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  • The Five

    I haven't been here for a while. And I know this book has been widely discussed. But given this is the week when the first 2 canonical murders occurred I wanted to say something that's been brewing for a while. RB's main premise is that these women were in the main not prostitutes but destitute women. They managed to get enough money doing odd jobs etc and cadging to stay off the streets sometimes but that they were rough sleepers when they were killed by the Whitechapel Murderer. It strikes me that HR is deliberately doing to these women what was done to them at the time. If you recall, the witnesses at the various inquests--many of whom were prostitutes--were not allowed to say that. They had to resort to euphemism. They were 'unfortunate'. They 'got their living on the streets' etc. Victorian Britain would not allow them any kind of a social safety net so they had no choice but to sell themselves to any old man with a couple of extra pennies in order to keep some kind of a roof over their heads and food (and especially drink) in their bellies. But at the same time Victorian Britain would not allow them to attest to the bald truth of their existence. They could not speak about their experiences because that would bring a blush to the cheek of any young person around to listen. So they were whitewashed out of reality. And are being whitewashed out of reality now. When Nichols and Chapman say they're going to get their doss house money in the middle of the night, how exactly does HR think they going to get it? Does Chapman set out to find the Midnight Market to hawk her keychains? Does Nichols think she might pick up a little charring in the small hours? No. They are going out on the street. Only The Five wants us to believe otherwise. Why? Does she blame these poor women for the lengths they must go to in order to keep body and soul together? Certainly sounds like it. She intends to give reality to five names? Start by telling us the truth about these five names. Start by facing up the horrible existence these five names led. Living from night to night. No sure roof over their head. No sure food source. No sureness about anything. Except the knowledge that they all had one salable asset--the ability to toss some guy off for money. And that's what got them killed. They did not deserve to die. They are blameless. They resorted to prostitution because they had no other recourse. If we want to honour them, let's honour them as they really were. Not as some fashionable 'historian' (who exploits them just as thoroughly as any East End gaffer with a hard-on and a bit of small change) wants them to be so that she can rack up the sales.

  • #2
    Well put Chava.
    Thems the Vagaries.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Chava View Post
      I haven't been here for a while. And I know this book has been widely discussed. But given this is the week when the first 2 canonical murders occurred I wanted to say something that's been brewing for a while. RB's main premise is that these women were in the main not prostitutes but destitute women. They managed to get enough money doing odd jobs etc and cadging to stay off the streets sometimes but that they were rough sleepers when they were killed by the Whitechapel Murderer. It strikes me that HR is deliberately doing to these women what was done to them at the time. If you recall, the witnesses at the various inquests--many of whom were prostitutes--were not allowed to say that. They had to resort to euphemism. They were 'unfortunate'. They 'got their living on the streets' etc. Victorian Britain would not allow them any kind of a social safety net so they had no choice but to sell themselves to any old man with a couple of extra pennies in order to keep some kind of a roof over their heads and food (and especially drink) in their bellies. But at the same time Victorian Britain would not allow them to attest to the bald truth of their existence. They could not speak about their experiences because that would bring a blush to the cheek of any young person around to listen. So they were whitewashed out of reality. And are being whitewashed out of reality now. When Nichols and Chapman say they're going to get their doss house money in the middle of the night, how exactly does HR think they going to get it? Does Chapman set out to find the Midnight Market to hawk her keychains? Does Nichols think she might pick up a little charring in the small hours? No. They are going out on the street. Only The Five wants us to believe otherwise. Why? Does she blame these poor women for the lengths they must go to in order to keep body and soul together? Certainly sounds like it. She intends to give reality to five names? Start by telling us the truth about these five names. Start by facing up the horrible existence these five names led. Living from night to night. No sure roof over their head. No sure food source. No sureness about anything. Except the knowledge that they all had one salable asset--the ability to toss some guy off for money. And that's what got them killed. They did not deserve to die. They are blameless. They resorted to prostitution because they had no other recourse. If we want to honour them, let's honour them as they really were. Not as some fashionable 'historian' (who exploits them just as thoroughly as any East End gaffer with a hard-on and a bit of small change) wants them to be so that she can rack up the sales.
      She is using their deaths as a vehicle for militant feminists to latch on to to further her and their own modern political agenda. She has dismissed facts and recorded evidence as "hearsay" and "misogyny". I understand from PaulB on Twitter (he can clarify) that she altered source materials such as quotes and re-worded them to suit her own bias.

