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the SEVEN Jack Ripper here is only one topic throughout all England," wrote W. T. Stead in the Pall Mall Gazette on i October 1888, and that topic was the Whitechapel murders of "Jack the Ripper."1 Stead himself took the lead in extracting copy from the Ripper murders: acting in collusion with I the entire London daily press, he compiled and summarized news accounts from the morning papers in his evening publication, offering some characteristic twists of his own. Thanks to Stead and his newspaper contemporaries, the Ripper story became national news. It was constructed piecemeal over a period of several weeks, as observers struggled to discern patterns from a murder sequence that they regarded as unique in the annals of crime. Throughout the autumn of terror, the daily press, catering to many different reading publics, was hard at work distilling meaning from the news breaks of the day, while also backtracking and retrospectively establishing a pattern of significance for preceding murders. Drawing on cultural fantasiesabout the grotesque female body, about the labyrinthine city, about the mad doctor-that had long circulated among different strata of Victorian culture, media coverage also highlighted new elements of late-Victorian conceptions of the self and London's i maginary landscape. Media organization of the Ripper narrative helped to contextualize the events of a utumn 1888 and to manage anxieties unleashed by the m urders. Contemporary observers, keenly aware of the Ripper episode as a media event, periodically took the press to task for provoking hysteria and inter- CIHAI'TKR SKVI'N fering with the police investigation; but they, along w ith the experts and the general public, gained their understanding of the Ripper murders through the newspapers. However much diverse constituencies intervened to shape the media's interpretation of the Ripper crisis according to their own political agendas, they were also compelled by the overall gestalt produced by the media. As the property of the entire daily press, the Ripper story represented a different k ind of media production, with a decidedly more ambiguous political message, than Stead's "Maiden Tribute" or Mrs. Weldon's populist campaign in defense of the "liberty of the subject." In contrast to these two causes celebres, media organization of the Ripper story had no defined political center, and women were significantly marginalized from the p ublic telling of the story. This is not to say that all public interventions carried the same weight or that women were completely outside the c ultural production of the Ripper narrative. At the local level, working-class women participated in i nformal storytelling, providing information that others used to process into clues. A similar reprocessing occurred in relation to feminist and antivivisectionist representations of prostitution and of the sexual danger of medicine. Media coverage of the m urders took up the themes and narratives of female reformers and reworked them into a male-directed fantasy, closer in tone and perspective to the literature of u rban exploration and the male Gothic than to female political melodrama. This chapter examines the media scandal of Jack the Ripper in two parts. "Making the Case" lays out the barebone elements that were culturally stressed in press coverage, elements that f ound expression in the cries of newspaper boys hawking the latest particulars of "Murder, Murder, Mutilation, Whitechapel," and the "Mystery of Jack the Ripper." The second section, "Playing out the Story," details how and when these elements entered the Ripper narrative; it outlines the additional stories woven around and superimposed upon the prevailing media coverage of Jack the Ripper by diverse social actors, eager to articulate their version of the "truths" and "fictions" of the Ripper episode. Making the Case Over the course of ten weeks, the newspapers were able to consolidate a small n umber of "facts" about the cases. Between 3 1 A ugust and 9 November 1888, five b rutal murders of prostitutes took place, a ll but one w ithin an "evil quarter of a mile" of Whitechapel, East London (the exception occurring j ust within the b oundary of the City of London).2 The murdered victims were Polly Nicholls, 31 A ugust; A nnie C hapman, 8 September; 192 I JACK I H I' KII'I'IR Catherine Eddowes and E lizabeth Stride ( the "double event"), 30 September; Mary Jane Kelly, 9 November. The murders were performed at n ight, four in the open, with great daring and speed. All five took place in A densely populated area where local residents kept close watch on each other's movements. Still, there were no witnesses to the crimes; the police could uncover no clues or "rational" motives for the murders.' The first element underscored by press coverage of the Ripper murders was their setting: Whitechapel, a notorious, poor locale, adjacent to the financial district (the City) and easily accessible from the West End by p ublic transportation and private carriage. Part of London's declining inner industrial rim, Whitechapel stood at the edge of the vast East End, London's proletarian center, a "city" of nine hundred thousand. To middle-class observers, Whitechapel was an alien place, a center of cosmopolitan c ulture and entrepot for foreign immigrants and refugees, whose latest wave consisted of poor Jews escaping the pogroms of Eastern Europe in the 188os. Whitechapel was also notorious for its transient and homeless poor, l iving out-of-doors or in those "thief preserves," the common lodging houses.1* By the i88os, Whitechapel had come to epitomize the social i lls of "Outcast London." Casual and seasonal employment, starvation wages, overcrowding at exploitative rents, an i nhumane system of poor relief, declining traditional industries, and an increase in "sweated" labor were all marked features of living and working conditions there. Worsening conditions, recent historians have argued, precipitated a mounting p olitical c risis in 1888, driving the East End destitute and unemployed towards defiance, and unleashing anti-alien and anti-Semitic protests. But, as J erry White has observed, the middle classes of London were far less concerned with the material problems of Whitechapel than with the pathological symptoms they spawned, such as street crime, prostitution, and e pidemic disease"the whole panoply of shame of this 'boldest blotch on the face' of the capital of the civilized world."5 For the respectable reading public, Whitechapel provided a s tark and sensational backdrop for the Ripper murders: an immoral landscape of light and darkness, a nether region of illicit sex and crime, both exciting and dangerous. Like the deserted wasteland of Stevenson's "city in a n ightmare," Whitechapel's empty spaces could r apidly fill with a menacing crowd. "All sorts and conditions of men" could be met with on W hitechapel Road, the district's m ain thoroughfare, with its " flaunting shops," piles of f ruit, and "streaming naphtha lamps." A p rincipal e ntertainment center for working-class London, Whitechapel Road also proved a m agnet for rich young bloods from the West End who w ould t our the "toughest, roughest streets, taverns and music h alls in search of new e xcitements." CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER This was Charles Booth's "Tom Tiddler's Ground"imagined as a place of Darwinian drama and excitementas compelling to the respectable observer as it was frightening.6 At night, commentators warned, the glittering brilliance of Whitechapel Road contrasted sharply with the dark mean streets just off the main thoroughfare. Turning into a side street, one was "plunged" into the "Cimmerian" darkness of "lower London." Here in the Flower and Dean Street area, with its twenty-seven courts, alleys, and lanes, stood one of the last remaining rookeries of late-Victorian London. "In these squalid parts of the metropolis," reported the Daily Telegraph, "aggravated assaults, attended by flesh wounds from knives, are f requently met with, and men and women become accustomed to scenes of violence." In streets with nicknames like "Blood Alley," "Frying Pan Alley," and "Shovel Alley" lay the "warrens of the poor," "all packed by a species that multiples with astounding swiftness and with miserable results." Here "it may be well to tuck out of view any bit of jewelry that may be glittering about." Even the police hesitated to enter the notorious Wentworth and Dorset streets alone. In the Flower and Dean Street area it was useless for "them to follow when they happen to appear on the scene, as the houses communicate with one another, and a man pursued can run in and out." In the same back slums and alleys, poor prostitutes, "fourpenny knee tremblers," lived and worked, often bringing their customers into dark corners to avoid the price of a room. And here, in Buck's Row, H anbury Street, Berner Street, and Dorset Street (better known in the locale as "Do as You Please Street"), during the " autumn of terror" of 1888, the bodies of f our of the victims of Jack the Ripper were found.7 In the pages of the daily press, this sensational landscape was j uxtaposed to descriptions of the more mundane features of daily life among the poor. Inquest testimonies revealed that most of the bodies, for example, were f ound by people going to and from work: Robert Paul, a cabman on his way to Covent Garden market at 3:30 in the morning, found the crumpled body of Polly Nicholls in a doorway in Buck's Row and made a "mental note" to tell the police; Louis Diemschutz, an "unlicensed hawker" and steward of the I nternational Working Men's E ducational Club on Berner Street, was r eturning home from work at t:oo A .M. when he found Elizabeth Stride's body in a courtyard adjacent to the c lub, where he resided. The same mean street that provided the setting for a m urder also served as workplace and residence for poor i nhabitants engaged in casual and sweated trades. In 39 H anbury Street, "whose back premises" became the "scene" of A nnie Chapman's murder, "no fewer than six separate families reside[d]." Its i nhabitants included a packing-case maker, two '94 cabmen and their families, a proprietor of a cat-meat shop (run on tinpremises), an old man and his "weak-minded" son, and an old l ady kept "for charity" by the woman who "tenanted" the house. Political and social institutionsthe settlement house at Toynbee Hall, the Jewish socialist club at Berner Street, the Salvation Army mission, the London Hospital, the bastillelike board schools, the pubs and cheap music h allsall f igured as part of the physical setting for the murders and the investigations, 'lo evoke a sense of place, the kitchens of the dosshouses, the shed on Dorset Street where homeless women congregated, and the interior of the room where Mary Jane Kelly was killed appeared in great detail in the d aily press.8 This physical evocation was not intended to elicit human s ympathy for the "people" of Whitechapel as much as to promote an "argument f rom geography" about the territorially based nature of the crime. Newspaper reports applied Lamarckian theories of u rban degeneration to the W hitechapel horrors, diagnosing them as a product of a diseased e nvironment whose "neglected human refuse" bred crime. "We have long ago learned that organic refuse breeds pestilence," declared The Times. "Can we d oubt that neglected human refuse as inevitably breeds crime, that crime reproduces itself like germs in an infected atmosphere, and becomes at each successive cultivation more deadly, more bestial, and more a bsolutely unrestrained." This perspective extended well beyond elite circles. Representations of u rban degeneration also appeared at the lower end of tinspectrum of print culture. The Curse on Mitre Square, a Gothic p enny dreadful rendering of the Eddowes murder that was hawked on W hitechapel streets, depicted Whitechapel Road as a "portal to the filth and squalor of the East," where several strata of h umanity passed along, from "half-starved clerks," to factory hands "limping to the badly-ventilated rooms to work," each more physically dilapidated than the other.9 As a sign of racial and class otherness, Whitechapel became a dreaded name, the East End Murderland, infamous throughout the world. Contradicting this totalizing hyperreality were news accounts of Whitechapcl's actual diversity, particularly the tense polarity between the A nglo-Irish casual laboring poor and the immigrant Jewish community, and between the rough elements and the respectable citizens of Whitechapel who wanted more police protection. Whitechapel's physical p roximity and social connection to respectable parts of London proved even more u nsettling: "Unhappily for all of us," declared The Times, "the W hitechapel murderers and their victims are neighbours of every Londoner." A lthough the press t ried to stigmatize Whitechapel as a place apart, it also depicted it as <\ pl;iu' where m any parts of London met: a magnet not o nly for :\ "vast I'M CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER floating populationthe waifs and strays of our thoroughfares"but also for young West End bloods and for scores of respectable "slummers" who visited and even settled in the area.10 Another compelling aspect of the Whitechapel murders, as the media covered them, was their mystery, the secrecy and i mpunity with which the murders were committed in p ublic spaces, and the "mystery" as to "motives, clues, and methods." Unable to find historical precedents for the Whitechapel "horrors," commentators resorted to h orrifying fictional analogues: "to the shadowy and willful figures in Poe's and Stevenson's novels" or the "stealthy and cunning assassins in Gaboriau and du Boiscobey." Indeed the events of a utumn 1888 bore an " uncanny resemblance" to the literature of the fantastic: they incorporated the n arrative themes and motifs of modern fantasysocial inversion, morbid psychological states, acts of violation and transgression, and descent into a social u nderworldand gave utterance to "all that is not said, all that is unsayable through realism."11 Whereas Mrs. Weldon's spiritualist adventures combined themes of sexual danger and fantasies of u rban access for women, the Ripper murders exclusively evoked the darker social and erotic meanings of the fantastic. Commentators came to believe that the murders, w hich seemed so senseless and motiveless, possessed a deep meaning. The analytic method for uncovering this occulted truth was twofold. First, it involved an obsessive scrutiny of petty details as signs and codes that would allow the observer to uncover the system of meaning which the fragmented surface masked. Newspaper headlines advertised "New Particulars of the Whitechapel Horrors," while subheadings seized upon a "piece of an apron," a "black bag," "mysterious pawntickets," an "extraordinary parcel," "strange communications," "the writing on the wall," as potential clues to the murders. But the search for m eaning was not simply fixed at the level of extreme nominalism; it also led to theories woven "from the merest figments of fancy." At the height of the crisis, cultural fantasies ran r ampant in speculations about the murderer's identity and the social and political significance of the crimes.12 These speculations also resembled the l iterature of the f antastic in t heir symptomatic expression and management of a nxieties over social and political disorder. The murders had caused a social breach and crisis that could o nly be healed by penetrating the " dark cloud of m ystery" which "conceals the guiltiest wretch in London from the sight of innumerable eyes peering in every direction, night and day." Commentators likened the Ripper story to a "dark labyrinth" where every corner revealed a new "depth of social blackness"; they also superimposed this labyrinthine im- age on the besieged city itself, represented as incoherent, fragmented, ungovernable. In the absence of reliable official statements on the progress of the investigation, rumors flew.'3 Expressions of social and epistemological disorientation were coupled with repeated denunciations of the representatives of law and order, already u nder fire for their mishandling of street prostitution and demonstrations of the unemployed. Inept bureaucracy, the faulty leadership of the police commissioner, Sir Charles Warren, who was t rying to "militarize" the police, futile competition between two police forces (the City and the Metropolitan) aggravated a situation already experienced as chaotic. "The triumphant success with which the Metropolitan Police have suppressed all political meetings in Trafalgar Square contrasts strangely with their absolute f ailure to prevent the most brutal kind of murder in Whitechapel," sneered the Pall Mall Gazette. The "East Enders have lost f aith in the capacity of the Executive to exorcise the grim spectre by which they are haunted," declared the Daily Telegraph. In the absence of clues or motives, declared the Star, the "only practical moral to be drawn from the wholesale massacre . . . is the inadequacy of the police force from top to bottom." The Conservative press would join issue with the Liberals in denouncing the Ripper murders as one of the most "ignominious police failures of all time," when, to quote the Daily Chronicle, the Metropolitan Police "simply" let "the first city of the world . . . lapse into primeval savagery."14 A final element signified by the "mystery" of the murders was sexual. Faced with a "senseless crime," press commentary invoked the figure of the Gothic sex beast, a "man monster" motivated by "bloodthirsty lust" who "goes forth stealthily and takes his victims when and where he already pleases," a kin to the "were w olf" of "Gothic fiction." Declared the Daily Telegraph, "we are l e f t . . . to form unpleasant visions of roving lunatics distraught by homicidal mania or bloodthirsty lust . . . or finally we may dream of monstres, or ogres." In the East End, monstrous metaphors assumed a literal status: "People allowed their imagination to run riot. There was t alk of black magic and v ampires." 