripper is one we’ve all heard. I heard it countless times growing up, fro... READ MORE
Alisha at Doncaster
The Five
'They were human beings, and surely that, in itself, is enough.'
'The larger his profile grows, the more those of his victims seems to fade. [...] The victims of Jack the Ripper were never 'just prostitutes'; they were d... READ MORE
Megan at Peterborough
The Five
Be prepared to be angry
I wanted to scream at this book, like you do when you watch a horror film and you can see what's about to happen. Gripped from the beginning, Rubenhold tel... READ MORE
Clara Bow
The Five
Incredibly moving
This is not a book about Jack the Ripper but about the five women he killed. Hallie Rubenhold has brought them to life in such a way you almost feel you a... READ MORE
Sally Boocock
The Five
A Road Worth Travelling...
It is often thought that because the poor were uneducated and deemed unimportant, that their history is lost from us.Let’s face it, when would these people... READ MORE
The Five
A fascinating and in-depth research on the social history of Victorian London and the role that society played in shaping the womens' lives. A really inte... READ MORE
The Five
Brilliant and Engrossing
What made this book so good for me was the similarities of the victims, shown against a clear and interesting look of the social history of the time. I kne... READ MORE
Jane Simpson
The Five
Well Researched and Raw
The Five takes a different spin on the true crime novel. While most writers focus on the killer and their twisted motives and damaged psyche that caused th... READ MORE
Marcy at Cardiff
The Five
Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly. These are five names you may know little about, if anything at al... READ MORE
Will Carnochan
The Five
Utterly absorbing
An utterly absorbing, necessary read. It was definitely difficult to keep going at times, knowing how each life ended, but I could not tear myself away. In... READ MORE
The Five
My favourite book of 2019!
The Five is both a fascinating social history of Victorian London and an important and more compassionate way of re-focusing history onto the victim and re... READ MORE
The Five
Giving The Women Back Their Voice
The Five is a brilliant history book that tells the story of the lives of the five women who canonically are considered to have been killed by Jack the Rip... READ MORE
Lily at Poole
The Five
A stark and harrowing history of five forgotten women.
This is an exemplary piece of writing, fully deserving of the Prize for non-fiction and a harrowing tale of womens history in the shadow of a murderer. ... READ MORE
Jodie - Plymouth Drake Circus
The Five
Devastating and compelling - unforgettable
Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane. Five lives until now untold, only linked by a common fate: their deaths at the hands of Jack the Ripper.... READ MORE
Laura McGloughlin


Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2020 Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize 2019 Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London - the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper. 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 time - but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781784162344
  • Number of pages: 432
  • Weight: 320g
  • Dimensions: 192 x 124 x 34 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Five
'Filled with righteous anger'
Rubenhold tells the stories of Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary Jane - Jack the Rippers ‘canonical’ victims - in this unmissable piece of histo... READ MORE
Grace at Norwich
The Five
Absolutely brilliant
An examination of the five women brutally murdered by Jack the Ripper. This book focuses less on their final moments and more on telling the story of their... READ MORE
Sarah in Wolverhampton
The Five
'They were daughters, wives, mothers, sisters and lovers'
Like most people, I grew up having learnt of the elusive Jack the Ripper - the killer who didn't get caught. He became a living legend whom couldn't go unm... READ MORE
Amy Urwin
The Five
This book is simply amazing. Completely turns on the head the notions about Jack the Ripper’s victims. The personal stories of the 5 canonical victims is a... READ MORE
Alex Stead
The Five
A brilliant, overdue history.
Mary Anne (‘Polly’) Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine (‘Kate’) Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly. Known as ‘the canonical five’ or simply as th... READ MORE
Sam S
The Five
The five ripper murders
Excellent book concentrating on who the women that the ripper killed were. A slice of history showing how poverty blighted womens' lives in the Victorian a... READ MORE
Catherine Dipple
The Five
Beautifully detailed telling of these women’s stories
Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly; “The Five” brings these women back to life and tells their stories u... READ MORE
Jayne Heywood
The Five
The five
Great book,I will never think of these women in the same way again
Stuart Hutchings
The Five
Loved it!
