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The Five: The Lives of Jack the Ripper's Women (Rubenhold, February 2019)

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  • Originally posted by Paul View Post
    Have you read The Five, Jon. Did you listen to Jonathan's podcast review of the book, or read my review in Ripperologist, or Drew Gray's review in History Today? It wasn't just the nonsense that none of the victims were prostitutes, when we have statements in the MEPO files and by witnesses in the press that they were exactly that, and it isn't the uterly daft idea that they'd gone to where they were murdered for forty winks. It isn't even thw facts that she omitted possible sightings and non-sightings and thereby gave her narrative the wrong impression. It was the edited sources so that they looked to be saying something they weren't and claiming that sources said something they didn't. And, as Gary has pointed out, it's inciting ill-feeling among Ripperologists by Tweeting a post by Howard several months after it had been posted and making insulting comments.And on top of all that, sticking on Twitter among her acolytes and blocking anyone with the whiff of 'Ripperologist' about them. Whilst she has bad-mouthed Ripperologists in the newspapers, Ripperologists have pretty much restricted their comments to wabsites and Facebook pages. It's not just about 'assumptions', wrong or right.
    No Paul, life`s too short to read books like this, and any related podcasts and reviews. I have avoided dipping into this topic until I saw she had won a fantastic 50 grand for her book, and I posted something.

    So what if she`s taken the they weren`t prostitutes hook and run with it. She has obviously identified a stupid market for her book, and she`s created the controversy to push publicity, and it`s worked.
    At least she hasn`t gone down that tiresome old fantasy road of identifying the killer.
    In fact there are only about 3 books on the topic that should escape a ripping by critics, and admittedly, yours is one of them.

    Okay, people may be upset by some of the insulting tweets. I would react badly to that, but you know, I`m very aware of my short comings but I thought you guys were better.
    We held the moral high ground, in that her claims about the Five, and Ripperologists are wrong.

    But that`s it from me, I can see you`re all upset, and I like and admire you all, so I won`t say anymore.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
      I know that, but you twice used my choice of adjective - in italics the first time, so it was clearly a conscious decision - which looked like you were having a dig at what I'd said. If you wanted to respond to Jon, it might have been better to have quoted his words instead... italics optional, naturally.
      Before this all gets out of hand, Gareth, I read Gary's use of 'gracious' as a direct reference to Jon's use of 'grace', as quoted by Gary in his response to Jon. Have another look and see what you think:

      Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
      Perhaps it's because the author and publicists continue to make out that The Five is breaking new ground by providing information about the victims' lives - "why did we have to wait 130 years for their stories to be told?" etc. On the one hand, Hallie Rubenhold may have graciously (and sincerely) acknowledged Neal Shelden's research, but on the other she has done little or nothing to dispel the unfair perception that ripperology has ignored the victims' lives, and that she is the one who has put that right.
      Originally posted by Jon Simons View Post
      Okay, fair enough.
      I don`t input much, and I`ve not published anything on the subject so I cautiously submit that I think we could have handled things with a bit more grace.
      Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
      Jon,

      What would be a gracious response to this?

      [ATTACH]20643[/ATTACH]

      This is how it all kicked off because we had the temerity to question her claim that 3 of the victims were not prostitutes.
      Graciously - your choice of adverb

      Grace - Jon's choice of noun

      Gracious - Gary's adjective, in response to Jon's choice of noun

      Better?

      Love,

      Caz
      X
      I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Jon Simons View Post
        No Paul, life`s too short to read books like this, and any related podcasts and reviews. I have avoided dipping into this topic until I saw she had won a fantastic 50 grand for her book, and I posted something.

        So what if she`s taken the they weren`t prostitutes hook and run with it. She has obviously identified a stupid market for her book, and she`s created the controversy to push publicity, and it`s worked.
        At least she hasn`t gone down that tiresome old fantasy road of identifying the killer.
        In fact there are only about 3 books on the topic that should escape a ripping by critics, and admittedly, yours is one of them.

        Okay, people may be upset by some of the insulting tweets. I would react badly to that, but you know, I`m very aware of my short comings but I thought you guys were better.
        We held the moral high ground, in that her claims about the Five, and Ripperologists are wrong.

        But that`s it from me, I can see you`re all upset, and I like and admire you all, so I won`t say anymore.
        I guess that anybody who really cares about historical accuracy would be upset at seeing a prestigious literary prize for non-fiction being awarded to a book that is arguably historical negationism. It makes one wonder if anyone among the judging panel actually knew anything about Jack the Ripper's victims and were in any position to assess the author's claims and evidence. If there wasn't, that would surely make a mockery of the award? What's the point of giving an award to and thereby directing readers to a book that the judging panel doesn't know tells the truth or not? Maybe historical correctness, responsibility and professionalism don't feature among the criteria the judging panel have when assessing non-fiction, maybe it's just the quality of the story and how it is told.

        As said, it's not the 'they weren't prostitutes' that matters, it's editing quotes and claiming that sources say things that they don't; doing things that the highly respected historian Richard J Evans says 'reputable and professional historians do not' do, as Mark Ripper quoted on the Rippercast episode. A statement Rubenhold promptly misrepresented to the press as Ripperologists likening her to Holocaust denier David Irving. (Nobody likened her to Irving).

