What we're about
Upcoming events (2)
November 2021 - The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold
Topics: Non-fiction, Victorian England, Feminism, Murder, True Crime
Join us for a discussion of "five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London."
General overview of a meeting:
Our meetings start with an icebreaker question and a chance for each person to introduce themselves. We then move to rating the book with a thumbs up/down/sideways. We spend most of the meeting discussing the book, including strong opinions, questioning why the author made the choices they did, personal reactions to the story and characters, and wondering how it could have been improved. We end each meeting by giving everyone the opportunity to propose a book for the next meeting, and voting on the choices.
You don't need to finish reading the whole book to come to the meeting! However, if you haven't finished the book, please be OK with hearing spoilers.
Description of the Book:
Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are 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. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.
For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that ‘the Ripper’ preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.
Join us for a casual chat about what you've been reading recently!
Everyone will have a chance to share a book they've read recently, ask others for recommendations, and share opinions on what's worth reading (and what isn't!).
We'll start with introductions and icebreakers, followed by a round of everyone sharing a book recommendation, and continue with casual chat on any topics that interest the group.