15 When contemporaries invoked fictional analogues of the monstrous, argue c ultural critics Deborah Cameron and Kathleen Fraser, they drew on a " transitional language" to represent "sex crime," just at the historic moment w hen scientific discourse was transforming the figure of the sex beast into a "sexual deviant" and his s inful crime into a "disease." In the long run, they argue, the Ripper murders would emerge as the most publicly advertised in an e merging series of case histories of sex crime, thus serving as ;i media vehicle for concealing yet suggesting the "truth" of "sex." At the time of I In- K ipper m urders, however, the m edicalizing effort to diagnose CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER the "monstrous" motives of the murders as "sexual" (and as encapsulated within the figure of the sex pervert) was incomplete; the meanings of the murders, like the figure of Jack the Ripper h imself, remained ambiguous and polymorphous, encompassing social and geographic, as well as individual, associations of the monstrous.16 The fact that most of the murders were accompanied by acts of sexual mutilation also contributed to the grisly notoriety of the crimes and provided the most sensational stories the newspapers were to present. At the time, contemporaries disputed whether the murders evidenced anatomical skill and knowledge of the female body. Some believed that the principal objective of the murderer was evisceration of the body after the woman had been strangled and had her throat cut. When the murderer had enough time, observers committed to the "medical theory" believed, the uterus and other internal organs were deliberately removed, while the woman's insides were often strewn about. Conversely, when some murders did not "extend so far," when no "portion" was "missing," this same school of thought assumed that "the miscreant had not time to complete his design."17 The "mangled remains" of the Ripper victims triggered off a set of psychosexual and political fears that resounded, in different ways, across the social spectrum. Body fragments testified to the monstrous nature of the crime, of the criminal, and of the social environment. If, traditionally, the "classical" body has signified the "health" of the larger social bodyof a closed, homogeneous, regulated social orderthen the mountingarray of "grotesque," mutilated corpses in this case represented the exact inverse: a visceral analogue to the epistemological incoherence and political disorientation threatening the body politic during the "autumn of terror."'8 Because they were committed on female bodies, particularly on the bodies of prostitutes, the mutilations carried especially transgressive associations. These were not the elegant, dignified female bodies of civic statuary that graced the public squares of the West End, embodying the abstract virtues of race and nation; nor were they the "salon body" of elite females that lined the walls of art galleries and lay on "tea tables in open photo albums" or "animated advertisements for household products." They were instead "women of the people" "cut to pieces," grotesque body fragments, replete with gaps, orifices, missing body portions, e mblematic of female vice and the teeming m ultitudes of the East End and t heir " symbolic filth."19 The mutilated bodies of the Ripper victims evoked the "ensemble of representations" that had authorized regulatory policy and official disposition towards prostitutes throughout the n ineteenth century. According to KtK Alain Corbin, these negative body images included the prostitute as p utrid body, as sewer, as syphilitic carrier, as corpse, and as link in a chain of resigned f emale bodies "at the beck and call of the bourgeois body." Media representations at the time of the Ripper murders called all these images into play, accompanied by renewed demands for the reintroduction of state-regulated prostitution to restore order, but they placed p articular stress on the cultural fantasies and associations of the prostitute body as corpse. Not only did the Ripper murders seem to literalize the m oral t ruth that the wages of sin was d eaththat the " awful being who h aunts W hite chapel" presented h imself as "an embodied j udgment to the women of e vil life"but the m urders themselves occurred in the shadow of two d eath houses: the Aldergate slaughterhouse and the great London H ospital. As experts debated whether the murder exhibited the skill of a butcher or a "scientific anatomist," commentators on the crime scenes described t he victims variously as slaughtered animals, "ripped open just as yon see .\ dead c alf at a butcher shop," or as dissected cadavers, reminiscent of "i hose horrible wax anatomical specimens" on display in medical m useums and in the windows of anatomical shops.20 As Elaine Showalter observes, the Ripper murders "eerily evoked" themes of medical violence against women that pervaded fin-dc-siivle literatureof opening up, dissecting, or mutilating women: indeed, t hey may well have helped to consolidate and disseminate those themes p ublicly to a wider readership. They also played onand seemed to p lay out popular fears of surgeons, gynecologists, vaccinators, vivisectors, and d issectors as violators of, in this context, the innocent bodies of w omen, c hildren, and animals, that had f ound considerable expression in a range of popular health and antimedical campaigns of the 18705 and 188os.-' The grisly mutilations, provoking a full range of social and political anxieties, and apparently establishing the signature of the k iller, i ntensified public fascination with the mutilator, who acquired the s obriquet "Jack the Ripper" in the course of events in f all 1888. At the time of the " double event" of September 30, an a nonymous letter forecasting the m urders and signed by "Jack the Ripper" had been sent to the Central News Agency. A facsimile of the letter, and a postcard that followed from "Jack the Ripper," were republished in all the newspapers and posted at street corners. A f ortnight later, a t hird letter addressed to the c hairman of the local v igilance committee in W hitechapel and accompanied by h alf of a h uman k idney reinforced s uspicion t hat the m urderer was a n ecrophiliac. These l etters scl the tone for the rest (of w hich ^ 50 have been collected in the f iles ot Scot land Yard). The f irst two were addressed "Dear Boss," all three were joui lar a nd teasing. They bragged of past and f uture exploits, a nd of how mm h CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER the writer enjoyed his "vork." "I am down on whores," declared the Ripper, "and I shan't quit ripping them up until I am buckled." Police authorities believed that these letters were a "creation of an enterprising journalist"; whether authentic or not, the letters helped to establish the murders as a media event by focusing social anxieties and fantasies on a single, elusive, alienated figure, a figure who craved "sensation" and who communicated to a "miss" public through the newspaper. Written in an informal, "Cockney style," the letters also consolidated the murderer's reputation for irony andwit. Anonymous yet polymorphous, the murderer was presumed to be, at various points in the discussion and by d ifferent constituencies, a Russian Jewish anarchist, a policeman, a local denizen of Whitechapel, an erotic maniac of the "upper classes" of society, a religious fanatic, a mad doctor, ascientific sociologist (George Bernard Shaw's facetious suggestion, which was taken up by the press), and a woman.22 In the telling of the Kipper story, the stigmatized identity of the victims was another striking feature. The social profile of his victims emerging from the local interviews and testimonies of the inquests seemed to be remarkably detailed and precise. '"Painfully f amiliar have become the proceedings of the inquests on the victims of the Whitechapel assassin," commented the East London Advertiser. All the inquests seemed to tell the "same old story of want, immorality, and i nhuman crime." In the case of the first four victims, all were, according to the Daily Telegraph, "women of middle age, all were married and had lived apart from their husbands in consequence of intemperate habits, and were at the time of their death leading an irregular life, and eking out a miserable and precarious existence in common lodging houses." These "drunken, vicious, miserable wretches whom it was almost a charity to relieve of the penalty of existence" were "not very particular about how they earned a living." When they could, they worked as charwomen, street sellers, or picked hops during the summer months in Kent. If they had to, they resorted to the streets as casual prostitutes.23 Economic need forced them to take to the streets on the nights they met their deaths. Newspaper headings and woodcut illustrations persistently fixed on the final dialogues of Polly Nicholls and Annie Chapman before they met their death, as if these statements encapsulated a deep moral meaning. A short time before she was murdered, Polly Nicholls was seen staggering along Whitechapel Road by E mily H olland, her friend and neighbor. Holland offered to take her home, but N icholls explained that she had no money for her lodging. "But I'll get my 'doss' money," she declared. "See what a jolly bonnet I've got now." A nnie Chapman voiced a similar intention, after she had been denied admission to her lodging house 200 on Dorset Street because she did not have the fee of eight pence. "I haven't enough now, but keep my bed for me, I shan't be long."24 To middle-class readers of The Times and the Morning Post, as well as socialist readers of Commonweal, the murders constituted a morality tale of stark proportions. These were economically desperate women, who violated their "womanhood" for the price of a night's lodging, and for whom the wages of sin was death. Outside of Whitechapel, the victims became unsympathetic objects of p ityfor radicals and conservatives alike. Whatever guilt middle-class readers may have experienced over the "mangled remains" of A nnie Chapman, their compunction was soon overwhelmed by feelings of fear and loathing towards the spectacle of the victims themselves. This paradoxical response to the "great social evil" was not unique; it was embedded in the literature of prostitution and in earlier reformist campaigns such as the "Maiden Tribute" and the feminist opposition to state regulation. But reformers such as Butler and Stead had sympathized with the history of young prostitutes, if not with their present reality; and they adopted a protective and custodial attitude toward fallen women as "errant daughters." Both the older age of the Whitechapel victims and their apparent culpability in departing from the patriarchal home rendered this parent-child paradigm inapplicable. This negative feature of reformist propaganda set limits to the kind of sympathy which could be extended to the f allen women of Whitechapel (and may p artially explain feminist reticence to enter into the public discussion).25 In sum, the degraded social setting, the mysterious circumstances, the grisly mutilations, the ominous figure of Jack the Ripper, and the "deviant" lives of his victims combined to produce a dark media fantasy of the Ripper murders. Media coverage transformed the unsolved murders of five poor women into a national scandal; and it incited a wide range of social actors to immerse themselves in the details of the cases, compelled by sexual titillation but also by the desire to extract meaning out of apparent disorder. Playing Out the Story The R ipper case, never solved, offers no closure or resolution to the problem of sexual violence and the social order that produced it. Because it achieved no closure, it remains, well into the later-twentieth century, an enigmatic t hriller that continually reverberates and reconstructs itself over time. In this section, we shall examine some of the parties to the initial "creation" of the Ripper stories. Following the Nicholls murder, the story gained momentum, direction, and focus, but it never emerged as a unified, CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER stable narrative. Complicating the process of interpretation yras the "iitroduction" of new narrative elements in successive cases, such as a coroner's revelation, mysterious "writing on the wall," the "Jack the Ripper" letters, as well as apparent contradictions within and between the explanatory systems invoked to make sense of the crimes. At strategic moments, different social actorsfrom Whitechapel residents and friends of the victims testifying at the inquest, to medical correspondents writing to the daily press played a key role in providing clues or redirecting the interpretation of the crimes.26 Both on the streets of London and in the pages of the national press, diverse constituencies offered competing social perspectives, revising and reprocessing the a vailable media fantasies about the Whitechapel horrors. The first to intervene and organize opinion on the subject were the police themselves, who followed up clues provided by local residents. Initially, the police treated the murder of Polly Nicholls as one of m any cases of unsolved assault; only later at the morgue was it discovered that the body had been severely mutilated. Acting on suggestions of local prostitutes, they first investigated street gangs who preyed on prostitutes and who extorted money from them. However, they soon came to imagine that they were in the presence of a serial killer who had concentrated his activities on a particular locale and who preyed on women of "evil l ife." The murders, accordingly, took on a new status, and police authorities shifted the supervision of the Nicholls murder away from the local police to Scotland Yard. Simultaneously, news accounts enlarged the significance of the murder, transforming it into national news. Linking the event to two recent cases of unsolved homicides involving poor prostitutes in Whitechapel (despite the fact that these earlier homicides revealed totally d ifferent murder patterns), headlines announced "Another Murder in Whitechapel" and the "Whitechapel Horror: Third Crime of a Man who m ust be a Maniac." Following the lead of local police, the press now declared that the m urders were the work of "one individual."27 Police continued their manhunt by investigating men in the local neighborhood who m ight have the tools or s kills to p erform the bloody mutilationsbutchers and shoemakers. They e ventually t urned t heir attention to other occupational groups, such as sailors on board c attle boats, whose presence in and out of London would e xplain the t iming of t he crisis and the mysterious disappearance of the murderer. The growing l ist of candidates reflected the local social economy of W hitechapel; it also mirrored the prejudices of the police and local residents.28 W hitechapel had a large, mobile, and rootless population of men who looked and acted in ways police f ound suspicious. They were obvious targets of police and p opular suspicion. Jews were targets of both. An endemic f orm of anti-Semitism existed in the East End, in p art an expression of traditional xenophobia and in p a r t a response to the unstable economy and s hrinking material resources of t he area. Whitechapel was experiencing a severe housing crisis due to t he influx of Eastern European Jews and the conversion of h ousing stock i nto warehouses and c ommercial properties. Jews and gentiles, c onstituting, to a c ertain extent, two separate classes, had to coexist in the s ame s mall a rea and compete for resources.29 Anti-Semitism in 1888 was one articulation of a rising tide of n ational ism and racism orchestrated by the p opular media. As e arly as the N icholls case, Radical d ailies helped to stir up local sentiment against Jews by i dentifying one "Leather Apron" a s the "only name