To Hell with Hawksmoor: Alan Moore & Myths of Jack the Ripper

Photo: John Salmon, Wikimedia Commons

Christ Church. Photo: John Salmon, Wikimedia Commons

“Here’s Hawksmoor’s most affecting church; his creed of ‘Terrour and Magnificence’ most forcefully expressed. Its tyranny of line enslaves the nearby streets, forever in its shade. Its angles trick the eye, seem from a distance flat then swell upon approach … its tower about to topple forward like some monstrous corpse … Its atmosphere envelopes Spitalfields, casts shadow-pictures on the minds of those whose lives are spent within its sight.”

On the fringe of the City, Christ Church punctures the skyline east of Commercial Street. A looming classical edifice enhanced by a ferocious Baroque. Examine the earth. Foundation stone laid by a Dyer: “Old Nick himself!” Unhallowed ground.

Photo: Steve Cadman, Wikimedia Commons

St Anne’s. Photo: Steve Cadman, Wikimedia Commons

The hospital fields tended to the poor and sick, ancient dumping ground for the dead. Weavers consumed by plague and fire, scorched by Lud’s heat. Cursed and memorialized by Mayhew. Huguenot, Irish then Jew tramped from the docks close by. A path followed by twentieth century arrivals: Cypriot Greek, Maltese, Bangladeshi. A path followed too by the unfortunate Liz Stride. See the Tarot of the Moon dealt at St Anne’s, witness to poor Liz’s Limehouse nightmares: “Arrived, we live by canal, Limehouse Cut. I see the ugly Limehouse Church and I am thinking of Torslanda. It makes me alone, that church.” Early memories imparted to Marie Kelly, herald of the four whores of the apocalypse.  (1)

Sweet Marie, drawn first to rooms where a third church hovers like an angel of death: St George’s. Behold the black architecture of history, an invisible curve rising through the centuries:

Photo: John Salmon, Wikimedia Commons

St George’s. Photo: John Salmon, Wikimedia Commons

“Near Ratcliffe Highway, pirates hanged. The ghost of Ratcliffe’s murderous clergyman still walks, who dumped his victims here. The wharf is closed at five, beyond which lightermen fear working. Hawksmoor’s George’s-in-the-East is flawed,   despite its pyramid and Roman alters. Obelisks are missing; the alignment’s wrong. Hawksmoor bade the commissioners demolish neighbouring shops thereon to site his church, aligned with other monuments, but was refused. Years later, on that selfsame ground, the draper, Marr, his wife, their babe and their apprentice died. An iron mallet smashed their skulls, throats slashed from left to right, symbols of masonry. A man, John Williams, was accused, to sate the mob. Before the trial he ‘hanged himself’… although in this perhaps he was assisted. Williams’ corpse to a crossroads was taken, buried with a stake thrust through his heart. The outrage stoked demands that a Police Force should be formed. Was this the murders’ motive all along? A ritual act, to shape society? A pattern of control drawn with a finger dipped in  infant’s blood?” (2)

Nicholas Hawksmoor’s unholy trinity: the triangle of Christ Church, St Anne’s Limehouse and St George’s-in-the-East. If only the bricks could speak. Criminal, foreigner, prostitute and beggar, an eternal present. Welcome to outcast London. And heed the message to Sir

Dorset St, 1902, Wikimedia Commons

Dorset St, 1902, Wikimedia Commons

William Gull, our chimerical top-hatted killer, hints of the secrets of the metropolis: “Perhaps Hawksmoor gouged more deeply an existing channel of suffering, violence and authority.” See what isn’t there: the fog, Gladstone bag, horse-drawn coach. A past haunting the present, bleeding back into history. Seeping to the future …

Photo: Jack 1956 (2008), Wikimedia Commons

Dorset Street 2008. Photo: Jack 1956, Wikimedia Commons

Shadowed by the spire of Christ Church opposite, long-buried at the fringes of Spitalfields Market, unrests the ghosts of Miller’s Court, Dorset Street. Dosset Street. But the lodging houses have since departed. Today a sorry private service road running north of White’s Row car park is all that remains of this once blackest of streets; a solitary set of metal steps, an apparition of an arched passageway. Memory traces of the smell of death: shit and mincemeat. Farewell Marie. For in November 1888, 13 Miller’s Court witnessed the climax of the autumn of terror. The final macabre marriage. Deliverance, From Hell.

