An impressive contribution to true crime studiesRipperology--a sometimes obsessive interest in studying the crimes of Jack the Ripper--is a subject of timeless interest that has suffered from confusion, exaggeration, and hyperbole for over a century. Jack the Ripper was probably the first serial killer to appear in a large metropolis at a time when the general populace wasAn impressive contribution to true crime studiesRipperology--a sometimes obsessive interest in studying the crimes of Jack the Ripper--is a subject of timeless interest that has suffered from confusion, exaggeration, and hyperbole for over a century. Jack the Ripper was probably the first serial killer to appear in a large metropolis at a time when the general populace was literate and the press was a force for social change. The press was also partly responsible for creating many myths surrounding the Ripper.Robin Odell's Ripperology is the first study to present a sequential history of literary investigations of Jack the Ripper's crimes and to address the seven principal phases of Ripper speculations: the initial wave of journalism that followed the 1888 murders; the "revelations" of highers-up in Scotland Yard who pretended to know more than they actually did; the period between 1925 and 1949 when sensational and factually shaky book-length "solutions" were proposed, including the theories that Jack avenged his son's syphilis or was a female midwife in disguise; the dawn of more responsible study, between 1950 and 1975, in which the author himself played an important role; better documented studies spurred by the opening of Scotland Yard files in 1976; the explosion of new Ripper hypotheses in the 1990s; and current theories, including Patricia Cornwell's DNA-based accusation of artist Walter Sickert.Ripperology does not attempt to give a detailed, encyclopedic account of the murders. Rather, its aim is to tell the story of the extraordinary literary efforts directed at solving the mystery. While there are no formal conclusions, and this book does not seek to saturate the reader with minutiae, exaggerated claims are debunked and misconceived ideas are dispelled. Author Odell, having studied these unsolved serial killings for four decades, guides the reader in his easy narrative rich with documentation. Ripperology will be welcomed by true crime aficionados....
|Title||:||Ripperology: A Study Of The World's First Serial Killer And A Literary Phenomenon|
|Number of Pages||:||272 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Ripperology: A Study Of The World's First Serial Killer And A Literary Phenomenon Reviews
I have tried and tried, and I can't think of a better word to describe this book than "charming." Which seems so wrong in the context of the Whitechapel Murders and Jack the Ripper. But Odell is not writing about Jack the Ripper, exactly. He's writing about the people who write about Jack the Ripper, what they write, and why, and considering the crazy theories that have been put forward in the last century, Odell's wry, generous, thoughtful voice is charming, like a Virgil to lead the reader patiently and clear-headedly through the Inferno of Jack the Ripper Studies, otherwise known as Ripperology.Odell is himself a major contributor in the field, so he knows the ins and outs of the community of Ripperology very well. He doesn't explain the actual historical crimes and investigations as well as Philip Sugden or Neil R.A. Bell, and the occasional circumstances of the book's production (the Kent State University Press asked him to write about the relationship between American Ripperologists and British Ripperologists for their imaginatively titled "True Crime Series") create an odd, intermittent emphasis on what the Americans happened to be thinking but he's very good at timelines and cross-correlations and using them to poke holes in various whacked-out theories. (His lack of patience for Patricia Cornwell made me very happy.)This is an excellent overview of the evolution of the historiography of Jack the Ripper, and a great way to get the gist of books you (a) most likely can't find and (b) most likely don't want to have to wade through (the elaborate castles-in-the-air accusing the Duke of Clarence, Walter Sickert (with or without Sir William Gull), James Maybrick, and a number of other unlikely suspects), but that are important artifacts in the history of this particular and very narrow field of criminology.
Bit dense to get through. Don't get me wrong, I'm really interested in Jack the Ripper, but this is a bit of a weird setup because it's a catalogue of previous investigations re: Jack the Ripper and it's... an odd experience, I suppose. I didn't quite get what I wanted out of it. Odell is thorough, though, which is always reassuring to find.
(B) 75% | More than SatisfactoryNotes: Competent summary of the major literature but messy and little discussion of Ripperology as a unique field of study.