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Review Of 'The Hidden Lives'

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  • Review Of 'The Hidden Lives'

    Contrary to the glowing reviews mentioned here & found on Twitter, I read a review posted yesterday on FB by someone in the field ( for many years), who gave this volume the old thumbs down.

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  • #2
    I prefer reading reviews from someone who knows what the hell they're talking about :

    Rob Clack
    In the Nichols chapter there were two mistakes in the first four lines. I have read the Kelly chapter and it's all over the place. He mingles what Jean Overton Fuller and Wynne Davies have said about Kelly's life and thinks it is all true. He's done no real research and taken what they have said on faith.
    Don't get me started on the illustrations. Nearly every one of them he has downloaded from the Web (he has credited them) whether he got permission or not is another thing. But he hasn't noted the original source for most of them. Very poor and lazy. Its just a quick and expensive cash in on the other book and at £19.99 for 156 pages it's a rip off, pun not intended.

    -FB, October 11-
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    • #3
      You need to see what he put on Amazon

      Awful.

      At a rrp of £19.99 this is a very expensive book. Even more so that it is a very slim volume of only 156 pages.

      It is obvious that the book was commissioned by Pen & Sword to cash in on Hallie Rubenhold's 'The Five' another book about the victims of Jack the Ripper. Unfortunately, like that book it fails to take into account that there are eleven victims in the Whitechapel Murders file and the other six are sadly forgotten about. Also like that book there is nothing new here. And what there is can easily be found in other books or online. What is also poor is that the book is poorly researched and it is clear that Robert Hume is no Ripperologist and has a poor grasp on basic facts. There are two silly errors in the first four lines of Chapter One alone. It was Charles Allen Cross, not Charles Andrew Cross or to be more specific Charles Allen Lechmere. And he left home 3:30 and arrived at Buck's Row about 3:40. Not at 3:30 as the author states. Silly mistakes which should never have been made, but it was the Chapter on Mary Kelly that has dumbfounded me. The author has used two unreliable sources and merged them together, that of Jean Overton Fuller's book 'Sickert and the Rippers' and Wynne Weston-Davies 'The Real Mary Kelly' two completely unreliable books which should never have used. It was very naïve of Robert Hume to use these without doing any research on their reliability (there is none).

      I am forced to wonder if Pen & Sword actually care about their reputation and just wanted to make a 'quick buck' even the illustrations makes me wonder about their ethos. The majority of illustrations are downloads from websites. Was permission even sort? I doubt if Jane Coram gave permission for her artwork to be used and it is artwork. Just because it is on the web does not mean it is free to use. Pen & Sword used three (maybe more) of my images for another of their recent Ripper books. No permission was asked and no credit or acknowledgement was given.

      Final word, avoid. And if you must buy it wait for it to turn up cheap in The Works.

      You will find my name in the bibliography but spelt wrong. Sloppy, just sloppy.

      Rob

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      • #4
        Dave:

        Rob sugarcoats everything, doesn't he ?
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        • #5
          I thought I was quite tactful.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rob Clack View Post
            I thought I was quite tactful.
            You were Rob...you didn't even mention the accusations of plagiarism regarding another of Pen & Sword's recent books.

            By the by, Hidden Lives is already down to £9.12 on Amazon

            Dave

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            • #7
              Wynn Weston-Davies' "The Real Mary Kelly" is a good book which tells a family story. It is limited to that. So I agree, it is not a good source book for the life of still unknown MJK. It is one of those books you get and keep because it has interesting and original information.

              (I thought if I ever wrote a book on the case, I would write about the women's lives. At this time I do not think I know enough or will ever know enough to do a proper good job. IMO, to do it right, the author should immerse him/her self in the locations and should have intimate knowledge of life in the LVP. Many of us still miss little points that add to the whole of the complexities of the people and place.)
              The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                Wynn Weston-Davies' "The Real Mary Kelly" is a good book which tells a family story. It is limited to that. So I agree, it is not a good source book for the life of still unknown MJK. It is one of those books you get and keep because it has interesting and original information.

                (I thought if I ever wrote a book on the case, I would write about the women's lives. At this time I do not think I know enough or will ever know enough to do a proper good job. IMO, to do it right, the author should immerse him/her self in the locations and should have intimate knowledge of life in the LVP. Many of us still miss little points that add to the whole of the complexities of the people and place.)
                I suppose it depends on how one defines a 'good book', but given that it is extremely unlikely that the ancestor had any connection with Mary Kelly, the book is misleading. I think Mr Weston-Davies believed his story, but a cynic could dismiss the book as an attempt to cash in on the Ripper, a'la Uncle Jack.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cogidubnus View Post
                  You were Rob...you didn't even mention the accusations of plagiarism regarding another of Pen & Sword's recent books.
                  I tried to stick just to the 'Hidden Lives' content and Pen & Sword in general.

                  Originally posted by Cogidubnus View Post

                  By the by, Hidden Lives is already down to £9.12 on Amazon

                  Dave
                  With the £4.25 postage, it makes it 3p cheaper than I paid for it

                  Rob

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rob Clack View Post
                    I tried to stick just to the 'Hidden Lives' content and Pen & Sword in general.



                    With the £4.25 postage, it makes it 3p cheaper than I paid for it

                    Rob
                    What are the two errors in the first four lines of Chapter One, Rob. The first one I came across was in the first two words - he called Charles Allen Cross "Charles Andrew Cross". Is the other error that Cross had worked for Pickfords for 20 years, not for "over" 20 years, or something to do with him passing through Buck's Row at 3:30am (some sources state that he left home at this time)?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paul View Post
                      What are the two errors in the first four lines of Chapter One, Rob. The first one I came across was in the first two words - he called Charles Allen Cross "Charles Andrew Cross". Is the other error that Cross had worked for Pickfords for 20 years, not for "over" 20 years, or something to do with him passing through Buck's Row at 3:30am (some sources state that he left home at this time)?
                      That's right Paul, the Charles ANDEW Cross and the time he was passing through Buck's Row. He called Cross a 'removal man' which I don't think is technically right. And I haven't check the length of time he worked at Pickfords but I knew it was around the 20 year mark. He gave the sources as The Times, 4 September 1888 which can't be right. It was I think The Daily Telegraph 3 September 1888 but even that says he left home at 3:30 a.m. Annoyingly he has 'The Ultimate Sourcebook' and several of your books in the bibliography. How difficult would it have been to check?

                      Rob

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                      • #12
                        November 23, 2020

                        Book review of THE HIDDEN LIVES OF JACK THE RIPPER?S VICTIMS


                        https://www.authortranslatorolga.com...ion-truecrime/
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