Forget film and screw the silver screen; especially the Hughes brothers and Heather

Stephen Knight's historical horse-shit from 1976

Stephen Knight’s historical horse-shit from 1976

Graham. Johnny Depp as Inspector Abberline, the ripper hunter? His colleagues in the Met would have beaten the shit out of him for sporting that haircut in the 1980s let alone a century earlier. It’s Michael Caine for me. For From Hell is no Jack the Rip-Off: Walter Sickert, a whisper of royal scandal; the Masons, the Met and murder. False starts: the Juwes are the men who will not be blamed for nothing. A 1970s confection born of three mischief makers: Thomas Stowell, Joseph Sickert and Stephen Knight. Doctor, royal pretender and journalist. An unholy trinity. A final solution. An inspiration. (3)

Don’t look for answers in the glorious gore of the gothic masterpiece that is From Hell. Polaroid literature. Alan Moore drinks an ocean and pisses a cupful, detective fiction in reverse. Magic words inscribed on Eddie Campbell’s stygian sketches. Dickens and Doré, on acid. A master-class in how fiction, a sensibility, sharpens history’s snapshots.

West against East, rich against poor. From his home in bountiful Brook Street, Mayfair, feeding off the blood of the submerged Tyburn, engorged on the London hanged, departs Sir William Gull for his great work. (4) A seventy-one-year-old Physician-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria. Partially paralyzed from a series of strokes, forgotten father of anorexia nervosa. Learn the lessons imparted to Gull’s driver:

Sure you want to carry on?

“Oh God!” “Ha ha! Yes … but not yours.” Sure you want to carry on?

I spoke of grand work, Netley. Grand work. A GREAT work must have many sides from which we may consider it. Think of the classic legends, with their layers of significance. Diana, for example: is she but an ancient FAIRYTALE? A SYMBOL  meaning dreams and womanhood? A deified PRINCESS from long ago. A myth? A symbol? History? Or take this CITY, in itself a great work, you’ll agree: a thing of many LEVELS and COMPLEXITIES. How WELL do you know London, Netley?”

Descend with our guide to the city, don’t forget your Dante. No turning back: “In his INFERNO he suggests the one true path from Hell lies at its very heart … and that in order to escape, we must instead go further in.” To the dead hamlets, to the East End.

To Whitechapel and Spitalfields, where families eke out a living in the cellars and workshops sweating out boots, clothes and furniture. The age-old miserable litany of poverty, overcrowding and unemployment. The screams of the centuries. Where men and women drink because they are poor, not just poor because they drink. Violence, be it on the streets or behind closed doors, like a bad poem: man-on-man, man-and-woman,

“It is instead a literature of stone, of place names and associations. Where faint echoes answer back from off the distant ruined walls of bloody history.”

woman-on-woman and woman-on-man. The kids have it worst. A newspaper fragment from 1888, 24-year-old-woman on her bastard five-year old son. Forever seared across the synapses, shit and mincemeat:

The prisoner forced him to the ground and then jammed filth into his mouth. She then put a poker in the fire until it was red hot. In the meantime, she put soil in a cloth and tied it round the child’s mouth so that it went down his throat. She then took the poker from the fire and, having stripped the child, applied the weapon to the bottom of his back, burning him severely. She kept the poker in one spot for about three minutes. Prisoner then knocked the poor child down, and kicked him about the ribs, and afterwards jumped on him with all her force. (5)

The good old days. Victorian values, everybody’s doing the business. Sharp witted and desperate: men take, women sell, themselves, for a ‘thrupenny upright; the logic of the free market. Ask Inspector Fred Abberline. He spent fourteen years there. Abberline of the Yard. Married, decent working-class stock, “we vote Tory, always have done.” Neither time for the desk-bound bureaucrat, the untested ideas of the amateur detective; nor experiments, be it either bloodhound or fingerprint. Condemned to return, to his old patch:

