The Five
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1. Which of the five victims’ stories did you find the most intriguing, surprising, or resonating? Why?


2. Did anything surprise you about the representation of Victorian England in The Five? If so, what?


3. What other books, fiction or nonfiction, have you read about this period in history? How does The Five compare?


4. Have you previously read any other books about the crimes of Jack the Ripper? How did this book vary?


5. The Five is pointedly not about Jack the Ripper, nor is it really about his crimes. Why do you think the author made this choice? Do you agree with her decision?


6. Do you feel a basic knowledge of the Ripper crimes is necessary to get the most out of this book? Why or why not? Did this book change your perspective on the crimes of Jack the Ripper? If so, how?


7. What do you think about the author's research for this book? Did you feel the sources the author used were credible and well-balanced?


8. How do you think female victims of violent crime are represented in the media today? Do you think this has changed significantly since the late 19th century? If so, how and why?


9. Why has the mainstream Ripper “narrative” assumed that all five victims were prostitutes and why is this relevant?


10. Hallie Rubenhold has received criticism from “Ripperologists” since this book was published, principally because of her suggestion that three of the five victims were not at the time of their deaths, and never were, prostitutes. Why do you think the book has prompted this reaction from some quarters? Do you think it is justified?

* Some questions from the Bossy Librarian.

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