Doubleday, an imprint of Transworld, has acquired the latest non-fiction book by Hallie Rubenhold, writer of BBC TV drama "The Scandalous Lady W".
Editorial director Jane Lawson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Rubenhold’s The Five: The Lives of Jack the Ripper’s Women. The rights were acquired at auction from Sarah Ballard at United Agents.
The Five tells the story of how the five key victims of Jack the Ripper came to be murdered on the streets of Victorian London.
Rubenhold said: “The stories of these women are each extraordinary and unique, and for nearly 130 years the media has over-simplified their true histories. The Five have always been regarded as society’s waste – filthy, ruined, pitiful drink-sodden whores, yet not one of them began life this way and none of them came from the East End. They were from Sweden, Wales, the Midlands. Their fathers and husbands were printers, carpenters, gentleman’s valets, coachmen, and soldiers in the Queen’s Life Guard. Their daughters attended fee-paying schools, their fathers-in-law were property developers. They glimpsed Queen Victoria and rubbed shoulders with Charles Dickens. The Five seeks to restore these women their humanity and reclaim the Jack the Ripper narrative in favour of his victims."
Lawson said: “It is remarkable that no-one has ever written a book about the lives of the ‘canonical’ five. Hallie is now turning her historian’s mind and her storytelling flair to the Victorian era. It will be irresistible to all who enjoy authoritative and informed storytelling.”
Rubenhold added: “I'm thrilled to be tackling head on our outdated understanding of the Ripper myth and looking forward to working with the fantastic team at Doubleday and Transworld.”
The Five will be published in Doubleday hardback in Spring 2018.