      You cannot re-write primary source material to suit your modern day lens. She accuses anyone discussing the ripper crimes (like us) as weirdos in a basement, 'masturbating furiously' over the crimes of our own superhero. It plays well to that audience who have got behind her, that we are all evil weirdos who are not interested in the victims and their lives, just our hero Jack. These women were sadly occasional prostitutes due to their destitute state and alcoholism. It is sad their lives unravelled the way it did, but no woman should have had to suffer they way these women did. I haven't seen anything on here that suggests otherwise.

      Her audience has lapped up her patriarchy narrative big style and will not have a bad word said against her, especially from a 'ripperologist' like me. We are the enemy and if it wasn't for her no-one would know the names of the victims or their lives. Utter bull. If she really cared, maybe she should have been the one to have found the real Mary Jane Kelly before publishing her book. Or is she just as guilty as "profiteering" off the back of Jack The Ripper like the beard oil she condemns?

      When she does her book on the victims of other serial killers then perhaps I will take her seriously.

      She is highly obnoxious and toxic which is a shame, as some of the research is not actually bad.
      Last edited by erobitha; 09-02-2020, 08:50 PM.
      "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
      - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

      Comment


      • #4
        At first, I was very excited by the idea of the book, to learn more about the victims. But when I started reading it, it was clear that the bias were going to let the victims down once again. The first thing that gobsmacked me was when she pretended that Polly left her husband and children willingly, because she was tired that her husband was cheating on her. Excuse me? This is a very (privileged) 21th century feminist's view. If indeed Polly's husband was a cheater, he clearly kicked Polly out of their lodgings. No Victorian woman would have endured being a destitute, as well as abandoning her children. She would have stayed and accept the behaviour of her husband. Women at the time couldn't afford "bold feminist moves" such as leaving their home and family because of something that hurt their pride (and let's recall that some women still can't afford that). I agree about the fact that her research is great, but I wish a real historian would have done it. Because context matters, and using victims to prove those victims were treated with some "male gaze" by ripperologists and true crime community is still using them, again.

        Also, we really need to find who MJK was.

        Comment


        • #5
          According to Rubenhold, this was the book Ripperologists didn’t want to see published because it took the focus off the killer and directed it onto the victims. Because, of course, ‘Ripperologists’ have no interest whatsoever in the victims lives. The complete opposite was true.

          If you go to the book’s bibliography you will see dozens of references to Ripperological books, articles and websites. Most of the research that underlies the book was in fact done by Ripperologists. She presented us with very little that was new and in fact perpetuated some errors that could have been corrected by independently researching the received wisdom.

          And bearing in mind that she employed the services of a researcher from Leeds Univerity, you might have expected a lot of new material.

          Comment


          • #6
            The way I see it is that H.R. Pufnstuf took full advantage of newcomers to the Whitechapel Murders, who would have read her book without realising she was playing fast and loose with the evidence, claiming she was some sort of avenging angel, setting the record straight on behalf of the victims, when in fact she was distorting that record and doing these women, and all Victorians who ever had to sell sex to survive, a very grave injustice by washing away the sins of the society that was actually responsible.

            She must have known that anyone who already had a reasonable grasp of the subject would have seen right through this, so she had to cast all 'ripperologists' as the bad guys, and her 'woke' fans fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

            What's that saying about a lie flying round the globe while the truth is still getting its trousers on?