'The victims of Jack the Ripper were never 'just prostitutes'; they were daughters, wives, sisters and lovers. They were women. They were human beings, and... READ MORE
M Cooke
The Five
Non-Fiction/History/True Crime
3.75 stars. I did enjoy this, it was great to learn about the victims of Jack The Ripper. However, personally I would have preferred the victims death’s... READ MORE
The Five
Untold stories
Superb book which is very much needed. After so much speculation about the identity of the Ripper this book gives identity and dignity to the victims. A fa... READ MORE
Matthew Evans
The Five
A fascinating read
I'm ashamed to say that before this book, not once did I stop to think about the lives of the victims of Jack the Ripper (nor could I have told you their n... READ MORE
Caroline at York
The Five
The five
I really enjoyed this book. I am particularly interested in anything to do with Jack the ripper and the era. They were hard times and the author gives you ... READ MORE
Anne Fowler
The Five
A Phenomenal Phenomenon
“There are two versions of the events of 1887. One is very well known; the other is not.” Hold the front page because this Sunday Times bestseller and win... READ MORE
victoria sadler
The Five
Excellent read
This is a fascinating take on the Ripper mythology. The author has bought to life the five women Victims through meticulous research and has corrected a g... READ MORE
judith clark
The Five
The Five
I couldn't put this book down. It compelled me to read on. It is enlightening, engaging, educational a break through in research All secondary school hist... READ MORE
Delphine Coe
The Five
A new and refreshing, if depressing, look at the canonical Five
This book was excellent. Jack the Ripper is a legend of British serial killing; a prostitute murderer with an uncanny ability to hide, despite the police d... READ MORE
Alison Garner
The Five
Gripping and Emotional
This was a really compelling read that full explored the lives of these women, I found it such a powerful read as it didn't focus on the killer or what he ... READ MORE
The Five
The Five unpicked.
Just brilliant! It made me rethink everything I've ever heard about Jack the Ripper. Quite a feat, when he is mentioned so rarely. This book should be part... READ MORE
Margaret Brown
The Five
The Five
What an eye opener this was! Of course these events took place in very different times but it was astonishing to read the facts that are known about each ... READ MORE
Jan Lasnon
The Five
Necessary and overdue
I had no idea how necessary this book was until I read it. Wonderfully researched and diligently written, bringing those 5 women back to life in a way they... READ MORE
Katie Walkingshaw
The Five
Mirandapandareads - The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
Wow....firstly......I have a fantastic life and my problems are not even real problems! The Five is about the lives of the women Jack the Ripper killed, a... READ MORE
The Five
One of THOSE Reads
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper looks at the five women at the heart of this terror, and, with this, looks at the social ... READ MORE
Andrew from The Pewter Wolf
The Five
Friends' recommendation
I bought this book as my friends read it and highly recommended it to me. I have not read it as yet but will do so very shortly. My friends told me that th... READ MORE
Laura Bruno
The Five
Beautifully written, humane and sympathetic exloratation of the lives and times of the 'Canonical Five'
Highly recommend The Five; the painstaking research that has gone into building a picture of the lives of the 'canonical five' is evident, without being dr... READ MORE
Sarah Jenkins
The Five
A riveting read!
Hallie Rubenhold's book is a detailed and extremely readable history of the lives of the five unfortunate women who ended up dead in London's East End in 1... READ MORE
Isabel Montgomery
The Five
It might have been a bit more entertaining and catchy, rather then just stating facts.
The Five
Truly insightful
‘You may view with some distant the lifestyles of those involved... whatever drugs they took, whatever the work they did, no one is entitled to do these w... READ MORE
The Five
Compelling and insightful
A really well written book about the lives of the Ripper’s victims. The author pieces together the details about each of the victims and makes logical de... READ MORE
Canuck Abroad
The Five
You have to read this!
Such an incredible book, so fascinating and eye opening, and Hallie is a wonderful storyteller as well as a historian.
The Five
Absolutely brilliant
You need to read this book!! This book is written so perfectly and in great detail of the lives of the five women who were killed by Jack the Ripper. Befor... READ MORE
The Five
Harrowing but unsentimental
Books reporting the crimes of Jack the Ripper are always harrowing. Normally, this is because of the graphic descriptions of the horrific mutilations Jack ... READ MORE
Kevin Harman
The Five
Infuriating and Thought Provoking
This book sets the record straight and resurrects the identities of Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary Jane, whom for too long have collectively b... READ MORE
Eve Robinson
The Five
Brilliant but bleak
A fascinating study of the lives of five young women in Victorian London which brilliantly minimises their terrible end and instead focuses on them as peop... READ MORE
The Five
Haunting insight to lost lives
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold ⭐️4 As someone with a morbid fascination with all things Jack the Ripper I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to find out mor... READ MORE
Nicola Hardy
The Five
Mirandapandareads - The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
The Five. The Untold Lives Of The Women Killed By Jack The Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold Wow....firstly......I have a fantastic life and my problems are not ... READ MORE