linked [locally! w ith t he Whitechapel murders." Leather Apron was, according to the Star, a J ewish slippermaker by trade, a "Strange Character who Prowls about W hite chapel a fter midnight," inspiring "universal fear" among women. L eather Apron's candidacy also gained support from the Pall Mall Gazette, w hich republished a description of "Leather Apron" compiled by a Star r eporter after he had made inquiries among a n umber of " polyandrous" women in the East End: a man of "sinister" expression, with "small" and " glittering" eyes, "repellent" grin, his business was " blackmailing women l ate at night. . . . His n ame nobody knows, but all are united in the belief t hat he is a Jew or of Jewish parentage, his face being of a marked Hebrew t ype." While other dailies republished this new "theory," they were also q uick to point out the "fictional" nature of the description: "He is a c haracter so much like the intention of a storywriter that the accounts of him g iven by all the streetwalkers of Whitechapel district seem like romances," declared Lloyd's Weekly News.30 John Pizer, who had been "fingered" by the Star man as L eather Apron, finally t urned himself i nto the police, in order to v indicate h imself p ublicly and to escape the f ury of the crowd.31 The "Jacob the R ipper" theory32 led to two local developments: denunciation of Jews at the inquests as r itual murderers and widespread intimidation of Jews throughout the Hast End. On the streets, popular anger precipitated a nti-Jewish riotsone of three such outbreaks in l ate-nineteenth-century London. After the C hapman murder, crowds of roughs assumed a " threatening a ttitude" toward the "Hebrew" population of the d istrict. " It was r epeatedly asserted t hat no E nglishman could have perpetrated such a h orrible crime."'' S peculations a bout "Leather Apron" also provoked f alse accusa CHAPTER SKVKN JACK III)' H I I 'I'HH tions against i ndividual Jews, which in t urn gave local youths I cense to t >b and beat them. Along with "Lipski," a Polish Jew executed br violaing and murdering his landlady in 1887,J4 the sobriquet "LeatherApron "liecame a common term of abuse applied to Jews.3S Well after the police ted discredited the "Leather Apron" theory and declared "Leather Apron "to be a "mythical personage,"36 the man with a k nife and leatrer apronremained an enduring popular image of the murderer. Thanks tocontinueus verbal and visual representations of the "mysterious"killer in tfie press a a "foreigner of dark complexion," the Ripper continued to be imaginid, both by the police and local cockneys, as a "marked Hebrew type. "37 West End dailies made their own contribution to the exiitementby lending credence to the worst kind of anti-Semitic fantasies emanating out of Eastern Europe. On z October, The Times p ublished a suggestion from its Vienna correspondent that the Whitechapel killei might be followiig the Talmudic injunction requiring a Jew who has been intimate with a Christian to atone for this pollution by slaying and mutilating her. As eridence for this practice, the correspondent cited a recent Galician case involving a Jew named Ritter who had been charged with outraging aid murdering a Christian girl. Alarmed by w hat seemed to be a widespread media effort to connect the Jews with the Whitechapel murdeis and to revive the "legend of blood," the leaders of Anglo Jewry roundly condemned these speculations as "baseless and without foundation."38 In apprehending Jews as religious fanatics, police followed the lead of the local gentile population. But in suspecting Jewish socialists and revolutionaries, they acted on their own suspicions and on instructions from above. However, police soon found that anti-Jewish feeling, which they had helped to foster, was getting out of hand. After Chapman's murder, hundreds of police were drafted into the East End to forestall a possible pogrom. The double murders of Eddowes and Stride on 30 September cast further suspicion on East End Jews and intensified police concern. Stride's body had been discovered in front of the Working Men's International Club, a political c lub mostly frequented by Jewish socialists, whose members had j ust finished hearing a lecture on "Judaism and Socialism." Later that night, a bloodstained portion of Catherine Eddowes's apron was found in front of a building on Goulston Street i nhabited by Jews. Above it on the wall was written in c halk, "The Juwes are not the men t hat w ill be blamed for nothing." Believing that the message was w ritten "with the intention of inflaming the p ublic mind against the Jews," Police Commissioner Warren wiped out the "writing at once" when he a rrived on the scene. His actions provoked severe press criticism for destroying a v aluable clue, but they won grateful thanks from the Chief Rabbi of London.39 204 I By mid-Scptcmbcr local police h ad t heir h ands f ull. A fter C hapman's murder, a d iabolical pattern of crime seemed to have been c onfirmed, and the impotence of the police to track down the culprit inspired a rising t ide of p ublic indignation. Popular rumors of extensive mutilations committed on Chapman's body added to the sensation. Press coverage v astly expanded, as the m urder story spread over numerous pages and c olumns, encompassing leaders, correspondence columns, human-interest stories, official announcements, and police-court anecdotes. Woodcut i llustra tions of H anbury Street, maps of the murder sites (showing escape r outes to the West End), and clinical drawings of the victims surrounded by cameo portraits of expert witnesses testifying at the inquests, augmented t inprinted reports. Retrospectives of the life stories of the victims were j uxtaposed to f uture projections of "more" m urders to "follow." Sensational language of "bloodthirsty" monsters and fiends in "human shape" i ntensified, as did reports of copycat activities on the p art of men who menaced women. To a mplify the news further, papers included ancillary activities within Whitechapel, including local petitions, demands for an official reward and more police patrols, as well as the organization of citizen action groups. Annie C hapman, declared the Daily Telegraph, did "more by h er death than m any long speeches in Parliament and countless columns of l etters to the newspapers could have brought about." Her "mangled remains" provoked a "crisis of conscience" over the failure of C hristian charity and the "social organization" to address what Punch labeled the "nemesis" of poverty and social neglect in Whitechapel. As police searched two h undred common lodging houses for the murderer, news investigations appeared on "Crime in Whitechapel," and the "Insecurity of Our Streets." Wherever you "inquire," declared the Star, there were "fresh stories of robberies and outrage, committed with impunity." Simultaneously letters on the "Moral of the Murders" appeared in the proprietary press, with conventional proposals to cure the social ills of Whitechapel: p hilanthropic plans for model dwellings, better lighting, improved paving, more Bible women, more night refuges where poor women could sleep, and more laundries where they could work. The letters focused not on the pathology of the murderer but on the degraded lives of the victims. The "Whitechapel horrors w ill not be in vain," declared "S.G.O." in The Times, "if 'at last' the p ublic conscience awakes to consider the life which these horrors reveal. The m urders, it may almost be said, were bound to come."40 Amidst this extensive soul-searching and p hilanthropic appeal, an alternative i nquiry i nto the self and the social order materialized in the press. Suspicion shifted f rom the East End to the West End, as representations of 205 C MAI1 IKK SKVKN JACK T H K K I M ' V. K the Ripper oscillated f rom an externalized version of the Other to a v ariation of the m ultiple, divided Self. In "Murder and More to Follow," W. T. Stead, that great crusader against libertine debauchery, was the first j ournalist to draw attention to the "sexual origins" of the crime and to invoke Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a psychological model of the murderer. The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson's enormously popular "shilling shocker" of 1886, had featured a murderer with a divided personality, who encompassed within himself the two social extremes of London: the urbane Dr. Jekyll, who used his scientific knowledge to create another self, the stunted, troglodyte, proletarian Mr. Hyde, as a cover for "secret pleasures" and "nocturnal adventures." Influenced by French writings on the m ultiple personality as well as Lombrosian theories of criminal anthropology, Stevenson's story represented the "thorough and p rimitive duality of [urban] man." Despite the author's repeated denials, contemporary readers and reviewers immediately interpreted the undisclosed nocturnal adventures and pleasures of Jekyll/Hyde as illicitly and violently erotic. When the theater version starring Richard Mansfield opened in the West End in August 1888, it adhered to the interpretation of Jekyll/Hyde as sadistic sex criminal. Mansfield played Hyde as a manifestation of JekyH's "lust," a creature of infinite sexual drive who, unable to f ulfill his desires in conventional heterosexual sex because of his "hideous imagination," "proceeds to satisfy his cravings in violence." To stabilize and fix Hyde's sexual obsession within the boundaries of heterosexuality (the original story remained obscure about the object and aim of Jekyll/Hyde's l ibidinal desire), the theater version added a new female character, JekyH's fiancee, murdered by a jealous Hyde, thus injecting heterosexual love and sadism into the closeted professional bachelor world of Jekyll and his friends.41 With repeated allusions to Stevenson's story and to evolutionary anthropology, Stead characterized the "real-life" murderer in Whitechapel as an evolutionary throwback and sadist. The crime was a "renewed reminder of the potentialities of revolting barbarity which lie latent in m an"; it was committed by a "Mr. Hyde of Humanity," a "Savage of Civilization" from "our slums," as capable of " bathing his h ands in blood as any Sioux who ever scalped a foe." Animated by a " mania of bloodthirsty cruelty which sometimes springs from the u nbridled indulgence of the worst passions" this midnight murderer might well be a "plebeian Marquis de Sade at large in Whitechapel," who, Stead*warned, may not confine his a ctivities to the East End.42 "Murder and More to Follow" located t he u rban savage in London's "teeming" slums. A few days later, however, Stead suggested a more re106 spcctable i dentity and address for the murderer, more a kin to J ekyH's urbane a ppearance and s tately West End mansion. In an "Occasional Note," Stead "hoped" that authorities were not confining their attention to those who looked like "horrid r uffians." "Many of the occupants of the Chamber of Horrors look like local preachers, Members of Parliament, or monthly nurses." Even the Marquis de Sade was an "amiable-looking gentleman." In keeping with the case-study approach of Stevenson's Strange Case, Stead diagnosed the murderer as a sadistic "victim of erotic mania which often takes the awful shape of an uncontrollable taste for blood."43 Thanks to Stead, speculations about the Ripper as a "dual personality," an "amiable-looking gentleman" who was also a "hard r uffian," who "did his bloody work with the l u s t . . . of a savage, but with the skill of the savant," began to percolate throughout the press. Other dailies took up the "Jekyll and Hyde" theory and fantasized about a "crazed biologist" who took scientific delight in the "details of butchery" or a "mad physiologist looking for living tissue." Indignant correspondents accused Richard Mansfield of being the Ripper because he played his part so convincingly; alternatively, they complained that he provided a role model for some unstable personality. In deference to the public uproar, the play shut down; fittingly the last performance was held as a benefit for night refuges for homeless women.44 As Christopher Frayling has observed, the Jekyll and Hyde model represented the most accessible "explanation" of psychopathology for E nglish newspapers to exploit.45 Nonetheless, Stead's reference to "sadism," as a "mania" from which the murderer was "suffering," invoked the concepts of sexual sadism and lust murder, recently introduced into the medical I cxi con by Dr. Richard Krafft-Ebing, professor of psychiatry at the U niversity of Vienna, and a pioneer of sexology, the scientific study of h uman sexuality.46 Krafft-Ebing's professional duties included assessing proof of m orbidity or "degeneracy" for sexual offenders brought before the court to determine whether they should be held responsible for their actions. K rafftEbing collected his case histories and published them in Psychopathia St-xualis (1886), a "medico-forensic study" of the "abnormal." Although the most explicit portions were printed in Latin, the book provoked an enormous popular as well as professional response. Krafft-Ebing f ound himself deluged with confessional letters from sufferers of sexual misery, which he added to his own body of case histories.47 The appearance of Psychopathia Sexualis, observes Jeffrey Weeks, marked the "eruption into print of the speaking pervert, the i ndividual marked or marred by his (or her) sexual impulse."48 A series of anxieties about the gendered self and the social order under207 CHAPTER SEV1N JACK THE RIPPER wrote Krafft-Ebing's assessment of sexual pathology. It Psychofathia Sexualis, he produced an elaborate classification icheme, intended t> mark off the perverted Other from the normative Self. Nonethefess, the distinctions he drew between natural/unnatural, normal/abnoimal, ani progressive/regressive, remained ambiguous.49 Sexuality, dedared Krifft-Ebin, "is the most powerful factor in individual and social existence"; yet all "acts" that deviated from the "purpose of natnre"i.e propagation of the specieswere "perverse."50 Unfortunately these penersions vere "progressively increasing" in advanced societies; they were component parts of progress, telling expressions of the "nervousness of modern lociety."51 Both " unnatural habits" and physical degeneracy accoanted f ortheir prev alence: they could be a product of acquired vice as well is congenital defect. Only the case-history approach that investigated the "whole personality of the i ndividual and the original impulse leading to the perverse act," could differentiate disease (perversion) from vice (perversity).52 Krafft-Ebing's taxonomy highlighted two general categories of sexual degeneracy: perversions committed with members of the opposite sex and those practiced between members of the same sex. In t his schema, sexual sadism, rape, and lust murder were heterosexual analogues to homosexuality. Like homosexuality, sadistic sexual crimes were "progressively increasing in modern sexual l ife"; even more so t han homosexuality, they were the acts of men. "Man," K rafft-Ebing explained, has a "more intense sexual appetite than woman"; sadism was nothing else t han "an excessive and monstrous pathological intensification of phenomenapossible, too, in normal conditions in r udimentary formswhich accompany the psychical vita sexualis p articularly in males."53 At the time of Chapman's murder, other publicists lent support to the upper-class-maniac theory; they too debated whether the murderer in the Ripper case was mad or vicious, a victim of a disease or a practitioner of "mere debauchery," a " homicidal maniac" bent on violence or an "erotomaniac" bent on sexual satisfaction. In a letter to The Times on 12 September Dr. Forbes Winslow h azarded the opinion that the m urderer was not of the class of "Leather Apron," but was instead a " homicidal maniac" of the "upper class of society, as evidenced by the perverted c unning w ith which the killer had performed the m utilations and evaded justice." Apparently sane on the surface, the m urderer was f ollowing the " inclination of his morbid imagination" by "wholesale homicide." Winslow based his "method of madness" theory on the assumption that only a c ultivated intellect run amok could have committed an act of such enormity. His reference to "morbid imagination" notwithstanding, Winslow proposed t hat the criminal suffered from "homicidal mania of a r eligious d escription," and t hat he had chosen "the immoral class of society to vent his vengeance upon."54 These discussions paved the way for the coroner's "bombshell" at t he Chapman inquest on ^6 September. Earlier at the inquest, Dr. P hillips, tindivision surgeon, had described the body as "terribly mutilated," n oting "absent portions from the abdomen" (the uterus and appendages had been removed) and "indications of anatomical knowledge." Phillips was r eluctant to give the details of the mutilations in open court, and he o nly agreed to do so a fter the room had been cleared of women and children. The Times pronounced the autopsy report on Annie Chapman " unfit for p uhlication," but the Lancet published it in f ull: "The abdomen had been l aid open, the intestines, severed from their mesenteric attachments, had been lifted out of the body and placed on the shoulder of the corpse; whilst f rom the pelvis, the uterus and its appendages with the u pper portion of the vagina and the posterior two-thirds of the bladder had been e ntirely removed." In the midst of a saturnalia of destruction, Phillips observed, the murderer had stopped to place Chapman's belongings in "order" at her feet, demonstrating what coroner Baxter later termed "reckless d aring" and "cool impudence."55 In his s ummary to the j ury, Baxter challenged the suggestion c irciilai ing in the press "that the criminal was a l unatic with morbid f eelings." Resisting the maniac theory, Baxter proposed instead a "rational" p ecuniary basis for the crime. "But it is not necessary to assume lunacy. There was ,\ market for t hat missing organ." A possible motive for the m urder, he suggested, was the sale of the organ to American medical s choolsrecalling the body-snatching crimes of the e arly nineteenth century.56 Baxter's "Burke and Hare theory" alarmed medical authorities who worried that Baxter's "dramatic . . . revelation" might undermine c onfidence in medical research: "The public mindever too ready to cast mud at legitimate researchwill h ardly f ail to be excited to a pitch of a nimosity against anatomists and c urators, which may take a long time to subside." This animosity was a lready manifested in newspaper correspondence on the " medical question": in a letter appearing in the Evening News, for example, "Ex-Medico's D aughter" proposed that the m urder may h ave been committed "in t he cause of science" by a "medical maniac," i nvestigating "the m ysterious changes that take place in the f emale sex at a bout the age of these poor women." Pasteur, she reminded readers, was also n " human vivisectionist.'" 