England in the 1880s was a society in transition, shedding the skin of Victorianism and heading towards a more modern age. Promiscuity, moral decline, prostitution, unemployment, poverty, police inefficiency ... all these things combined to create a sense of uncertainty and fear.
The East End of London became the focus for that fear. Here lived the uneducated, poverty-ridden and morally destitute masses. When Jack the Ripper walked onto the streets of the East End he came to represent everything that was wrong with the area and with society as a whole. He was the fear in human form, an unknown lurker in the shadows who could cross boundaries and kill.
Jack the Ripper: The Definitive History is not yet another attempt to identify the culprit. Instead, the book examines the facts behind one of the most infamous and grisly episodes of the Victorian era. It looks in depth at events around the time of the Jack the Ripper murders, and how these, in their various ways, conspired to give birth to the most enduring murder mystery in the world: who was Jack the Ripper?
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'A must-have addition to the shelves of anyone interested in this iconic Victorian mystery' Gilda O'Neill, author of 'My East End'.
'Paul Begg's clear and lucid portrait of the historical context to the Jack the Ripper murders makes this a deeply satisfying read. Not only does it make for a greater understanding of the Whitechapel killing ground, the politics, the personalities and the East End terror but it makes one recognise yet again why, though more than a century old, this is still the first and best of murder mysteries.'
Donald Rumbelow, author of 'The Complete Jack the Ripper'
'Year after year, new theories are produced about the identity of "Jack the Ripper". Paul Begg's "Jack the Ripper: The Definitive History" is probably the clearest, most accurate, and most up-to-date account of the Ripper murders, by one of Britain's greatest and most respected experts on the "autumn of terror" in Victorian London.'
William D. Rubenstein, Professor of Modern History, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
About the Author:
Paul Begg is a leading authority on the subject of Jack the Ripper. He regularly appears on TV documentaries on the Ripper, has advised the novelists Tom Clancy and Patricia Cornwell on the facts behind the mystery and has given talks to the FBI on the subject. He is a full time writer and current Editor of the Ripperologist magazine. His previous books include, Jack the Ripper: The Uncensored Facts (Robson, 1988) and the Jack the Ripper A-Z (Hodder).
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