Jack the Ripper and the London Press

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 1. okt 2008 - 368 pages
Press coverage of the 1888 mutilation murders attributed to Jack the Ripper was of necessity filled with gaps and silences, for the killer remained unknown and Victorian journalists had little experience reporting serial murders and sex crimes. This engrossing book examines how fourteen London newspapers—dailies and weeklies, highbrow and lowbrow—presented the Ripper news, in the process revealing much about the social, political, and sexual anxieties of late Victorian Britain and the role of journalists in reinforcing social norms.

L. Perry Curtis surveys the mass newspaper culture of the era, delving into the nature of sensationalism and the conventions of domestic murder news. Analyzing the fourteen newspapers—two of which emanated from the East End, where the murders took place—he shows how journalists played on the fears of readers about law and order by dwelling on lethal violence rather than sex, offering gruesome details about knife injuries but often withholding some of the more intimate details of the pelvic mutilations. He also considers how the Ripper news affected public perceptions of social conditions in Whitechapel.
 

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Jack the Ripper and the London press

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Filling a perceived gap in "Ripperature," Curtis examines how 14 London newspapers covered the Whitechapel murders attributed to Jack the Ripper in 1888. Curtis (history, emeritus, Brown) begins with ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
A Chronicle
19
Chapter 2 Images and Realities of the East End
32
Chapter 3 The Theory and Practice of Victorian Journalism
48
Chapter 4 Sensation News
65
Chapter 5 Victorian Murder News
83
Chapter 6 The First Two Murders
109
Chapter 7 The Double Event
140
Chapter 9 The Kelly Reportage
186
Reporting the Female Body
213
Letters to the Editor
238
Chapter 12 The Cultural Politics of Ripper News
253
Notes
275
Acknowledgments
343
Index
345
Copyright

Chapter 8 The Pursuit of Angles
164

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