Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane: all 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 those of any of his victims – Jack the Ripper.
Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. These women died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time … but their greatest misfortune was to have been born a woman.
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