            Love,

            Caz
            X
            "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


            Comment


            • #7
              My belief is that HR went into this project thinking she could knock out another of her slick bodice-rippers and it came as a shock to her that the 5 weren’t at all like they are portrayed in the movies. Shock! Horror! ‘What next?’ she thought. ‘I know, I’ll play the PC card and claim they have been misrepresented for 130+ years. There must be a gullible audience for that kind of shtick.’

              And there was.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                My belief is that HR went into this project thinking she could knock out another of her slick bodice-rippers and it came as a shock to her that the 5 weren’t at all like they are portrayed in the movies. Shock! Horror! ‘What next?’ she thought. ‘I know, I’ll play the PC card and claim they have been misrepresented for 130+ years. There must be a gullible audience for that kind of shtick.’

                And there was.
                She has sold a lot of books.

                I also saw on Twitter that some teachers are introducing it into school curriculum. Worrying.
                "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                Comment


                • #9
                  This book has ‘agenda’ written all over it. When someone writes a book that appears to have required a lot of research how many people actually check that research? Certainly not the reviewers of this book. HR has had the smoothest of rides with a pretty much uncritical reception to her book. Meat and drink to the PC brigade. All she had to do was paint Ripperogists in a bad light so we are all ‘ripper admirers.’ I even saw a talk where one of the speakers claimed that Ripperologists were men who got some kind of sexual thrill from the murder of women! Where else could someone get away with that? Then she claims that ripperologists have never seen the victims as women or shown any interest in there lives. A very obvious lie. Then she adds her ‘angle.’ The women weren’t engaging in prostitution and they were killed while they were rough sleeping.
                  Demonise and distort then ensure that dissenting voices aren’t heard and refuse to debate the book with anyone who knows the first thing about the case . Waves of acclaim follow and the cash comes rolling in.

                  Nice work if you can get it
                  Regards

                  Herlock



                  Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                    She has sold a lot of books.

                    I also saw on Twitter that some teachers are introducing it into school curriculum. Worrying.

                    Yes it is, because it’s sanitising the harsh truth of the victim’s lives to make the author money and increase her reputation. Her book needed an ‘angle’ and the grim truth didn’t suit her purpose.

                    The idea of concentrating on the women’s lives and sidelining their deaths is laudable, but misrepresenting their lives for marketing purposes is disgraceful.

                    (I haven’t ridden this particular hobby horse for some time.)



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                      This book has ‘agenda’ written all over it. When someone writes a book that appears to have required a lot of research how many people actually check that research? Certainly not the reviewers of this book. HR has had the smoothest of rides with a pretty much uncritical reception to her book. Meat and drink to the PC brigade. All she had to do was paint Ripperogists in a bad light so we are all ‘ripper admirers.’ I even saw a talk where one of the speakers claimed that Ripperologists were men who got some kind of sexual thrill from the murder of women! Where else could someone get away with that? Then she claims that ripperologists have never seen the victims as women or shown any interest in there lives. A very obvious lie. Then she adds her ‘angle.’ The women weren’t engaging in prostitution and they were killed while they were rough sleeping.
                      Demonise and distort then ensure that dissenting voices aren’t heard and refuse to debate the book with anyone who knows the first thing about the case . Waves of acclaim follow and the cash comes rolling in.

                      Nice work if you can get it
                      We all know the truth and one day this book will be no more than another entry in the A-Z, where, I’m sure, whoever got the short straw (Paul, Debs or Sean) will treat it with scrupulous fairness.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's a book full of 'alternative facts'.

                        Tristan
                        Best Regards,

                        Tristan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                          We all know the truth and one day this book will be no more than another entry in the A-Z, where, I’m sure, whoever got the short straw (Paul, Debs or Sean) will treat it with scrupulous fairness.
                          Do we know when the new A-Z is due Gary?
                          Regards

                          Herlock



                          Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My entry is taking a bit more time to compile, so it might be delayed by a month or two.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                              Do we know when the new A-Z is due Gary?
                              Early next year, I believe Michael.

                              I’ll be glad when they finally let Paul, Debs and Sean out of the Mango Books basement.

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