Historian Hallie Rubenhold sets out to reclaim the lives of the women killed by ‘Jack The Ripper’.

Praised for its fresh approach to arts, science and psychology, and recognised as the ‘go to cultural series’ in the North, this March Berwins Salon North returns for its next digital foray with the historian Hallie Rubenhold, as she sets the record straight on the victims killed by ‘Jack The Ripper’.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women – for this was the mysterious killer ‘Jack The Ripper’.

You’d be forgiven for wondering why we didn’t write prostitute in their list of similarities, after all for more than a century, we were led to believe that it was in these back alleys that ‘The Ripper’ preyed – but as Hallie Rubenhold shares, not only is there no proof that this was the case, but it has also prevented the real stories of these fascinating women being told – indeed It is astonishing how little we know about these five, apart from their names. Could it be, she asks, that we have been so busy trying to unmask the murderer (with hundreds of TV programmes, books and articles on the subject) that we have forgotten that the victims were real people, with real lives?

An American historian who moved to London to study British History, Hallie has meticulously worked to uncover the story of five women who became the Ripper’s victims, who until her groundbreaking work, had never been given a voice of their own, and whom for many have been mere clues on the hunt for his (or her) discovery for over 130 years.

Hallie joins us online for Berwins Salon North this March, to set the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of these women’s lives: from poverty to homelessness and rampant misogyny, as she sets about reclaiming the lost stories of ‘The 5: The Women Killed by Jack The Ripper’.

Joining Hallie, and host Helen Bagnall, for Berwins Salon North on Thursday 25th March with be, Alan Levinovitz who asks if it is time for us to consider what we mean by ‘natural’ in: The Seductive Myth of Nature’s Goodness, and broadcaster and award winning science writer Gaia Vince, who explore the astonishing story of how culture enabled us to become the most successful species on Earth in: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time.

Sponsored by Harrogate law firm, Berwins, and produced by arts charity Harrogate International Festivals, the online events will stream for free on the HIF player from 7.30pm on Thursday 25 March. For more information please click here.