Polly Nicholls

Polly Nicholls

“All fields and gardens this was once, [sergeant] Godley, outside the city walls. Now look at it. Whitechapel on a Friday night. Just look at it. D’y’know, there’s less than two hundred and fifty lodging houses in Whitechapel? Housing eight and a half thousand people? That’s what, thirty five, forty people per house.” “Bloody Hell.” “Hell’s about right. I’ve seen it all ‘ere lad. Alligators waddling through the shit in the gutters; Albinos being led about on chains … I’ve stepped over kids, no more than nine, having it off in broad daylight, probably with their sisters.” “Well, they’re married by twelve, most of ‘em.” “S’right. And when they separate, she’ll start whorin’. Twelve hundred tarts in Whitechapel. Officially. My arse: ANYBODY in Whitechapel’s yours for under a shilling. I mean how are you supposed to manage it, eh? How do you maintain law and order in a fucking bedlam like this?” 

Street pedlar, policeman, pauper and prostitute, all Whitechapel victims alike.

Annie Chapman

Annie Chapman

Five women, broken relationships, battling the bottle. Walk the streets or face the workhouse. Five women, linked with the Flower and Dean Street rookery near Christ Church. Five women butchered by a man to remain forever unknown. Unfathomable. Five women, a dedication, From Hell: ‘Polly Nicholls, Annie Chapman, Liz Stride, Kate Eddowes, and Marie Jeanette Kelly. You and your demise: of these things alone are we certain.’ Sealed into history. Five women, or maybe more. One killer. Hunter becomes the hunted. Cluedo for cunts played for a century and more: ‘Dr Grape. In the horse-drawn carriage. With the Liston knife.’

Jack the Ripper, it’s catchy, it sells. Eavesdrop on a wily Wapping journalist:

Personally … I couldn’t give a monkeys fuck who did it. It’s what we can MAKE of           it. …A name … That’s what WE need. We need a NAME. … And if we can’t make    one, well … We shall just have to conjure one up, shan’t we!

Read all about it! There’s a pretty penny to be made. Stage a waxwork or two. Everyone’s at it. You’ll even hear his name on the track and turf.

Flower and Dean St, marked in purple.

Flower and Dean St, marked in purple.

The real Jack is more mundane. Look with the criminologists. Stalk the scarlet tracings, see the spider’s web. Strands centring on Flower and Dean Street. Take a tour.

A Study in Terror (1965)

A Study in Terror (1965)

To Sherlock Holmes, a phantom From Hell’s canonical cast of characters: Boudicca and Blake, Aleister Crowley, Joseph Merrick, William Morris, Walter Sickert, Robert Louis Stevenson, Queen Victoria, Oscar Wilde and W.B Yeats. (6) The deduction: a man, relatively young in his twenties or early-to-mid thirties, local or familiar. Does this matter? Who is Jack? Which Jack? When was Jack? Myth born from death: ‘The complex phantom we project. That alone, we know is real. The actual killer’s gone, unglimpsed, might as well not have been there at all.’ Not bound to 1888 he is everywhere: Spring-heeled Jack, Jack the Strangler, Jack the Stripper and the Yorkshire

Murder by Decree (1979)

Murder by Decree (1979)

Ripper. (7) A name that ranges across the centuries. Mark the words of a dying Gull, locked up in an Islington asylum by top-brass coppers on the square, so said the fabulists:

I am wholly concept now. Without the flesh to contradict, I truly AM as I’m PERCEIVED, in all the myriad ways. All things to all men, I ascend. … I am escaped  from space into the sphere of the mind and myth and angels. I am Jack. I rise up hungry through the human night towards a naked moon. Which is the world’s unconscious self. Which is all poetry and dream. … I am set free from flesh and time. I am become a symbol in the human soul; a fearful star in mankind’s inner firmament.

From Hell, Vol. 7.

From Hell, Vol. 7.