        I don't know whether life's too short to read The Five and the honest reviews by those who know the subject or the posts by those who feel they've been maligned by Rubenhold. Isn't doing those things part of being interested in a subject? And if Rubenhold portrays Ripperologists as weirdos locked in their basements sexually fantasising about the victims, I wonder how people will react when approached by a Ripperologist seeking genealogical information, family photos, notebooks, memoirs, and anything else connected to the case?

        I agree that it's good that she didn't go down 'that tiresome old fantasy road of identifying the killer', although for over 100 years 'Jack the Ripper' has primarily been a whodunnit, not a who it was done to', but over the past 30 years a lot of Ripperologists have turned their attention to other aspects of the case (and unearthed most of the facts about the victims that Rubenhold has used). Is it a matter of being aware of our shortcomings and being better, or anger at being used by Rubenhold to publicise a book that falls short of something it appears that a reputable and responsible historian would produce?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

          Graciously - your choice of adverb

          Grace - Jon's choice of noun

          Gracious - Gary's adjective, in response to Jon's choice of noun

          Better?
          Thanks, Caz. Missed that.

          My bad, Gary. Apologies.
          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

          "Suche Nullen"
          (F. Nietzsche)

          Comment


          • Is this the first time history has been amended to suit contemporary political tastes, and for the author to be lionessised by powers that be?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
              Is this the first time history has been amended to suit contemporary political tastes, and for the author to be lionessised by powers that be?
              No.

              Is this the first time such behaviour has been called out by those who know better?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                Thanks, Caz. Missed that.

                My bad, Gary. Apologies.
                No probs, Gareth. 👍🏻

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                  No.

                  Is this the first time such behaviour has been called out by those who know better?
                  And does it matter whether it is the first time or not? If we care about accuracy then it matters, whether it's the first or the five millionth time, and I think a lot of people are like us, Gary, and do care about accuracy.

                  Comment


                  • Truth is the first casualty in war.
                    Historical prizes and plaudits go to those who toe the line, which moves over time.
                    Not to those who puristically stick to such out-modish concepts as facts... if facts ever were à la mode.
                    And no, this is far from being a first.

                    Comment


                    • Almost spit out my scrapple when I read this.....very witty.


                      The Real Dagger True Crime Society🔪
                      @RealDaggerTrue
                      ·
                      Nov 20
                      It’s not about Jack says Jack the Ripper historian who has won an award for writing about Jack the Ripper victims.

                      It’s about the awards. https://twitter.com/HallieRubenhold/...24628898476033
                      To Join JTR Forums :
                      Contact [email protected]

                      Comment


                      • Couldn't agree more, personally.......

                        The Real Dagger True Crime Society🔪
                        @RealDaggerTrue
                        ·
                        Nov 21
                        Sad to note that the hyperbole is still being tendered in regards this work. Good book, but not the first to focus on the victims and, sadly, a misrepresentation of some ‘facts’. The prize money would be better spent on helping the struggling women of today’s Whitechapel.
                        To Join JTR Forums :
                        Contact [email protected]

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                        • The Five by Hallie Rubenhold review – profoundly sad
                          This devastatingly scrupulous account of Jack the Ripper’s victims exposes the misogyny at the heart of the myth

                          https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...benhold-review
                          To Join JTR Forums :
                          Contact [email protected]

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                            The Five by Hallie Rubenhold review – profoundly sad
                            This devastatingly scrupulous account of Jack the Ripper’s victims exposes the misogyny at the heart of the myth

                            https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...benhold-review

                            Rubenhold's publicist seems to have good contacts at The Guardian, which is so often the publication giving her space and promotion.

                            Comment


                            • "you could fill a library with titles, serious and spurious, dedicated to so-called Ripperology, yet not one of them would cover this territory."
                              Not so. Philip Sugden's still-definitive overview of the case, for one, amply covers this territory by providing moving biographies for each of the victims, and avoids the speculative and sometimes misleading padding that pervades Rubenhold's book. Between that padding, Rubenhold provides little information about the five that wasn't known, and published, before.
                              Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                              "Suche Nullen"
                              (F. Nietzsche)

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                                "you could fill a library with titles, serious and spurious, dedicated to so-called Ripperology, yet not one of them would cover this territory."
                                Not so. Philip Sugden's still-definitive overview of the case, for one, amply covers this territory by providing moving biographies for each of the victims, and avoids the speculative and sometimes misleading padding that pervades Rubenhold's book. Between that padding, Rubenhold provides little information about the five that wasn't known, and published, before.

                                Not wanting to blow my own trumpet, but I also covered the lives of the victims in both Jack the Ripper: The Uncensored Facts and in Jack the Riper: The Facts. And Martin, Keith and I also questioned and examined the evidence for the victims being prostitutes, concluding that evidence was lacking in the case of Eddowes, a conclusion with which Stewart Evans and Donad Rumbelow, in their Scotland Yard book, disagreed and argued that Eddowes was a prostitute. As you say, apart from scraps here and there, everything Rubenhold says about the victims was already known and discovered by Ripperologists. My point, is that work on the victims can be traced back to the 1970s when Donald Rumbelow provided quite a comprehensive breakdown of the movements of Annie Chapman. But we all known the huge flaws in Rubenholds book and arguments... It's just a pity her readers don't.

                                Comment

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