17 Speculations a bout a " medical maniac" researching into t he " mysteries" o f t he " It-male sex" b uilt o n a ntimedical p ropaganda produced b y feminists, l iln-Him.niN. m id u ntivivisectionists t hroughout t he i Kyos a nd CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER i88os. This propaganda had imaginatively connected the fate of animals and women as victims of medical violence, and it widely circulated visual images and narratives of medical sadism and bodily mutilation.58 Antivivisectionists like Frances Power Cobbe revived the figure of the scientist as a demonic genius: vivisection, Cobbe insisted, fostered "heteropathy," a "new vice of scientific cruelty," which "does not seize the ignorant or hunger-driven or brutalized classes; but the cultivated, the well-fed, the well-dressed, the civilized and (it is said) the otherwise kindly disposed and genial men of science."59 Cobbe linked vivisection imaginatively to traditional fears of medical men as "bodysnatchers," thus calling into play older popular antagonisms toward anatomists as homicidal maniacs and desecrators of pauper graves. She equipped the "modern" bodysnatcher with the same antisocial associations as his predecessors: libertinism, atheistic materialism, contamination with dark, occult practices and revolutionary ideas gained from study on the Continent. All of these themes figured in St. Bernard's, an antivivisection novel published in 1887 and set in the East End, a text that seemed to offer an ominous premonition of the 1888 exploits of Jack the Ripper.60 Anxiety over the medical "spaying" of women also peaked in 1886, when professional colleagues accused a Liverpool surgeon of performing ovariectomy and oophorectomy at an excessive rate. By the late 188os, then, medical spokesmen had good cause to be anxious over Baxter's "dramatic . . . revelation," for recent propaganda, fictional writings, and medical scandals had already cast a dark shadow over medical research into the "mysteries" of the female sex.61 The Mad Doctor theory enlarged on all these negative associations. To these, the Ripper formulation added syphilitic madness, introduced into the discussion in early October by Archibald Forbes, the foreign correspondent of the Daily News, who suggested that the murderer was a "victim" of a "specific contagion" and was avenging himself. From the "knowledge of anatomy displayed in the murders," Forbes speculated that he was quite possibly a medical student.62 To be sure, madness had already been identified as a consequence of sexual impurity, and mid-Victorian doctors understood that the t ertiary stage of syphilis could attack the brain, among other v ital organs; but the specific connection between tertiary syphilis and general paralysis of the insane, or paresis, was o nly firmly established in the years i mmediately preceding the R ipper m urders. Scientific progress only p artially accounts for the rise of venereal anxiety: as important, argues Corbin, were the propagandist "efforts of the medical profession to develop and exert its authority, first through social hygiene, then through the prevention of disease." Thanks to medical p ublicity, syphilis assumed a greater cultural significance in this period of bio2.10 logical anxiety, as fears of racial degeneration increasingly obsessed the dominant classes of society.63 The theory of the Mad Syphilitic Doctor completed the cycle of venereal anxiety: it focused suspicion back on the "anxiety makers"64 themselves, as deadly materialists soiled by contact with impure bodies. At the time of the Ripper murders, medical spokesmen were clearly uneasy about the Mad Doctor theory even though they were deeply i mplicated in its production. It was, after all, Dr. Phillips who had first insisted publicly that the mutilations showed "indications" of "anatomical knowledge. " At Chapman's inquest, Dr. Phillips drew a direct comparison between his own skill as a medical man and that of the "miscreant": "I myself could not have performed all the injuries I saw on that woman and effect, even without a struggle, under a quarter of an hour."65 Claiming specialized knowledge of the "details of butchery" himself, Phillips remained extremely reluctant to share that knowledge with the public at large. By trying to restrict knowledge of the mutilations, yet allowing the f ull publication of the autopsy report in the Lancet, medical authorities enacted ;i well-established strategy designed to maintain a monopoly of expert knowledge over the body. Yet this elitist and restrictive strategy clearly backfired: it made doctors publicly suspect as possessors of esoteric and occult knowledge. Moreover, by suppressing information about the mutilations, the medical establishment contributed to an explosion of popular rumors, speculation, and fascination with them. "There was no doubt this time," recalled Dr. Halsted of the London Hospital, that the murderer "had removed certain parts of the body not normally mentioned in polite society and this perversion almost more than the murder itself excited the frenzy of the large crowd which gathered round the spot d uring the following day" ( emphasis mine).66 The "frenzy" of the crowd at the prospect of a "woman cut to pieces" stood in stark contrast to the medical language of C hapman's autopsy report, whose Latinate terms ("mesenteric attachments") and detached clinical picture of a body dispossessed of any personal i dentity (including sexual identity) were rhetorical efforts to sanitize medical engagement with a "grotesque" female body. Taken together, elite and p opular responses to the m utilations operated as a twin strategy in a single regime of knowledge, one t hat simultaneously incited and repressed the "truth" of "sex."67 The "high" and "low" responses to the m utilations replicated the split "Jekyll and Hyde" personality of the m iscreant, the "savage/savant" who also combined behavior of astonishing ferocity w ith a capacity for r ational t hought and s kill. 6 " Although t he m utilations committed on the last Kipper victims seemed CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER to lack any indication of "anatomical knowledge," the Mad Doctor, as the possessor of privileged knowledge and technical skill, would remain the most enduring and publicly compelling member of a cast of privileged villains proposed by the press and by the experts.69 Others included: the Sadeian Aristocratic Libertine; the Religious Fanatic; and the Scientific Sociologist (first proposed facetiously by George Bernard Shaw, who imagined him to be a social reformer trying to expose the conditions of the East End).70 Fantasies ran wild in the correspondence pages of the national dailies, but the fantasies were never totally removed from social reality and contemporary political disputes. All these candidates were familiar protagonists in earlier sexual scandals such as "Maiden Tribute" and the campaign against the state regulation of prostitution. They were also representative of the urban male spectators who were in fact stalking the streets of London in search of fallen women. Just as striking, they were also representative of m any men writing into the correspondence columns of the newspapers putting forth their own theories of the Ripper's identity. Sometimes these correspondents proposed versions of the self, sometimes a cultural/political competitor: the Ripper could be a mad syphilitic doctor or a "purity man" gone "mad on religion."71 Overwhelmingly, these speculations oscillated between two expert discourses: the language of the law, emphasizing free will, responsibility, and reason; and the language of medicine, which focused on nature, determination, and irresponsibility. Commentators tried to determine if the criminal was mad or bad, a "monomaniac" or a "hardened criminal"; whether his crimes were "the freaks of a m adman" or the "deliberate acts of a sane man who takes delight in murder on its own account, and who selects his victims by preference from the opposite sex ... as giving him the means of gratifying some horrid instinct of cruelty and perverted lust." With their emphasis on the cunning and "cool impudence" of the murderer, these speculations not only enhanced the standing of the murderer; like Psychopathia Sexualis, they also evidenced a good deal of self-incrimination, especially as they often articulated a very unclear boundary between normative male sexuality and its a bnormal, v iolent expression. Despite the theories about upper-class perverts and maniacal reformers, police still arrested the same motley collection of East End downand-outers, including wandering lunatics, mad medical students, American cowboys, and Greek gypsies. They conducted a housc-to-housc search of Whitechapel, but not of the areas of London where the Ripper, if he were a "toff" (that is, a gentleman) would be lodging. Long-standing patterns of deference and assumption of bourgeois respectability ultimately prevailed over speculations about bourgeois c riminality circulating in the press. Even when they apprehended respectable suspects in the act of harassing women, police did not follow through on the arrestthis despite the fact that the East End became a sideshow for West Enders fascinated by the murders, bent not only on observing but on hunting the Ripper and, in some cases, emulating his role as well. "No less a personage than a director of the Bank of England," reported the Echo, "is so possessed by personal conviction that he has disguised himself as a day laborer, and is exploring the public houses, the common lodging houses, and other likely places to find the murderer." Dr. Forbes Winslow became a common figure on the scene, interviewing the "women of the streets," processing their raw information into "clues," so omnipresent that police suspected him of being Jack the Ripper.72 Amateur detectives like Winslow supplemented "hundreds of police in uniform, in plain clothes and in all manner of disguisesome even dressed as womenwho patrolled every end of every street in the 'danger zone' every few minutes." There were plenty of eccentric and disoriented men in Whitechapel to begin with, but the presence of amateur and professional sleuths, voyeurs, and cranks must have exacerbated the fears and anxieties of the local population.73 Respectable citizens of Whitechapel responded to the invasion of West Enders by organizing their own night patrols. The men of Toynbee Hall settlement house and of the Jewish community set up committees, and the socialist and radical workingmen's clubs formed the East London Trades and Labourer's Society Vigilance Committee.74 These activities were evidence of self-protection, but they also constituted surveillance of the unrespectable poor, and of low-life women in particular. Social reformers at Toynbee Hall used the evidence collected by the night patrols to document the vicious state of the Flower and Dean Street rooikery and to agitate, as they had for years, for the closing down of those "nurseries of crimes," the common lodging houses. "The stories which they have to tell are of saddening uniformity," declared the British Medical Journal: "uncontrollable brutality; women turned into the streets . . . and shivering on the stones at night fleeing from the execrations and the violence of d runken men. . . . tragedies and horrors of public obscenity treated by the police as the ordinary incidents of dark alleys, unlighted courts, and low neighborhoods."75 By designating themselves "vigilance committees," the male patrols in Whitechapel explicitly modeled themselves on similarly named social purity organizations already active in the area. P urity groups had closed down two hundred brothels in the East End in the year prior to the Ripper murders, r endering h undreds of women homeless, hence v ulnerable to attack, CHAI'TKR SHVHN JACK I I II' KII'I'I'H and certainly making the lower stratum of prostitutionwhere the victims of the Ripper were situatedeven more precarious. The message of social purity was mixed: it demanded that men control their own sexuality; but it effectively gave them more control over the sexuality of women, since it called upon them to protect their women and to repress brothels and streetwalkers. As Josephine Butler astutely observed, male purity reformers always found it more convenient to "let the pressure fall almost exclusively on women" as it "is more difficult, they say, to get at men." In Whitechapel, middle-class men, backed up by female moral reformers, spearheaded these efforts. Respectable workingmen, anxious to distance themselves from the "bestiality" of the residuum and to reinforce their male prerogatives inside and outside the family, were also recruited into the assault on vice.76 Excluded from the mobilization and press debate were the rough elements of Whitechapel, female or male. The poor expressed their engagement with the Ripper murders by rioting. The West End press tended to depict crowd activity in the East End as both ominous and irrational. But the victims of mob riot were not selected at random. The Whitechapel poor rioted against the Jews, against the police (for not solving the murders), and against doctors (they believed the Mad Doctor theory and popular antagonism toward regular doctors was intensified by the recent antivaccination movement. Anyone walking around with a little black bag was in trouble). As press coverage of the murders increased, the poor began to act on information provided by the newspapersparticularly stories that the murders were committed by doctors and by "toffs"and to describe possible suspects who were "respectable in appearance" or who had the "appearance of a "clerk." The assumption that the Ripper was a " toff" also gave young working men license to accuse and intimidate their betters. During the Ripper manhunt, more than one amateur detective touring the Whitechapel area was accosted and had his gold watch nabbed. Another gentleman making his way along High Holborn in the City was pounced upon by a man of the "laboring class" yelling "Jack the Ripper."77 The poor also gained access to the p ublic sphere through the inquests, the central judicial dramas of the Ripper murders. At the inquests, a narrative was generated out of " brute facts," while meaning was "apprehended by looking back over the temporal process."78 Inquests were also the centerpiece of newspaper coverage. Extending over a few weeks, they sustained the momentum of interest between fresh i nstallments new of atrocities. Although coroners and expert witnesses established an interpretive authority over inquest proceedings, the poor also took the occasion to produce t heir o wn t ruths a nd fictions a bout the m urdered women. Neighbors and f riends gave detailed accounts of the victims' lives and of the circumitanccs s urrounding the crimes. Their reaction to the murders sharply diverged from those of the organized working class and middle-class philanthropists. To the Whitechapel poor, Annie Chapman and Mary Jane Kelly were not degraded outcasts but members of their own community. Mary Jane Kelly