And the light burned ever brighter on the eve of the centenary. Living memory recedes. A time ripe for conspiracy chasers: Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Watergate. The 1970s, dirty tricks, succour to the paranoid. Lord Lucan, foul play, a disappearing act. Those at the top always look after their own. For the Met, revelations of a ‘firm within a firm’; heads rolled at the top of the Drugs (Detective Chief Inspector Vic Kelaher), Flying (Commander Ken Drury) and Obscene Publications Squads (Detective Chief Superintendent Bill Moody). A police force trying to catch more criminals than it employs. Truth stranger than fiction. Drury and Moody, both ardent freemasons. The bonds of the brotherhood survived the purges that followed. Crooks and cops on the square, Scotland Yard’s dirty linen still unwashed: unrecovered Brink’s-Matt gold and murder. Remember Daniel Morgan and Stephen Lawrence. Some in the Met would rather you forget. Unresting ghosts. (8)

Alan Moore, cover photo of Lance Parkin's Magic Words.

Alan Moore, cover photo of Lance Parkin’s Magic Words.

From Hell. Look at the dates, 1989-1996, you can be almost forgiven for reading From Hell literally, historically. Don’t be fooled. For Alan Moore:

The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists actually believe in a conspiracy theory because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the twelve-foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless. (9)

Don’t rely on London’s blue-plaqued cultural condom as a barrier against the frictions of fiction and history, myth and memory. Ghost Milk. Jack the Ripper as anti-hero, a figure of local legend. Like the Krays. Neatly packaged with jellied eels, the Blitz, Alf Garnett and East Enders. From Hell gives voice to those condemned to remain silent in the archive. Moore’s autopsy of the city points at a truth, Victorian shadows: corruption, injustice, inequality, racism and misogyny. A Guardianista’s wet dream.

Brick Lane 2008. Photo: Brynn, Wikimedia Commons.

Brick Lane 2008. Photo: Brynn, Wikimedia Commons.

And now the City encroaches, behold the temples to mammon. Dreaded gentrification: the restored Georgian house, Gilbert & George and Tracey Emin. Banglatown, Brick Lane, is trendy too. Yet there’s a lingering poverty behind the façade. The slums may have been torn down, but the street walkers still stalk the shadows of Christ Church. Though it’s crack, heroin and smack, not beer and gin. (10)

Eternal recurrence? With Gull, be angry, see yourself, don’t forget:

Raging Gull

Raging Gull

“Where comes this dullness in your eyes? How has your century numbed you so? Shall man be given marvels only when he is beyond all wonder? Your days were born   in blood and fires, whereof in you I may not see the meanest spark? Your past is pain and iron! Know yourselves. With all your shimmering numbers and your lights, think  not to be inured to history. Its black root succours you. It is INSIDE you. Are you asleep to it, that [you] cannot feel its breath upon your neck, nor see what soaks its cuffs? See me! Wake up and look upon me! I am come amongst you. I am with you       always!

The Weird Stuff Explained

(1) Designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736), preparations for Christ Church began in 1714, consecration not achieved until 1729. Renown architectural historian Nikolaus Pevnser describes the church as megalomaniac, perverse, the tower adding ‘to the late Roman Baroque of the picture an odd Gothic note’, Outline of European Architecture, p. 182. The foundation stone was laid in 1715 by Edward Peck, a dyer. (See ‘Christ Church: Historical Account’, in F.H.W. Sheppard (ed.), Survey of London, Vol. 27: Spitalfields and Mile End New Town (1957) http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50165). In Peter Ackroyd’s haunting novel Hawksmoor (1985) Nicholas Dyer is the macabre architect. Old Nick is, as seen in Charles Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge (1841) and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Mosses from an Old Manse (1846) a reference to the devil. A mid-nineteenth century ‘visit to the thieves’ dens in Spitalfields’ is described in Henry Mayhew’s London’s Underworld (1862), pp. 204-14. St Anne’s Limehouse as the Tarot of the Moon derives from Iain Sinclair’s Lud Heat (1975): ‘hidden enemies, danger, calumny, darkness, terror, deception, occult forces, error’, p. 28.

(2) The ghost of the vicar has been seen since 1973. Three years earlier John Philby (son of the infamous Kim) was renovating an old warehouse on Ratcliffe Wharf. Philby, along with his friend Frank Smyth (then associate editor of Man, Myth and Magic magazine) invented the story of a former vicar who ran a lodging house in this area then popular with sailors. Pretty women lured men upstairs, the vicar killed them, stole their money and unceremoniously dumped the bodies in the Thames. Following a BBC documentary dramatizing the hoax, ghosts appeared: Richard Wiseman, Paranormality (2011), pp. 226-27.

