Ripper Letters
Police Officials
Official Documents
Press Reports
Victorian London
Message Boards
Ripper Media
Games & Diversions
About the Casebook


Join the Chat Room!

A Grim Almanack of Jack the Ripper's ... Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Edit Profile

Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Books, Films and Other Media » Non-Fiction Books » A Grim Almanack of Jack the Ripper's London, 1870-1900 (Storey, 2004) « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Stephen P. Ryder
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3157
Registered: 10-1997
Posted on Monday, November 15, 2004 - 10:07 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A Grim Almanack of Jack the Ripper's London, 1870-1900
By: Neil R. Storey

Did you know?
- On 15 November 1892 as Dr Neill Cream dropped through the gallows trap at Newgate he declared ‘I’m Jack the . . .’. (Cream was in prison in America at the time the Ripper murders were committed)
- In November 1887 there was a pitch battle in Trafalgar Square between those so poor they took to camping there and 2,000 policemen and soldiers. The event became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’.
- In December 1884 after bombs had been successfully detonated near Trafalgar Square and Scotland Yard a terrorist dropped another over one of the parapets of London Bridge and only succeeded in killing himself.
- By the mid-nineteenth century the graveyards of London became so full a vast cemetery was established at Woking in Surrey. Opened in 1854 and known as Brookwood Cemetery or The London Necropolis it was even served by its own railway – the Necropolis Light Railway where the deceased’s last one-way ticket could even be bought in first, second or third class.

Neil Storey macabre calendar chronicles the darker side of life in the London between 1870 and 1900. Murderers and footpads, pimps and prostitutes, riots, rebels, bizarre funerals, disaster and peculiar medicine all feature. The book will be illustrated with engravings, newspaper reports, photographs and original documents.

This book is due to be published in mid November 2004.
We regret that it is not possible to pre-order this title online.
You may however pre-order by phone: +44 (0)1963 442030, or by post, using the downloadable Order Form (PDF) which you can open from the button at the left of this page.
PC, 263 x 194mm, 192 pages, 180 b&w illustrations

ISBN: 0750938447
Book No: S38447
List price: £16.99

Availability: Forthcoming title

Stephen P. Ryder, Exec. Editor
Casebook: Jack the Ripper
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Stephen P. Ryder
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 3191
Registered: 10-1997
Posted on Saturday, December 11, 2004 - 3:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A Grim Almanac of Jack the Ripper’s London: 1870-1900
Neil R. Storey
Sutton Publishing, 2004
Hardcover. Illustrated. 192 pages.
ISBN: 0 8509 3844 7

It is very difficult to classify this book. The text consists of 366 short entries – one for every day of the year (leap year included) – each pertaining in some way to London’s East End in the time period between 1870 and 1900. We’re given a paragraph or two for each day. Some entries deal directly with the Ripper murders, while others touch on events or people who were involved in some tangential way with the Autumn of Terror. Many entries deal with entirely unrelated events such as cases of wife-beating, suicide, accidental death, prostitution, drunkenness, and thievery. Each day’s entry is more or less self-contained, and there is no linear story to be told here (though several entries in the September/October region of the book tend to blend together as there are proportionately more 1888 entries in those months). A small proportion of dates (apparently not newsworthy) are filled with non-date-specific overviews of particular aspects of London society – prisons, food, musicians, professions, police procedurals, etc.

Storey writes in the introduction that his goal in the Grim Almanac is to examine “the wider picture of crime, criminals, life and death” in the London of Jack the Ripper’s time. There can be no doubt that he succeeds in this endeavor. His patchwork of East London vignettes comes together to form a rather colorful overview of the crime and debauchery of the East End. It’s an intensely human and personal examination. You’ll read about women throwing vitriol at their husbands (and in one case, her husband’s mistress), about boys getting run over by horses, men stealing eggs, mothers maltreating their children, husbands killing their wives – and the list goes on. Of course you’ll also read about events directly related to the Ripper crimes, and events tangentially related, such as the Princess Alice disaster and the Bloody Sunday riots,

The book is lavishly illustrated throughout with photographs and illustrations from the period, many of which will be new to even the most seasoned Ripperologist. (Many of these come from the collection of Stewart Evans, to whom this book is dedicated).

All in all, an extremely interesting read. It’s a book which can be read either from start to finish, or in short bursts, picking a random page and reading just a few entries at a time. There is no linear narrative so it makes no difference where you begin.

Nevertheless, the Grim Almanac shouldn’t be confused as a reference book, despite the word “almanac” in the title. There is no index, and no practical method of organization (though it begins January 1st and ends December 31st, this is just a stylistic convention – the entries aren’t chronological, as the time-span between any two entries can be as much as thirty years) – so finding a particular entry at a moment’s notice could take quite a bit of work. Its more of a casual read – a series of vignettes and anecdotes which together form a fairly wide-ranging picture of what it was like to live in Jack the Ripper’s London. Recommended.

Stephen P. Ryder, Exec. Editor
Casebook: Jack the Ripper

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | User List | Help/Instructions | Register now! Administration

Use of these message boards implies agreement and consent to our Terms of Use. The views expressed here in no way reflect the views of the owners and operators of Casebook: Jack the Ripper.
Our old message board content (45,000+ messages) is no longer available online, but a complete archive is available on the Casebook At Home Edition, for 19.99 (US) plus shipping. The "At Home" Edition works just like the real web site, but with absolutely no advertisements. You can browse it anywhere - in the car, on the plane, on your front porch - without ever needing to hook up to an internet connection. Click here to buy the Casebook At Home Edition.