seems to have remained on good terms with a n umber of her regular customers. On the night of her death, she encountered George Hutchinson, who deposed that he had occasionally given her a few shillings in the past. Kelly had asked him if he had any money to give her. Most of the other murdered women had lovers with whom they lived and pooled their resources. These were practical relationships, but they often entailed strong emotional bonds. John Kelly explained how he and Catherine Eddowes paired off in the following way: "We got throwed together a good bit here in the lodging house," recounted Kelly, "and the result was we made a regular bargain."79 The murdered women were also part of an intense female network. Prostitutes as well as nonprostitutes inhabited a distinct female world where they gossiped, entertained each other, and participated in an intricate system of borrowing and lending. This female network supplemented women's heterosexual ties, but it occasionally challenged those malefemale allegiances. When Catherine Picket, a flower seller and neighbor of Mary Jane Kelly, was attracted to Kelly's singing on the night of her murder, she arose from bed to go out and join her; at which point she was reprimanded by her husband, "You just leave the woman alone," and crawled back to bed. Kelly herself was not as deferential to male authority; according to Joseph Barnett, her lover, she had j ust separated from Barnett after the two had quarreled over her taking in another "unfortunate" named Harvey "out of compassion."80 Clearly the murdered women were well known in the neighborhood and many were well liked. Most popular of all was the last victim, Mary Jane Kelly. When local men were asked if they knew Kelly, they responded, "Did anyone not know her?" Kelly was respected in the neighborhood for being generous and gay-hearted, and "frequent in street brawls, sudden and quick in quarrels a ndfor a w omanhandy with her fists." During Kelly's f uneral procession, the coffin was covered with wreaths from friends "using certain p ublic houses in common with the murdered woman." As the coffin passed, "ragged caps were doffed and slatternly looking women shed tears." Dense crowds also lined the streets for the funeral cortege of 2/4 CIIAI'IKR SKVHN lAt.K IIIK RIPPF.R Catherine Eddowes: " Manifestations of s ympathy were everywhere v isible," reported the East London Observer, "many among the crowd uncovering their heads as the hearse passed.""' In general, press commentary emphasized the "ghastly sameness" of the naturalistic stories emerging from the inquests and stressed that the "element of romance" was "altogether lacking in [the victim's] history."82 The matter-of-fact manner in which poor neighbors seemed to recount the dead women's stories, with no moral gloss or condemnation, shocked respectable commentators, as did the tendency of the Whitechapel poor to treat screams of murder or the spectacle of bodies crumpled in a heap on a Whitechapel street as unremarkable and commonplace. Yet the "element of romance" was not missing in the histories produced by the poor. Many of the witnesses consciously dissimulated, refusing to acknowledge that the victims drank or were streetwalkers. Sometimes they struck melodramatic poses and even resorted to exaggerated gestures to reenact their part "when called to the scene of the crime." Legal decorum did not i nhibit one witness at A nnie Chapman's inquest from performing an elaborate pantomime about his discovery of the body: "When he had arrived [in his performance] at the discovery of the body, . . . the hands of the witness were kept in constant motiondescribing alternatively, in pantomime show, how the intestines of the woman were thrown slightly over the left shoulder, and what position the body precisely occupied in the yard."83 The murdered women were objects of fantasy for residents of Whitechapel as well as for the educated reading public. Fictions of k inship surfaced at the inquest of Elizabeth Stride, the "Berner street victim," who was "strangely identified as two persons." At Stride's inquest, Mary Malcolm came forward and insisted that "the woman who had been murdered was her sister because when she was in bed, the poor creature came and kissed her hand." Malcolm's testimony excited considerable attention, inspiring many newspaper readers to call for the "aid of spiritualism and other more or less occult agencies"; it was entirely discredited when her sister turned up alive and well and f ull of outrage. Michael Kidney also positively identified the body as that of Elizabeth Stride, whom he had known for nearly three years. Stride had told Kidney t hat her h usband and children had died on the Princess Alice (a shipping disaster), but even this proved to be a fiction on Stride's part to conceal m arital estrangement. A fter Stride's nephew recognized her photograph, he came forward to i dentify her as the widow of John Thomas Stride, a carpenter, who had died in a w orkhouse in i884.84 The thickest layer of fantasy settled around the l ife and death of M ary 216 Kelly, the last and youngest Ripper v ictim, who had been b rutally disembowelled and m utilated in her room in Dorset Street. Newspapers and memoirs f rom the period set Kelly apart as the least "impoverished," most attractive Ripper victim"an aristocrat among street women" with "well-to-do" friends.85 The principal identificatory witness at the inquest was Joseph Barnett, a fish porter, who "appeared to be in f ull possession of the facts of the unhappy woman's life." At the inquest, Barnett identified Kelly by "the ears and eyes." His narrative of her life history, based on Kelly's version of her own story, reads like a penny-dreadful rendition of the harlot's progress and the "Maiden Tribute." With the vaguest of story line and detail, Barnett outlined Kelly's career in West End vice. Widowed at twenty, she arrived from Wales and settled in a "gay house in the West End." "There a gentleman came to her and asked her if she would like to go to France, so she described to me." "She went to France," he continued, "as she told me, but did not stop there long, as she did not like the part." Reporting on the inquest, the Star immediately seized the opportunity to elaborate the melodrama of high and low life further: "It would appear that on her arrival in London she made the acquaintance of a French lady residing in the neighborhood of Knightsbridge who . . . led her into the degraded life which has brought about her untimely end . . . . while she was with this lady she drove about in a carriage . . . and led the life of a lady."8* After Kelly's return to England, Barnett continued, she went to the "Ratcliffe Highway." At this point in the narrative, "hard facts" creep into Barnett's "disclosures": she lived opposite the gasworks with a man named Morganstone, then went to Pennington Street and lived with James Flemming, a mason's plasterer. Barnett "picked up with her in Commercial street, one night when we had d runk together."87 This East/West romance set the scene for George Hutchinson's detailed description of the "gentleman" accompanying Kelly on the night of her death. One day after the inquest, Hutchinson, a laborer, deposed to the police that his "suspicions were aroused by seeing the man so welldressed." He gave a remarkably precise description of the mysterious stranger: "age about 34 or 35, height 5 ft.6, complexion pale. Dark eyes and eye lashes. Slight moustache curled up each end and h air dark. Very surly looking. Dress, long dark coat, collar and cuffs trimmed astrakhan and a d ark jacket under, light waistcoat, dark trousers, and gaiters with white buttons, wore a very t hick gold chain, white l inen collar, black tie with horseshoe pin, respectable appearance, walked very sharp, Jewish appearance." As a n umber of commentators have noted, this description carefully replicates the costume and stance of the classic stage villain, sinis217 CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER ter, black-mustached, bejewelled, and arrogant, who manipulated his privilege and wealth to despoil the vulnerable daughters of the people. With Hutchinson's evidence, the "image of the toff, a man of education, i nfluence, and money was consolidated." Inquest stories and depositions around Kelly's death provided fodder for the next one h undred years of conspiratorial theories, focused on Kelly as the intended object of the Ripper's revenge, and as the center of a set of interwoven relationships, linking high and low, East and West in class-divided London.88 Response to the Ripper murders, then, reveals significant class divisions and class-based fantasies. It also exposes deep-seated sexual antagonism, most frequently expressed by men towards women. This antagonism was aided and abetted by sensational newspaper coverage that blamed "women of evil life" for bringing the murders on themselves, though it warned elsewhere that "no woman is safe while this ghoul's abroad. "89 The popular press seemed to glory in intensifying terror among "pure" and "impure" women by juxtaposing reports on less serious "attacks on women" with an account of the Whitechapel "horror"; by featuring an illustration of a "lady frightened to death" by a Ripper impersonator on the cover of the Police Illustrated News; and by proposing that the Ripper might change his venue to more respectable parts as Whitechapel became too dangerous for him. Although the most popular theories and fantasies about the Ripper contained a coded discussions of the dangers of unrestrained male sexuality, misogynist fears of f emale sexuality and female autonomy also surfaced in speculations about a female Ripper. Most of these hostilities focused on prostitutes, who, in the words of one influential commentator, were so "unsexed" and depraved that they were capable of the most heinous crimes; but suspicion also extended to midwives and medical women inasmuch as the "knowledge of surgery . . . has now been placed within female reach." However different their social class and occupational mobility, prostitutes, midwives, and medical women shared two common characteristics: they possessed dangerous sexual knowledge and they asserted themselves in the public male domain.90 Copycat activities mirrored these misogynist attitudes and took a variety of forms, including a conscious imitation and impersonation of the Ripper as well as a more latent identification with the criminal and subtle exploitation of female terror.91 In Whitechapel, it seems, gentlemen of all sorts were walking about in the evenings looking for women to frighten. Here is a case in point: On November u , a woman named H umphries was passing George Yard and she met a man in the darkness. T rembling w ith agi- tation she asked him w hat he wanted. The man made no answer but laughed. He then made a hasty retreat. The woman yelled "murder. " She attracted the police, who caught up with him, but "he referred the police to a well-known gentleman at the London Hospital and as a result he was set at liberty." Similar incidents occurred in the West End, involving respectable women; as soon as the assaulting gentleman could produce his business card and show a respectable address, both the lady and the police dropped the case. Laboring men were not immune from acting out the Ripper role themselves. In pubs across London, drunks bragged of their exploits as Jack the Ripper. Some Ripper impersonators harassed prostitutes and tried to extort money from them. James Henderson, a tailor, was brought before the Dalston magistrates for threatening Rosa Goldstein, an "unfortunate," with "ripping" her up if she did not go with him and for striking her several hard blows with his cane. Henderson was let off with a fine of forty shillings, on the grounds that he had been drunkthis, despite the fact that the severely injured Goldstein appeared in court "with surgical bandages about her head" and "weak from loss of blood."93 Besides these public acts of intimidation, there was also a domestic reenactment of the Ripper drama between husbands and wives in various working-class districts. (I have no evidence of middle-class cases.)94 In Lambeth, for example, right after the "double event," magistrates received many applications "with regard to threats used by husbands against their wives, such as Til Whitechapel You' and 'Look out for Leather Apron'." The Daily News reported the case of a man who actually offered ten shillings for anyone who would rid him of his wife by the "Whitechapel process."95 One case that reached the Old Bailey may provide some insight into the circumstances that led up to the threat.96 Sarah Brett of Peckham was living out of wedlock with Thomas Onley. On 3 October 1888, three days after the "double event," her son arrived home from sea with a friend. Brett permitted the friend, Frank Hall, to board with them. On 15 October, the common-law husband and the visitor went out and got drunk; when they returned, both abused and swore at her. Brett told the visitor not to interfere; he smacked her and she returned the blow, knocking him off his chair and ordering him to leave. This angered her man, who then declared they were not even married and threatened to do "a Whitechapel murder upon you." He was clearly too d runk to carry out this undertaking and so retired upstairs to bed, l eaving her w ith the visitor, who then stabbed her, wounding her severely. CHAI'TKR SKVKN |ACK IMC HII'ChK What sense can we make out of this event? Typically, alcohol consumption helped to precipitate the conflict. Sarah Brett's role was defensive but firm; she did not challenge the boundaries of her "sphere," b ut she did exercise her prerogatives as manager of household resources and a mply demonstrated her own capacity to defend herself. Although her common-law husband abused her first, she only reprimanded the visitor. "It is quite sufficient for Mr. Onley to commence upon me without you interfering." By ordering the visitor out of the house, she nonetheless shamed Onley. She threatened his masculinity; he responded by denying the legitimacy of their relationsin sum, calling her a whore. He then invoked the example of that most masterly of men, the Whitechapel killer, leaving her with the young visitor, who had the strength to carry out the husband's threat. I am not trying to argue that the Ripper episode directly increased sexual violence; rather it established a common vocabulary and iconography for the forms of male violence that permeated the whole society, obscuring the different material conditions that provoked sexual antagonism in different classes.97 The Ripper drama invested male domination with a powerful mystique; it encouraged little boys in working-class Poplar and s uburban Tunbridge Wells to intimidate and torment girls by playing at Jack the Ripper. "There's a man in a leather apron coming soon, to kill all the little girls in Tunbridge Wells. It's in the paper." "Look out, here comes Jack the Ripper," was enough to send girls running from the street or from their own backyards into the safety of their homes.98 Whatever their conscious ethos, male night-patrols in Whitechapel had the same structural effect of enforcing the segregation of social space: women were relegated to the interior of a prayer meeting or their homes, behind locked doors; men were left to patrol the p ublic spaces and the street. Male vigilantes also terrified women of the locale, who could not easily distinguish their molesters from their disguised protectors: "If the murderer be possessed . . . with the usual c unning of lunacy," one correspondent suggested in the Saint James Gazette, "I should think it probable that he was one of the first to enroll himself among the a mateur detectives."99 Although the Ripper murders reinforced the spatial polarities of gender and class, they also stimulated male fantasies of v ulnerability and identification with the female victims. Men fantasized about the f emale experience of terror; amateur detectives donned f emale g arb to attract the murderer's attention. Although some boys played at being "Leather Apron," others f ound the Ripper episode to be p ersonally t hreatening and terrifying. At three and a h alf, Leonard Hllisden believed the R ipper to be a particular "evil-looking man w ith a beard who used to eat fire at Margate sands." When this "worthy gentleman" entered his parent's tobacconist 220 ihop, K lliscicn "drove t he Indies of t he f amily n early r ound t he bend by rushing i n s hrieking i n terror 'Jack t he Ripper's i n the shop'." Middle-class boys as well as g irls i dentified the Ripper w ith the dangers of the street dangers that seemed to p enetrate the sanctity of the home, thanks to the cries of the newspaper boys hawking news of the latest Whitechapel horror and the avid interest of maidservants and nannies, who spread copies of illustrated S unday papers across the nursery table. The n ightly "fears and fantasies" of Jack the Ripper made the prospect of "going to bed almost unendurable," Compton Mackenzie recalled: Whitechapel became a word of dread, and I can recall the horror of reading "Whitechapel" at the bottom of the list of fares at the far end inside an o mnibus. Suppose the o mnibus should refuse to stop at Kensington High Street and go on with its passengers to Whitechapel? What could that Eminent Q.C. in his wig . . . do to save everybody inside that omnibus from being cut up by the k nife of Jack the R ipper?