The Prize Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Winner of Winners Award
19 January 2023
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.
What the judges said
“It was beautifully written and impressively researched; and more broadly it spoke with an urgency and passion to our own times. Brilliance meeting relevance.”
Hallie Rubenhold is a social historian and an authority on women's lives of the past. She has worked as a curator for the National Portrait Gallery and as a university lecturer. Her books include Lady Worsley's Whim, dramatized by the BBC as The Scandalous Lady W, and Covent Garden Ladies: The Extraordinary Story of Harris's List, which inspired the ITV series Harlots. She lives in London with her husband.