(3) Albert and Allen Hughes directed From Hell released in 2001. This film stars Johnny Depp as Inspector Abberline and Heather Graham as Marie Kelly. For justifiably unfavourable criticism see Iain Sinclair, ‘Jack the Rip-Off’, Observer, 27 January 2002. Chiming with the centenary of the Ripper murders, Michael Caine played Abberline in a two-part TV series Jack the Ripper in 1988. Both productions follow the conspiracy theory line championing Dr William Gull as the murderer. This nonsense originated first with Dr Thomas Stowell in an article in the Criminologist in 1970. Prince Albert Victor was, without being named, fingered as the culprit, and the Gull connection mentioned for the first time in print. Stowell went on to deny the royal link in a letter to The Times. He died shortly afterwards, his son burning his personal papers along with other rubbish. One Joseph Gorman Sickert, who claimed to be the son of the painter Walter Sickert, went on to cast Gull as Jack for a BBC TV series Jack the Ripper in 1973. East London Advertiser journalist Stephen Knight built upon Sickert’s story adding the freemasons to the mix with Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution (1976). Two years later Joseph Sickert went on to deny the story as ‘a hoax … I made it all up’. He then then denied his denial, in a manner of speaking. Stephen Knight died of a brain tumour in 1985 fuelling murders that he had been bumped off by masonic interests. The fun doesn’t stop there. Melvyn Fairclough’s book The Ripper and the Royals (1991) developed this conspiracy based upon the alleged diaries of Inspector Abberline. In this version, Prince Albert Victor did not die in 1892, but in 1933 after protracted incarceration in Glamis Castle. And George V, his younger brother, was despatched prematurely to prevent a death-bed confession in 1936. Guess who possessed the Abberline diaries? Correct: Jospeh Gorman Sickert. Got it? Completely fucking mad.

(4) ‘From Marylebone Lane the Tyburn flows a southward course along Oxford Street, where it turns south-east into South Molton Lane; Brook Street is named after it’: Peter Ackroyd, London Under, p. 52. Oxford Street used to be known as Tyburn Road where prisoners completed the route from Newgate prison in the City to be executed at Tyburn, near present day Marble Arch: Peter Linebaugh, The London Hanged.

(5) Bill Fishman East London 1888 (1988), p. 250.

(6) In the 1965 film thriller A Study in Terror Sherlock Holmes follows the trail of Jack the Ripper. The sleuth with the deerstalker follows the Stephen Knight crap in the British-Canadian film Murder by Decree (1979). For fans of computer games Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper was released in 2009 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.

(7) Spring-heeled Jack (1837-38), touched upon in the reading list above, was first seen with goat’s horns, a tail, and bat’s wings. His spring-heels allowed him to leap over walls. Others attacked by him claimed to see a best with flaming eyes who belched fire. Jack the Strangler was a name given by the tabloid press to the unconnected murders of three prostitutes in Soho between 1935 and 1936. (See Stefan Slater, ‘Prostitutes and Popular History: Notes on the “Underworld”, 1918-1939’, Crime, Histoire & Société/Crime, History and Societies, 13, 1 (2009), 25-48.)) Known as the Hammersmith (Nude) Murders, Jack the Stripper was responsible for the deaths of between six and eight prostitutes between 1964 and 1965. (A good jumping-off point is the autobiography of the investigating officer John Du Rose, Murder Was My Business (1971)). No individual was identified as responsible for the atrocities above. The Yorkshire Ripper (1975-80), Peter Sutcliffe, was convicted for the murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of seven others.

(8) Detective John Symonds was recorded and exposed by The Times in 1969 saying to a small-time crook who was being blackmailed: ‘Always let me know straight away if you need anything because I know people everywhere. Because I’m in a little firm in a firm. Don’t matter where, anywhere in London. I can get on the phone to someone I know I can trust, that talks the same as me.’ Frank Williamson, a Chief Inspector of Constabulary, was appointed to oversee the inquiry. But the police officer in operational control was Bill  Moody. Williamson claimed he was nobbled. On the back of a Sunday Times investigation in 1972, the Met’s drug’s squad was bust, yet Kelaher was allowed to retire on medical grounds. Moody and Drury were convicted of corruption in 1977. The Brinks-Mat robbery saw over £26 million, mainly in gold, being stolen from a warehouse near Heathrow in 1983. Masonry and dodgy dealings links both crooks and cops involved in the investigation of this bullion robbery and the murders of private investigator Daniel Morgan (1987) and teenager Stephen Lawrence (1993). At the time of writing, Baroness Nuala O’Loan is chairing an independent panel into the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan.