> Women's reaction to the events surrounding the Ripper murders were as diverse as men's, yet even more heavily overlaid by feelings of personal vulnerability. Women in Whitechapel were both fascinated and terrified by the murders: like their male counterparts, they bought up the latest editions of the half-penny evening newspapers; they gossiped about the gruesome details of the m urders; and they crowded into the waxwork exhibits and peep shows where representations of the murdered victims were on display. As we have seen, many also sympathized with the victims and came to the aid of prostitutes in their time of crisis. As one clergyman f rom Spitalfields remarked of the "fallen sisterhood": "these women are very good natured to each other. They are drawn together by a common danger and they will help each other all they can." Because the woman clubbed together, and because keepers of common lodging houses were generally "lenient" to regular customers, distress among prostitutes during the month of October was "not as great as one might expect," reported the Daily News.101 On the whole, respectable working women offered little collective resistance to p ublic male intimidation. I f ound accounts of two exceptions among match girls and marketwomen who were part of an autonomous female work culture. On t heir own territory, marketwomen could organize en masse: a n umber of women "calling out 'Leather Apron'," for instance, chased H enry Taylor when he threatened Mary Ann Perry with "ripping her up" in Clare market; and s imilar incidents occurred in Spitalfields market, nearby the Ripper murders. Marketwomen enjoyed an esprit de corps 221 CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER akin to that of the feisty, street-fighting matchmakers, who had just won a successful strike from the Bryant and May Match Factory, and who, according to one anonymous letter purporting to come from Jack the Ripper, openly bragged about catching him.102 Those women who could, stayed inside at night behind locked doori, but women who earned a living on the streets at nightprostitutesdid not have that luxury. Some left Whitechapel, even the East End, for good. Others applied to the casual wards of the workhouse. Some slowly went back to the streets, first in groups of two or three, then occasionally alone. They armed themselves, and although they "joked" about encountering Jack"I am the next for Jack," quipped one womanthey wereobviously terrified at the prospect. Some even went to prayer meetings to avoid remaining home alone at night. "Of course we are taking advantage of the terror," explained one Salvation Army lass.103 Another woman who took advantage of the terror was Henrietta Barnett, wife of Samuel Barnett of Toynbee Hall. Distressed at hearing women gossiping about the murders, she got up a petition to the Queen and, with the aid of board (state) schoolteachers and mission workers, obtained f our thousand signatures from the "Women of Whitechapel." The petition begged the Queen to call upon "your servants in authority" to close down the lodging houses where the murdered victims resided.104 Although not entirely absent from the Ripper mobilization, female moral reformers like Barnett occupied a subordinate role within it; they remained physically constrained within the female sphere and bent on keeping neighborhood women there as well, moving them inside into prayer meetings, out of earshot of salacious discussions of sex and violence, relinquishing public spaces and sexual knowledge to men. It is difficult to determine how much Barnett's petition truly represented the opinion of Whitechapel women. Jewish artisan wives regarded the women of the lodging houses as "nogoodnicks, prostitutes, old bags and drunks," but they still employed Catherine Eddowes and others like her to char and wash for them, to light their sabbath fires, sometimes even to m ind their children.105 There was a tense and fragile social ecology between rough and respectable elements in W hitechapel, one t hat could be easily upset by outside intervention. The m urders t hreatened the safety of respectable women; they u ndoubtedly strained class r elations in the neighborhood and intensified gender divisions. They t emporarily placed respectable women under "house arrest" and made them dependent on male protection. Local folklore, however, tested the spatial boundaries of gender erec- ted by the Ripper danjr. Familf stories, passed down among Jewish and Irish cockney residentsin the Wkitechapel area over three generations, accorded working-class women a more active role in the Ripper episode than did the night patrols of Whitechapel. These tales recount how "mother," forced to go out late oie "winttry" night either to obtain medicine for a sick child or to visit at ailing husband in the London Hospital, was accosted by a "stranger" in the darkness. After interrogating her about the nature of the medical emergency propelling her out of her home (or examining the visitor's card to the hospital), the mystery man realized she was "poor" but "honest" and let hergo. The next morning, two hundred yards down the road the "mutilated" body of a prostitute was found.106 "Mother Meets Jack the Ripper" vividly illustrates how working-class women organized their own identity around the figure of the prostitute, who served as a central spectacle in a set of urban encounters and fantasies. In public, a poor woman continually risked the danger of being mistaken for a prostitute; she had to demonstrate unceasingly in her dress, gestures, and movements that she was not a "low" woman. Like her middle-class counterpart, a working-class woman established her respectability through visual self-presentation and through her status as wife and mother.107 As a w ife and mother, the female protagonist in "Mother's" story claims i mmunity from the Ripper's knife. Although the tale vindicates female v irtue over female vice, it also establishes a certain identification with the plight of fallen women. Unlike the men in their civic tales of h unting down Jack the Ripper, "Mother" could insert herself into the drama only by impersonating a potential victim, who is resourceful enough to talk her way out of a difficult situation.108 "Mother's" story also draws on media fantasies of the Ripper as a dark representation of conflicted masculinity: the "midnight murderer" appears as a compelling but dangerous stranger, a savage/savant, knowledgeable about medical matters, able to interrogate and discern female virtue, yet capable of maniacal violence towards women of "evil life." Women outside of Whitechapel also took a keen interest in the murders. Queen Victoria repeatedly wrote into the Home Office and Scotland Yard w ith her pet theories, and actually forced Lord Salisbury to hold a cabinet meeting on a Saturday to consider the question of a reward. All across London, f emale m ediums tried their hands at armchair detection by calling up the spirits of the murdered women: at a private seance held in West K ilburn on October 16, the spirit of Annie Chapman directed the group to look to the " military medicals" who "want our bodies for a particular reason," "they w ant to find something." Female spiritualists re- CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER stricted their sleuthing to the seance circle, unlike the clairvoyant R. J. Lees, who claimed to have used his powers to track down the "mad doctor" at his West End mansion.109 At least one woman emulated the copycat activities of men and gained some notoriety from the case: at Bradford Police Court on 10 October 1888, a "respectable young woman, named Maria Coroner, aged twentyone, was charged with having certain letters tending to cause a breach of the peace; they were signed 'Jack the Ripper'." Like the Whitechapel mothers who encountered Jack the Ripper in the dead of night, one female correspondent believed that "respectable women like herself had nothing to fear from the Whitechapel murderer," as she thought it was true that he "respects and protects respectable females." This was, of course, the line taken by police officials, who expressed amazement at what they regarded as the widespread female hysteria over the murders, since they were perpetrated only on prostitutes.110 For many women, this was small comfort. While many middle-class women were determined to resist the panic and to assert their right to traverse public places, female vulnerability extended well beyond the boundaries of Whitechapel. Mary Hughes, a secondary-school teacher who lived in the West End in 1888, recalled "how terrified and unbalanced we all were by the murders. It seemed to be round the corner, although it all happened in the East End, and we were in the West; but even so, I was afraid to go out after dark, if o nly to post a letter. Just as dusk came on we used to hear down our quiet and ultra-respectable Edith road the cries of newspaper boys in tones made as alarming as they could: 'Another 'orrible murder ... Whitechapel! Disgustin'details. . . . Murder!'"111 What about the politicized edge of middle-class womanhood, the feminists? Did they mount any counterattack? Josephine Butler and others expressed concern that the uproar over the murders would lead to the repression of brothels and subsequent homelessness of women. In so doing, they broke with more repressive p urity advocates who were totally indifferent to the fate of the victims and to the rights of prostitutes. In the end, only the strict libertarians, female and male, came forward to defend prostitutes as human beings, with personal rights and liberties. "Not till the personal rights of the poor p ariahs are counted as worthy of recognition and defense as, let us say, those of their patrons, w ill m ankind [be on| the road towards the extinction of this evil," declared t he Personal Rights Journal.1U Some female publicists also .used the occasion to air f eminist c ritiques of male violence in regard to medical sadism and w ife-beating. Frances Power Cobbe enthusiastically entered into the f ray; s peculating t hat the murderer was a "physiologist delirious w ith cruelty," she c alled for the use of f emale detectives whose "mother wit" would guide them to the m urderer. The only piece of feminist anger against male violence to receive extensive coverage appeared in the pages of the Liberal Daily News. The Whitechapel murders were not j ust homicides but "womenkilling," declared Florence Fenwick Miller, London journalist and " platform woman," in her letter to the editor. Researching the police columns, she concluded that attacks on prostitutes were not different from other violent assaults on women by men. They were not isolated events but a part of a "constant but ever increasing series of cruelties" perpetrated against women and treated leniently by judges.113 Miller's letter generated a small f lurry of responses supportive of her position and calling for women's economic and political emancipation. Kate Mitchell, a physician and feminist, applauded Miller's letter and cited the case, mentioned above, of James Henderson, who was let off with a fine of forty shillings after severely beating a prostitute. Unless women were publicly emancipated, argued Mitchell, they would remain "ciphers" in the land and subject to male physical abuse. The letters made an important association between public and domestic violence against women, but it would be a mistake to exaggerate their political impact. They remained isolated interventions in an overwhelmingly male-dominated debate; they were discounted or ignored by other dailies and failed to mobilize women over the issues.114 The Radical Star, whose pages were open to socialists, disagreed with Miller. "It is the class question rather than the sex question that is the issue in this matter." The Star's opposition of class and sex signaled a tendency among Victorians to conceptualize social problems and identities as stark dichotomies, rather than as multiple and intersecting determinants. Commenting on the Whitechapel murders in their own journals, prominent socialists like William Morris and H. M. Hyndman also refused to address the issue of sex antagonism; they tended to see gender oppression as a result of capitalist productive relations alone. For all their contempt for the proprietary press, the socialists' assessment of the murdered prostitutes as "unsexed," dehumanized "creatures" who had "violated their womanhood for the price of a night's lodging" was remarkably similar to that of the conservative and misogynist Morning Post and The Times. To distinguish themselves from the bourgeois press, socialists would have had to overcome t heir ambivalence towards prostitutes and the unrespectable poor of Whitechapel and address the subject of male dominance.115 The W hitechapel h orrors provoked multiple and contradictory responses, e xpressive of i mportant c ultural and social divisions within Victorian s ociety. N onetheless, the a lternative perspectivesof feminists and CHAPTER SEVEN JACK THE RIPPER libertarians, of the Whitechapel poor themselveswere ultimately subordinated to a dominant discussion in the media, one that was shaped and articulated by those people in positions of power, namely, male professional experts. Within this dominant discourse, the discussion of class, particularly of a dangerous class marked off from respectable citizens and the "people" of London, was more explicit and self-conscious than that of gender. In part, this fact relates to the precise moment of class anxiety when Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of London. The events in Whitechapel could be easily slotted into the "Outcast London" theme. They reinforced prevailing prejudices about the East End as a strange territory of savages, a social abyss, an inferno. The Times might well w ring its hands about the responsibility of "our social organization" for spawning the crimes, but this momentary soul-searching was readily domesticated into an attack on the symptoms, rather than on the causes, of urban poverty.116 Throughout the "autumn of terror," one theme overshadowed all the other proposals to cure the social ills of Whitechapel: the necessity of slum clearance and the need to purge the lawless population of the common lodging houses from the neighborhood.117 "Those of us who know Whitechapel know that the impulse that makes for m urder is abroad in our streets every night," declared two Toynbee Hall residents.118 The "disorderly and depraved lives of the women," observed Canon Barnett, were more "appalling" than the actual murders.119 Men like Barnett finally dominated public opinion and consolidated it behind razing the common lodging houses of the Flower and Dean Street area. The notoriety of the street impelled the respectable ownersthe Henderson f amily to sell their property as soon as the leases were up. The Rothschild Buildings (1892), for respectable Jewish artisans and their families, appeared over the site of the lodging houses where Catherine Eddowes and Elizabeth Stride once lived. Prostitutes and their fellow lodgers were thus rendered homeless and forced to migrate to the few remaining rough streets in the neighborhood. Through the surveillance of the vigilance committees and through this "urban renewal," the murders helped to intensify repressive activity already under way in the Whitechapel area.120 Such reform-minded responses coincided with a general dissipation of middle-class fears of "Outcast London." The disciplined and orderly 1889 dock strike persuaded many respectable observers that the East End poor were indeed salvageable because they could be organized i nto u nions. Meanwhile, Charles Booth's massive survey of East London, also published in 1889, graphically demonstrated how s mall and u nrepresentative the "criminal" population of the Flower and Dean Street rookery a ctually was. When another Ripper-like m urder occurred in J uly 1889 in White- chapel, newspaper coverage was far less sensational and relentless. In class terms, the immediate crisis had passed.121 The Ripper Legacy Sexual fears and hostilities, on the other hand, were less satisfactorily allayed. After Mary Kelly's death, the police, finding themselves completely at sea, dropped the whole matter in the lap of Dr. Thomas Bond, syphilologist and expert in forensic medicine, asking him to provide them with a psychological profile of the murderer. In his letter to Scotland Yard, Bond pronounced the series of "five murders," beginning with Polly Nicholls and ending with Mary Kelly, to be the "work of one hand." Bond discounted the possibility that the culprit was a revengeful religious fanatic or that the mutilations demonstrated "scientific or anatomical knowledge." The murderer, Bond explained, was s uffering f rom "satyriasis" (i.e. he was oversexed and resorted to violence to satisfy his excessive sexual cravings). In external appearance, he might well be a "quiet, inoffensive man probably middle-aged, and neatly and respectably dressed." " . . . he would be solitary and eccentric in his habits, since he is most likely to be a man without regular occupation, but with some small income or pension."122 To construct this profile, Bond relied on newspaper theories of an erotic maniac leading a "Jekyll and Hyde" double life, as well as on emerging typologies of sex crime f ormulated by Continental sexologists like Krafft-Ebing. Newspaper coverage of the Ripper murders not only helped to popularize expert medical opinion on sexual pathology; it also provided narrative materials that sexologists would process into the most notorious case history of sex crime to date. Contemporaneous with Bond's report there began a public recycling of Jack the Ripper as a medical specimen. In November and December 1888, two articles appeared in American medical j ournals, "Sexual Perversion and the Whitechapel Murders," by Dr. James Kiernan, and "The Whitechapel Murders: Their Medico-Legal and Historical Aspects," by Dr. E. C. Spitzka. Both articles catalogued prior case histories of "lust murder" to counter the impression that the murders were unprecedented in the a nnals of crime; and both located the Ripper along a spectrum of contemporary perverts, from female masturbators and "urnings" of both sexes, to the exclusively male perpetrators of "lust murder" and sexual sadism ( including reference to the "Minotaur" of the "Maiden Tribute"). Both relied on newspaper accounts of postmortem reports of the m utilations and m urders to diagnose the criminal; both remained u ndecided as to " his" legal responsibility, w hether his actions were the result of c ongenital disease or a cquired vic-e. In the p ublished Jack the C H A I' I F R S I- V ! N Ripper letters that forecast more m urders to follow, Spitzka f ound "the genuine expression of intention" to be at v ariance with any diagnosis of "impulsive," "periodical," or "epileptic insanity." Spitzka was quite taken with the discursive propensities of the murderer, a 'speaking pervert' who communicated his 'truth' to the reading public: "It would not be the first time that a subject of sexual perversion had entered the lists as a writer," he insisted, "no artifice . . . would be too cunning for one of this class." Drawing on the writings of Spitzka and K iernan, K rafft-Ebing included the Ripper in his next edition of Psychopathia Sexualis, as a clinical specimenthe most famous clinical specimenof lust m urder. From newspaper accounts that linked a monstrous crime and a monstrous individual to a monstrous social environment, the Ripper story was reduced to a notorious case history of an i ndividual erotic maniac, whose activities were seemingly unconnected to n ormal interactions of men and women.'23 The social context of the Ripper's exploits, however, has not disappeared from twentieth-century representation, although it too has undergone a mythic revision. The Whitechapel murders have continued to provide a common vocabulary of male violence against women, a vocabulary now more than one hundred years old. Its persistence owes much to the mass media's exploitation of Ripper iconography. Depictions of female mutilation in mainstream cinema, celebrations of the Ripper as a "hero" of crime intensify fears of male violence and convince women that they are helpless victims. Changing historical circumstances, however, can provoke and enable a d ifferent response to these media productions. The case of the Yorkshire Ripper, to be considered in the epilogue, constitutes a latetwentieth-century 'replay' of the Ripper episode t hat engendered a different political reaction from contemporary British feminists, who took to the streets to protest the crimes and the media amplification of the terror. NOTES TO PACKS iK8 - 91 IIHICS, "Working-Class Culture a nd W orking-Class Politics i n London," 1 870 i 'xjo: Notes on the R emaking of a W orking (;lass," in languages of ('lass: Studies in English Working-Class History 1812-19X2 (Cambridge: ( Cambridge University hvss, 1 983), pp. 12.5-2.7. 106. Historians have noted a high degree ot gender conflict and gender con.iiousness a mong d ifferent classes i n l ate-Victorian s ociety; b ut t hey h ave y et to i u inpare t heir d ifferent m eanings o r to explore t he r elationship a mong t he c ultural lurms they took. 107. Treherne, Plaintiff, p. 118. 108. For a discussion of n ineteenth-century women and spectacle, see Abigail Si i lomon G odeau, "The Legs of the Countess," October 39 ( Winter 1 986): 66-108. 109. Grierson, Storm Bird, p. 2.2,3. i 10. See Marion Meade, Madame Blavatsky: The Woman Behind the Myth (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1980); Diana B urford, "Theosophy and Feminism," in Pat Holden, ed., Women's Religious Experience (London: Croom Helm, 11)83), pp. 1756; Edward Maitland, Anna Kingsford: Her Life, Letters, Diary ,iiul Work z vols. (London: G. Redway, 1896); Joy Dixon, "Theosophy and Feminism i n L ate-Nineteenth Century a nd E arly Twentieth Century England (unpublished paper, 1987). i n . Shortt, "Physicians a nd Psychics," p p. 354, 355. 11 z. Owen, The Darkened Room, p. 167, argues for the a batement of m edical .uuagonism toward " mediumship pathology" because, by the 1890*, B ritish psychiatrists themselves had begun to use hypnosis. At the t ime of Mrs. Weldon's c ampaign, articles in the Law Times emphasized the practical lessons in s elf-restraint doctors had begun to d raw from the Winslow and Semple trials: "The L unacy Laws," 77 (1884): 373; "The Reform of the Lunacy Laws," 8 ( 1885): 196. 113. Coral Lansbury, The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England ( Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985). 114. Winslow, Recollections, pp. 151, Z 5Z. A ccording to D onald M cCormick (The Identity of ]ack the Ripper), "All the detectives working on the case k new |Winslowl and at one t ime his u biquity at the scene of the c rimes caused them to check up on his movements." Quoted in Tom C ullen, Autumn of Terror: lack the Hipper, His Crimes and Times (London: Bodley Head, 1965), p. 9 i . 115. "The Spirits on the W hitechapel Murders," Medium and Daybreak, 5 Oct. 1888; "Mrs. Nichols Controls," t z Oct. 1888; "Notes and Comments," 19 Oct. 1 888. Chapter Seven i. This is an extensively revised version of an article, "Jack the R ipper and the Myth of Male Violence," Feminist Studies 8 (Fall i 98z): 54Z-74. PMC, i Oct. i 888. Quoted in J erry White, Rothschild Buildings: Life in an East End Tenement Mock, / SX/- 7 920 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1980), p. z6. z. The n umber of m urder victims credited to Jack the R ipper was contested at the t ime a nd is s till s ubject t o dispute. During t he " autumn o f terror," t wo e arlier murders of p rostitutes were i nitially connected retrospectively with the five m urders; two s ubsequent murders in 1889 and 1891 were subsequently linked to the jo i NOTES TO PAGES 193 - 96 NOTES TO l> A C , H S E y f, ...,. Ripper. However, two official reports, one by Police Commissioner McNagliioit and a nother by a forensic specialist, Dr. Thomas Bond, asserted that only these f iv? homicides bore the m arks of a single killer. See, Mepo 3 /141, 10 Nov. 1888; Sir Melville M cNaghton letter, quoted in f ull in Donald Rumbelow, The Cow/>lrti> Jack the Ripper (New York: New American Library, 1975), pp. 13133. 3. Dozens of books have been written on Jack the Ripper. They i nclude Leonard W. Matters, The Mystery of Jack the Ripper (London: Hutchinson, 1929)1 Daniel farson, Jack the Ripper (London: Sphere Book Limited, 1 973); Tom C ullcn, Autumn of Terror: jack the Ripper His Crimes and Times (London: Bodley Head, 1965); E lwyn Jones, ed., Ripper File (London: Barker, 1975). A whole new crop ol Ripper books appeared in h onor of the 1988 Ripper centenary, many of them new editions of books first p ublished in the 19708. They include Martin Howell a mi Keith S kinner, The Ripper Legacy: The Life and Death of Jack the Ripper ( London; Sidgwick and Jackson, 1987); Colin Wilson and Robin Odell, Jack the Ripper: Summing Up the Verdict (London: B antam Press, 1989); D onald Rumbelow, Cow pletejack the Ripper; Terence Starkey,/ac& the Ripper: 100 Years of Investigation: The Facts, the Fiction, the Solution (London: Ward Lock, 1987); Martin Fido, The Crimes, Detection, and Death of jack the Ripper (London: Weidenfeld ami Nicolson, 1987). A few c ultural critics have attempted a more serious exploration of the Ripper story. They include Christopher Frayling, "The House that Jack Built," in S ylvia Tomaselli and Roy Porter, eds., Rape ( Oxford: Basil Black w ell, 1986), pp. 1 742.1 5; Deborah Cameron and E lizabeth Eraser, Lustto Kill: A Feminist Investigation of Sexual Murder (New York: New York U niversity Press, 1987); Jane C aputi, The Age of Sex Crime (Bowling Green: Bowling Green State U niversity Popular Press, 1987). 4. Quoted in W hite, Rothschild Buildings, p. 7. 5. W. J. E ishman, East End 1888: Life in a London Borough among the Laboring Poor ( Philadelphia: Temple U niversity Press, 1 988); David Widgery, "History w ithout its A itches " [ review of East End 1888], New Statesman & Society ( \ 7 June 1988): 3 9,40; White, Rothschild Buildings, p. 26. 6. "The East End Atrocities," London City Mission Magazine ( i Dec. 1888): 25860; C haim B ermant, Point of Arrival: A Study of London's East End ( London, M ethuen, 1 975), p. i 88; Charles Booth, Life and Labour of the People in London, 17 vols., i st series: Poverty, in 4 vols. ( 18891903; rpt., }d ed., New York: M acmillan, 1 9023), 1 :6668. 7. DT, 10 September 1888; ELO, 27 J uly i 889; Quoted in W hite, Rothschild Buildings, p. 8; A rthur Harding, quoted in East End Underworld: Chapters in the Life of Arthur Harding, ed. R aphael Samuel (London: Routledge and Kegan P aul, 1981), p. i 10. 8. The Times, 2 Oct. i 888; DC, 19 Sept. i 888. 9. On an " argument from geography," see M andy Merck, " Sutcliffe: W hat the Papers Said," Spare Rib no. 108 ( July 1 981): 17. On L amarckian i nterpretations of the m urder site, see The limes, q uoted in Earson,/c& the Ripper, p. 100, and The Curse upon Mitre Square, quoted in i bid., p. 99. 10. The Times, q uoted in arson,Jack the Ripper, p. 100; DT, q uoted in i bid., p. 101. i i . LWN, 7 Oct. 1888; Rosemary Jackson, Fantasy: I he Liici,tiu>, ../ '.!,,, n'li ( London and New York: Methuen, 1981), pp. 25, 26. 12. RN, i Oct. i 888;Ecfco, 19 Oct. 1888; ELA, 15 S ept. i S X X . 1 3 . DT, 2 Oct. T888; Star, 14 Sept. 1888. 14. " MurderAnd More to Follow," PMG, 8 Oct. 1888; DT, i On. i X . s u , './,(;, 4 Oct. 1888; Walter Dew, I Caught Crippen ( London: B lackieandSon, i < H K ) , / > < : , 1 1 Sept. 1888. i 5. For a discussion of the "sex beast," see Cameron and Fraser, Lust to Kill, l>|). 5 544. For Gothic images in the press, see LWN, 7 Oct. 1888; DC, 10 Sept. i S 88; DT, 2 Oct. 1888. For " talk" of black magic, see Dew, / Caught Crippen, p. 16. C ameron and Fraser, Lust to Kill, p. 12.7; Michel Foucault, The History of \t'\nality, vol. i , An Introduction, t ranslated by Robert Hurley (New York: Panilicon, 1985), p. 56. 17. "The Whitechapel Murders," Lancet (29 Sept. 1888): 637. 18. Peter Stallybrass and A llon White, The Politics and Poetics ofTransgresKtn ( Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1986), pp. 20-23. 19. M arina Warner, Monuments and Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form (New York: Atheneum, 1985); Nancy Armstrong, "The Occidental Alice," Differences 2, no. 2 ( Summer 1990): 14; The Times, quoted in Ripper File, p. 49; Si.illybrassand White, Politics and Poetics, p. 23. 10. A lain C orbin, "Commercial Sexuality in N ineteenth-Century France: A System of Images and Regulation," in The Making of the Modern Body: Sexuality ,i>id Society in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Catherine Gallagher and Thomas l.aqueur (Berkeley: U niversity of C alifornia Press, 1987), pp. 209-18; ES, 9 Nov. i 8 88; RN, 2 Sept. 1888; PMG, quoted in Farson,/<3icfc the Ripper, p. 47. 21. E laine Showalter, Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siecle (New York: V iking, 1990), p. 127; J udith R. Walkowitz, Prostitution and Victorian Society: Women, Class, and the State (New York: Cambridge U niversity Press, 1980); R. M. McLeod, "Law, Medicine, and Public Opinion: The Resistance to Compulsory Health Legislation, 18701901," Public Law ( 1967): 1 89211; R. D. French, Antivivisection and Medical Science in Victorian Society (Princeton: Princeton U niversity Press, 1975), chap. 1 1; Coral Lansbury, The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England ( Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1 985); M ary A nn E lston, "Women a nd A ntivivisection i n Victorian E ngland, 1870 1900," in N icholas Rupke, ed., Vivisection in Historical Perspective ( London: Croom H elm, 1987), pp. 2 5989. 22. All the l etters are collected in Mepo. 3 /142. Sir Robert Anderson, Tin' Lighter Part of My Official Life ( London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910), p. i 18; H.O. i 44/A4930iC/8a, 2 3 Oct. 1888; Mepo. 3 /142; S ir M elville M cNai'liion. Days of My Years (London: Edward Arnold, 1 915), pp. 58, 59; Star, q uoted m Rumbelow, The Complete Jack the Ripper, p. 93; C aputi, Age of Sex Crime. |< > i 23. I ronically, t he assumption o f a " familiar" p attern w as m ade ; it t in- u mr nl i i 8 89 m urder inquest when t he homicide w as i ncorrectly associated w u l i i l i r M 1 1 i l crimes o f the R ipper. ELA, Aug. 1889; Daily Chronicle, Nov. 10, i X X X ; / > / , i Sept. i X X S j / ' M G , l oSt-pt. 1 888. 102 ("i N OT HS TO PACES 2. o N OTKS TO 1' A ( , H S n.t, , .. .>..t. I'MC,, 19 Sept. 1888; DC, l oSept. 1888. 25. Commonweal, 13 Nov. 1888; The Times, 18 Sept. 1888; i Oct. 1888; 1 1 Oct. i 888; Judith R. Walkowitz, "The Politics of P rostitution," Signs 6 ( Autumn 1980): i 2 427. 2.6. R uth Harris, "Melodrama, Hysteria and F eminine Crimes of Passion in the Fin-de-Siecle," History Workshop 25 ( Spring 1 988): 32, 33. 27. The Times, i Sept. 1888; Star, i Sept. 1888; Penny Illustrated News and The Times, quoted in H arris, Jack the Ripper, pp. 18, 19; Howells and S kinner, Ripper Legacy, p. 4. In the two p revious homicides, for e xample, Emma S mith l ived to tell her story of b eing beaten, robbed, and assaulted by f our m en, while M artha Tabram received 39 bayonet wounds, rather than k nife w ounds to the a bdomen, as suffered by N icholls and some later Ripper v ictims. Nonetheless, both the Star a nd the PMG stressed the " SIGNIFICANT SIMILARITY" between the N icholls m inder and the "two mysterious murders of women." Star, i Sept. i 888; PMG, 3 S ept, 1888. T hanks to J ennifer Pugh for these observations. z8. H.O. i 44/22o/A493oic/8a, 23 Oct. 1888. 29. B ermant, Point of Arrival, chap. 9; W hite, Rothschild Buildings, chap, i ; Jewish Chronicle, 5 Oct. 1888. 30. For a s ummary of c ontemporary parliamentary discussion on r estricting immigration, see F ishman, East End, pp. 1 4447. For press coverage of L eather Apron, see Star, 7 Sept. 1888; "The Horrors of the East End," PMG, 8 Sept. 1888; LWN, 9 Sept. 1888. 31. It is s ignificant t hat Pizer, the man accused of b eing Leather Apron, used the occasion of A nnie C hapman's inquest to v indicate h imselfan e xample of the way the poor used legal occasions and spaces for t heir own purposes and to o btain a public h earing. See J ennifer D avis, "A Poor Man's System of J ustice: The London Police C ourts in the Second H alf of the N ineteenth Century," The Historical Journal 27 (no. 2) ( 1984): 309-35. }i. B ermant, Point of Arrival, pp. 1 1018. 33. ELO, 15 Sept. 1888. 34. M ichael I. F riedland, The Trials of Israel Lipski ( London: M acmillan, ,984). 35. It was also generalized into a t erm of a buse applied to t hreatening husbands. 36. DC, TO Sept. 1888. 37. A fter the Illustrated Police News p ublished a woodcut of L eather A pron, one man r esembling t he p icture f ound h imself s urrounded b y a m enacing crowd. Into t he n ineties, children s till t aunted strangers w ith b eing Leather A pron; L eather Apron toffee became a local East End specialty. Varson, Jack the Ripper, p. 2 5. 38. Fido, The Crimes, p. 6 ^ ; Jewish Chronicle, 5 Oct. 1888; S amuel M ontagu to the Editor, PMG, 15 Oct. 1888. 39. H.O. i 44/22o/A493ioC/8C a nd 1 5; A 4930iD/5; Ripper Hie, p . 1 3 5 ; Bermant, Point of Arrival, pp. i 1 1 18. 40. DT, quoted in atson,Jack the Ripper, p. 1 01; "The Nemesis of N eglect," Punch, 29 Sept. 1888; "Undiscovered Crimes," Star, 10 Sept. 1888; " Crime in Whitechapel," Star, 14 Sept. 1888; "The Insecurity of Our Streets," DC., \ 4 S ept. 504 i K 88; "S.G.O." to the Editor, The Times, 22 Sept. i 8 8K. So dr.. n . .i , ,i,,,i, i dwelling p lans in letters on "A Safe Four Percent," D T, 2 2 S ept. I H H H 41. " Murder a nd More t o Follow," P MG, 8 S ept. i K K N ; U nlit H I , ,,n 'icvcnson, Doctor Jekyll a nd Mr. Hyde, w ith a n i ntroduction l > \ A l > i . i l i . n n Knthberg (New York: Bantam, 1967; f irst edition, 1886), p . 78 ( .ill o uiiuii'. l i m n ihe novel come f rom this edition); Paul Wilstach, Richard Mans/icld, tin- M.m .in,I 11 n' Actor (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908); H arry M .Geduld, l u t m d i i i lion, in H arry M. Geduld, ed., The Definitive "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" ( .Vm//M 11 ion ( Garland: New York and London, 1983), p. 12; " Richard M ansfield, v ol. H," Robinson Locke Collection, New York Public Library. 42. " Murder and More to Follow," PMG, 8 Sept. 1888. 43. "Occasional Notes," P MG, i cSept. 1888. 44. Star, i 6Sept. i 888;DT, 22 Sept. 1888. The East London Advertiser pronounced the J ekyll and Hyde theory an " enduring t heory" ( 13 Oct. 1 888). On the Closing down of the play, see Rumbelow, Complete Jack the R ipper ( 1975), p. 124. 45. F rayling, "The House," p. 197. 46. C ameron and Eraser, Lust to Kill, p. 127. 47. Psychopathia Sexualis grew f rom 45 case histories and 110 pages in i 886 10 238 h istories and 437 pages by the t welfth edition in 1903. See J effrey Weeks, Sexuality and Its Discontents: Meanings, Myths, and Modern Sexualities ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1 985), p. 67. 48. Weeks, Sexuality and Its Discontents, p. 67. 49. T hanks to Susan Maslin for these observations. 50. Dr. R. von K rafft-Ebing, Psychopathia Sexualis: With Especial Reference to Contrary Sexual Instinct: A Medico-Legal Study, t rans. Charles G ilbert Chaddock ( Philadelphia: F. A. D avis, 1892), pp. i , 56. 5 i . Ibid., p. 378. As Sander Gilman observes, K rafft-Ebing's view of p erver sion as i ntrinsic to m odern l ife d iffered f rom the e volutionary view of e arlier s exolo gists, who tended to treat sexual perversions as t hrowbacks to an e arlier s exual primitivism, as " ambiguous eddies" within a l inear h istory of progress. " Sexology and Psychoanalysis," i n J. Edward C hamberlain a nd S ander Gilman, eds., / > < generation: The Dark Side of Progress ( New Y ork: C olumbia U niversity Press, 1985), pp. 7 5-7952. K rafft-Ebing, Psychopathia Sexualis, p. 57. 53. I bid., pp. i 3, 60. 54. Forbes W inslow to the E ditor, The Times, i 2 Sept. 1888; Recollection!- <>/ I'orty Years ( London: ). Ousley, i 9 1 o), p. 270. <j < >. Lancet, e xcerpted in Jones, Ripper I'ile, p. 26; Coroner Baxter, e xcerpted in i bid., p . ^ i . 56. B axter, e xcerpted in Jones, Ripper Hie, pp. 3 1, 24, 25. 57. "The Whitechapel Murders," Lancet, Sept. 2 9, 1 888: 6 37; "The W hile chapel M urders," LN, 17 Sept. 1888. 58. A ntivivisection w as a c ampaign with n o " landmarks," t hat r eached n o great c limax, t hat w as f ought i n the h earts a nd m inds o f V ictorians w itli t ew i nstil u tional a nd legal results. Nonetheless, t he a mount o f p ropaganda l iterature c hurned out by Cobhe's o rganization i s staggering: i n 1 885 a lone, V ictoria S treet p ut o ut NOTES TO PAGE zio NOTES TO P A G E S no - 14 81,672 books, pamphlets, and leaflets (French, Anti-Vivisection, pp. 255, 256), Though the press remained overwhelmingly hostile to Cobbe and her fellow a gita tors, antivivisection tropes and iconography pervaded popular j ournalism and lie tion. Indignant opponents of the "Maiden Tribute," for e xample, accused S trati of "moral vivisection" for i mposing the gynecological examination of Eli*a Armstrong. Stead himself made ready use of a ntivivisectionist r hetoric in his cm sades against sexually dangerous men. In 1887, he introduced Edwin L angsworthy to his readers as a privileged sadist who amused himself by t orturing cats before he extended his "cruel sport" to his bride, a "refined and cultivated lady." Quoted i n Raymond L. Schults, Crusader in Babylon: W. T. Stead and the Pall Mall Gazette (Lincoln, N ebraska: University of N ebraska Press, 1972.), pp. 2 12, 213. 59. Frances Power Cobbe, Life of Frances Power Cobbe, 2 vols. (Boston: Houghton M ifflin, 1895), 2:607. 60, A uthored by Edward Berdoe, an East End doctor and close collaborator < i| Cobbe, St. Bernard's was a t hinly disguised autobiographical account of Berdoe's own t raining at the London Hospital. Its p ublication caused quite a sensation: over fifty reviews of the novel appeared, some denouncing it as a "gross c alumny" u pon the medical profession, others concerned and a ppalled by its expose of doctors M "monsters of cruelty" and of h ospitals as "hotbeds of corruption and c ruelty," Edward Berdoe, St. Bernard's: The Romance of a Medical Student (London: S wan, Sonnenschein, 1887); Edward Berdoe, Dying Scientifically: A Key to St. Bernard's (London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1888); Coral L ansbury, The Old Brown /)<>#.' Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England (Madison: U niversity ol Wisconsin Press, ^85), c hap. 10. 61. O rvilla Moscucci, The Science of Woman: Gynecology and Gender in En gland 18001929 ( Cambridge: Cambridge U niversity Press, 1990). Already s tun^ by p ublic criticism over lunacy confinement and the medical "rape" of registered prostitutes, doctors responded to t his propagandist assault by d efending a nimal experimentation as a sacred cause to be u pheld against quacks and religious la natics. They also countered with their own i nterpretation of the medical invasion ol innocent "feminized" bodies. Medical publicists acknowledged the e xperimental link between women's bodies and those of l aboratory animals, but they d efended the violation of the latter to preserve the h ealth of the f ormer. It was precisely hi1 cause t he "public" demanded such m edical intervention into f emale bodies t hai animal experimentation was necessary, declared one gynecologist, Mr. S pencer Wells, who pointed to surgical advances in o variotomy gained f rom a nimal ex p eri mentation. Wells complained of p ublic ingratitude: "the p ublic d emands of us l o save the lives of their wives and daughters and forces upon us o perations u ndreamt of from their very severity even a few years ago" ("Vivisection and O variotomy," BMJ, 22 Jan. 1881, p. 1 33). The s ymbolic struggle between a ntiviviscctionists and their medical opponents escalated s ignificantly in the 188os, as did the s tatistics on antivivisection experiments: i n 1879, there were 2 70 v ivisections i n G reat B r i t a i n ; ten years later there were i ,417. However, some doctors remained uneasy about the l ink between v ivisection and ovariotomy. Because the ovaries were deemed the " grand organs" ol f emale identity, medical spokesmen expressed fears t hat t heir s urgical r emoval w ould l in i he "unsexing" of women: there was a widespread feeling, argued the British \\rdical Journal in 1887, that the ovaries of women should be respected b ecause ilu-y were "the organs of sexual l ife, m aking a woman what she is, f itted for t he i l u t i e s o f womanhood, including c hildbearing." "Normal Ovariotomy: B attey's operation: Tail's operation," BMJ, i ( 1887): 5 7677. Moscuccci, Scicinc <>/ Woman, pp. 134, 157. 62. Archibald Forbes to the Editor, DN, 3 Oct. 1888. 63. This venereal anxiety also coincided with a more explicit thernati/.iii)* ol i l ie danger of "syphilis of the innocents," as expressed in works like Ibsen's Ghost* nul the New Women novels of the 18905. Showalter, Sexual Anarchy; A lain i u rhin, Women for Hire: Prostitution and Sexuality in France after r 8jo, t rans. Alan S heridan (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1990), p. 249. 64. Alex Comfort, The Anxiety Makers: Some Curious Preoccupations of / />c Medical Profession (London: Nelson, 1967). 65. Dr. Phillips, testimony at Chapman's inquest, excerpted in Jones, Rifi/iri I ill', p. 25. .' 66. D. G. Halsted, Doctor in the Nineties (London: Christopher Johnson, ")S9), P -4 8 67. Foucault, History of Sexuality, vol. i . 68. As L udmilla Jordanova observes, because doctors regularly executed t asks which would "in n ormal circumstances be taboo or emotionally repugnant," t hey had to renegotiate "body taboos" by presenting themselves "as r ational, s cientilii. in a lliance with polite culture and clean." Ludmilla Jordanova, Sexual Vision; (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989), p. 13 8. Thanks to A ndrew B razen .ind Kim Thompson for some of these observations. 69. In a ddition, later media coverage "democratized" knowledge by r eporim) mi the extent and n ature of the mutilations. Star, i Oct. 1888; Fido, The Crinn-. pp. 7080. 70. George Bernard Shaw, "Blood Money to Whitechapel," letter to the r.di u>r, Star, 24 Sept. 1888. 71. DT, 4 Oct. 1888. 72. H.O. i 44/22o/A4930iC/8a, 23 Oct. 1888; Echo, 14 Sept. 1888. 73. Frederick Porter Wensley, Detected Days (London: Cassell, 1 931), p. i . 'K I l alstcd, Doctor in the Nineties, p. 4 5. 74. DC, i 5 Sept. 1888; DT, 2, 4 Oct. 1888; DN, 9 Oct. 1888; H alsted,/),., tar in the Nineties, p. 48. 75. "The East End M urders: Detailed Lessons," KM] (6 Oct. i 8 88): jh>). 76. W alkowitz, " Politics of P rostitution," pp. 1 2930; J osephine l lutlei i Miss P riestman, 5 Nov. 1896, B utler C ollection, Fawcett L ibrary, C ity ol l .omlu Polytechnic, L ondon; Mrs. H. O. R. B arnett, Canon Barnett: His Life, Work-, ,111 I'liciuls by His Wife, z vols. (London: Murray, 1 921), 2 :3058. 77. The Times, 6 Oct. 1888; Dew, I Caught Crippen, p. 107; / {/.(), i s Scp i S K S ; H alsted, Doctor i n the Nineties, p p. 54, 55; Me-po. 3 /140; 1:1.0. i ( ( > > 1888; DN, 6, i 5 Oct. i 888; F..S', 6 Oct. 1888. 78. V ictor T urner, "Social D ramas a nd Stories a bout T hem," ('.ritual In,\ini , m i. i ( i < )8o): i .J i (18. NOTES TO PAGES 115 - NOTES TO P A (. I - S . i 79. John Kelly, t estimony at C atherine Eddowes' inquest, excerpted in Jones, Ripper File, p. 51. 80. DC, 10 Nov. i 888;DT, j oNov. 1888. 81. "The T errible Crime," Echo, 10 Nov. 1888; DC, 10 Nov. 1888; "The Whitechapel Horrors," ELO, 13 Oct. 1888. 82.. Quoted in Howells and S kinner, Ripper Legacy, p. 112. 83. "Reign of Terror in t he East End," ELO, i 5Sept. 1888. 84. "East End Horrors," LWN, 7 Oct. 1888; DT, 4 Oct. 1888; Harris, Jack the Ripper, pp. 23, 2.4; R umbelow, The Complete Jack the Ripper, pp. 74, 75. 85. M atters, Mystery of Jack the Ripper, p. 2 43. "I k new Marie quite w ell by sight," declared Walter Dew, who had been a constable in W hitechapel in 1888. "Often 1 had seen her p arading along Commercial Street . . . in the c ompany of two others of her k ind, f airly n eatly dressed and i nvariably w earing a c lean w hite apron, but no h at." Dew, / Caught Crippen. 86. " Whitechapel: Important Evidence at the I nquest Today," Star, 12. Nov. 1888. 87. R umbelow, Complete Jack the Ripper, pp. 88, 89. The t ransition to the East End a lways proved a d ifficult n arrative move: "By some means, however, at present n ot e xactly clear, s he s uddenly d rifted i nto t he East End." "Whitechapel," Star, 12 Nov. 1888. 88. George H utchinson, deposition, reproduced in Wilson and Ode\\,Jack the Ripper, p. 6 3; Fido, The Crimes, p. 178. 89. Star, 8 Sept. 1 888. 90. ES, 9 Nov. 1 888; DC,', 18 Sept. 1 888; Police Illustrated News, 3 Nov., i Dec. 1 888; WIT, 6 Nov. 1 888; "G.S.O." to the E ditor, The Times, i zSept. 1888; letter to the Editor, SJC, i z Nov. 1 888. 91. It s hould be noted that m ale l ibertarians came to the defense of prostitutes in the pages of the Personal Rights Journal (Nov. 1888), pp. 69, 76, 84. 91. The Times, 12. Nov. 1888. 93. C ullen, Autumn of Terror, p. 78; Echo, i , z, 3 Oct. 1888; ELO, 6 Oct. i 888; MP, 4 Oct. 1888. 94. On m arital cruelty in m iddle-class households, see A. James Hammerton, "Victorian Marriage and the Law of M atrimonial Cruelty," Victorian Studies 33, no. i ( Winter 1990): 26992.. 95. The Times, i Oct. 1888; C ullen, Autumn of Terror, p. 79; Echo, 3 Oct. 1888. 96. C riminal Court, Sessions Papers, L ondon, 109, ( 188889), PP- 7 678. Thanks to E llen Ross for this citation. 97. Ellen Ross, "'Fierce Questions and Taunts': Married L ife in W orkingClass London, 1 8701914," Feminist Studies, 8, no. 3 ( Fall 1982): 5 75602. 98. Helen Corke, In Our Infancy: An Autobiography, Part i , 18821912 (Cambridge: C ambridge U niversity Press, 1975), p. 25 ( thanks to Dina Copelman for t his c itation); Mrs. Bartholemew, interview (thanks t o A nna Davin f or the t ranscript). 99. Letter to the Editor, SJG, 16 Nov. 1888. 100. Leonard Ellisden, "Starting from V icioi1.1," / / , . < ) . h um. i t i . ill. . U . . H Brunei U niversity; L eonard \l/oo\f,Sowing:AnAntolni>gr,ipl>\'/ il'< \<;u i ' .',. [ ,. /904 (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1960), p p. 60-62; S ylvi.i I ' . i i i k l u n - . i . / / > , ' ./ /ragette Movement. . . , pp. no, i n ; Compton M ackenzie, Mv I.//r >m,l Inn. Octave One 18831891 (London: Chatto and W indus, 1963), pp. i(..|, H > S 101. Montagu Williams, Round London: Down East and Up "West ( London: Macmillan, 1892), p. i z;PMG, i SOct. 1888; DN, 4 Oct. 1888. 102. DT, 4 Oct., 10 Sept. 1888; RN, 9 Sept. 1888; Mepo. 3/142., 5 Oct. 1 888. 103. Dew, / Caught Crippen, p. 95; "Ready for Whitechapel Fiend: Women Secretly A rmed," Police Illustrated News, zz Sept. 1888; DT, z Oct. 1888; War Cry, i Dec. 1888. 104. War Cry, i Dec. 1888; B arnett, Canon Barnett, p. 306. 105. Quoted in White, Rothschild Buildings, p. 125. 106. In i nterviews conducted in East London in J uly 1983, f our i nformants, three women and one m an, told this story as t heir f amily history. As far as I can discern, this story has not entered print culture. 107. L ynda Nead, Myths of Sexuality: Representations of Women in Victorian firitain ( Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988), pp. 176-80; Ellen Ross, " 'Not the Sort that Would Sit on the Doorstep,': Respectability in PreWorld War I London Neighborhoods," International Labor and Working-Class History 27 (Spring '985): 3 9-59108. In 1966,3 woman who, as a y oung woman, had lived in J ubilee Road, "in the h eart of the area terrorised by Jack the Ripper," remembered her f ather t aking part in n ightly p atrols to protect the women. She herself came close to s tumbling on the m urderer as she w alked along Hanbury Street one night at d ark. When, the next morning, she f ound out a "4z-year old widow" ( Annie C hapman) had been murdered, "I was t errified to put my head outside the house for days." "R. J. Leesthe Jack the R ipper Case," Society for Psychical Research Archives, London. 109. Rumbelow, Complete jack the Ripper, p. 86; "The Whitechapel Murders," Medium and Daybreak ( London), z Nov. 1888. On R. J. Lees, see the r eprint of an a rticle in the Chicago Sunday Times-Herald of 1 895, in Jones, Ripper File, p. 166; N andor Fodor, Encyclopedia of Psychic Science ( 1933; r pt., New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1974), p. 193; "R. J. Leesthe R ipper Case"; Harris, Jack the Ripper, c haps. 18, 19. i i o. Q uoted in M cCormick, Identity, p. 8 i ; Q uoted in R umbelow, Complete Jack the Ripper, p. i o i . i i i . O n women w ho resisted t he t error, s ee M argot Asquith, T he Autobiography of Margot Asquith, ed. and i ntro. M ark B onham C arter (London: Methuen, 1 985; r pt. f rom 1 962 ed.), p p. 43, 44; M argaret N evinson, Life's Fitful \vver: A Volume of Memories ( London: A. and C. B lack, I 9z6), p. 106. On the effects of the t error, see M. V. H ughes, A London Girl of the 188os ( London: Oxford U niversity Press, 1978), p. 2 18. i i 2. Personal Rights Journal, Nov. 1888, pp. 69, 76, 84; Dawn, i Nov. i 888; Sentinel, Dec. 1888, p. 1 45. 113. J an L ambertz, "Feminists a nd the Politics o f W ife-Beating," i n H arold I ,. Access Photo Rosters Page 4 of 4 Judith R. Walkowitz City ol Dreadfu Migh Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London THE U N I V E R S I T Y OF CHICAGO PRESS Chicago The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637 Virago Press Limited, London 1992 by Judith R. Walkowitz Foreword 1992 by The University of Chicago All rights reserved. Published i 99z Printed in the United States of America 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 6789 ISBN (paper): 0-226-87146-0 Library of Congress CataJoging-in-Publication Data Walkowitz, Judith R. City of dreadful delight: narratives of sexual danger in late -Victorian London /Judith R. Walkowitz. p. cm. (Women in culture and society) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Sex crimesEnglandLondonHistory19th century. 2. Sex roleEnglandHistory19th century. 3. ProstitutionEngland LondonHistory19th century. 4. Jack the Ripper Murders, London, England, 1888. 5. EnglandMoral conditions. I. Title. II. Series. HQ72.G7W33 1992 364.1'53'094212dc20 91-4815.? The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of theAmerican National Standard for Information SciencesPermanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI 739.48-1992. ... View Full Document

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