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The Baillie Gifford Prize 2019

The UK'S PREMIER PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION BOOKS

Hallie Rubenhold has tonight been named the winner of the £50,000 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction for The Five: The Untold Lives of Women Killed by Jack the Ripper published by Doubleday.

Social historian Hallie Rubenhold reconstructs the lives of five of the women killed by the notorious Jack the Ripper, often from as little as the DNA of a single hair. The Five is a riposte to prevailing Ripper myths, giving voice to the murdered women and painting a picture of the precariousness of working class lives in Victorian London.

The Winner

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

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. 

Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women.

Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories.