Best collection of 300 Jack the Ripper books at Bishopsgate Institute

16:18 30 August 2013

Hundreds of books have been written about Jack the Ripper down the years

Hundreds of books have been written about Jack the Ripper down the years

Museum of London

Several books have been published this year to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the Whitechapel Murders.

They join hundreds of titles over the years written about the Whitechapel Murders.

One of the best collections is held at the Bishopsgate Institute which has been adding titles to its shelves as they have been published over the past century.

It holds 300 works on the Ripper, lovingly cared for by Archive manager Stefan Dickers.

And of course, he has his own theory about the Ripper.

“It was American quack doctor Francis Tumblety,” he says with conviction.

“Tumblety left the country soon after, when the murders stopped. He went to Jamaica where there was another spate of killings—that’s no coincidence.

“But what does it for me is that Tumblety collected women’s uteruses. He was obsessed, known to be a misogynist who hated woman.”

The Whitechapel Society has published two books on the murders, the latest out this month, ‘Jack the Ripper: The Terrible Legacy,’ which doesn’t try to solve the identity puzzle or what drove him to murder.

It looks at the dramatic effect the Ripper’s presence had on the East End, on those involved, looking at the other “victims” such as the Royal family, the Government and the Metropolitan Police which took a pounding for not being able to solve the unsolvable.

Many innocent people lost their jobs and reputation, like cobbler Julian Lipman, one of several men known as ‘Leather Apron’—the infamous name of a suspect thought to be the Ripper.

Police were eventually satisfied Lipman wasn’t the Whitechapel killer, but the stigma never left him. His business gradually disappeared and he took to drink. He died a few years later of “neglect and semi-starvation.”

The book with the most stunning pictures is ‘CSI: Whitechapel’ which, as its title suggests, revisits the Ripper’s crime scenes with a scientific approach.

Authors Paul Begg and John Bennett offer well-researched detail of all those involved, victims, witnesses, investigators, and those connected to them.

It carries a stunning collection of Victorian etchings of the day. But best of all are the authentic period photographs comparing ‘same scene’ shots today and superb photo-like illustrations recreating the dingy gas-lit streets of Victorian London that puts the reader back to the Whitechapel of 1888. Published by Andre Deutsch at £19.99.


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