(9) Lance Price, Magic Words, p. 324.

(10) For recent comments on Spitalfields and the sex industry, consult: Mike Brooke, ‘Police Arrest Suspect Prostitutes in Spitalfields Clampdown’, Docklands and East London Advertiser, 2 May 2012, http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/police_arrest_suspect_prostitutes_in_spitalfields_clampdown_1_1365656, idem, ‘Mums Drive Out Prostitutes from Spitalfields’ Flower and Dean Estate’, Docklands and East London Advertiser, 6 May 2012, http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/mums_drive_out_prostitutes_from_spitalfields_flower_dean_estate_1_1369682, Alan White, ‘The Streetwalkers of Spitalfields have been Badly Let Down, New Statesmen, 5 July 2012, http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/politics/2012/07/streetwalkers-whitechapel-prostitution, Leila Zerai, ‘Olympics Prostitution “Clampdown” Criticized’, Your Tower Hamlets (n.d.)  http://www.towerhamletsdirectory.co.uk/article.php?id=133, ‘Put Out the Red Light’, Inside Housing, 20 September 2013, http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/careers/case-studies/put-out-the-red-light/6528681.article.

Reading East London

All the quotations above, unless stated otherwise, are derived from Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, From Hell: Being a Melodrama in Sixteen Parts (London: Knockabout, 2000). The occult influences in this magnum opus are taken from Iain Sinclair’s Lud Heat: A Book of the Dead Hamlets ~ May 1974 to April 1975 (Cheltenham: Skylight Press, 2012 [1975]); his slightly less trippy White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings (London: Penguin, 2004 [1987]) answers and asks more questions. Hawksmoor’s eerie churches haunt Peter Ackroyd’s anti-heroic Hawksmoor, intro. Will Self (London: Penguin, 2010 [1985]), another ‘must read’.

For those of a more academic turn of mind, the following texts place the oeuvre of Alan Moore’s work and the place of the Hawksmoor churches in critical context:

  • David Ashford, ‘The Mechanics of the Occult: London’s Psychogeographical Fiction as Key to Understanding the Roots of the Gothic’, Literary London Journal, 10, 2 (2013).
  • Mark Bernard and James Bucky Carter, ‘Alan Moore and the Graphic Novel: Confronting the Fourth Dimension’, Image TexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies, 1, 2 (2004).
  • Sean Carney, ‘The Tides of History: Alan Moore’s Historiographic Vision’, Image TexT, 2, 2 (2006).
  • Lance Parkin Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore (London: Aurum, 2013).

There is no escaping the smell of shit, not just human. Topping the horseshit stakes is Stephen Knight’s Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution (London: George G. Harrap & Co Ltd, 1976). Candidates vying for second place include Patricia Cornwell, Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed (London: Little, Brown, 2002), Paul H. Feldman, Jack the Ripper: The Final Chapter (London: Virgin, 1998) and Shirley Harrison, The Diary of Jack the Ripper: The Chilling Confessions of James Maybrick (London: John Blake, 2010). For a semblance of sanity see:

  • Paul Begg and John Bennett, The Complete and Essential Jack the Ripper (London: Penguin, 2013).
  • Stewart P. Evans & Keith Skinner, The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Sourcebook: An Illustrated Encyclopaedia (London: Robinson, 2000).
  • Drew Gray, London’s Shadows: The Dark Side of the Victorian City (London: Bloomsbury, 2010).
  • Philip Sugden, The Complete History of Jack the Ripper (London: Robinson, 2nd, 2002).
  • http://www.casebook.org/

On the darker side of the Metropolitan Police, a subject of collective amnesia in the public mind, read and be prepared for the dawn knock:

  • Michael Gillard and Laurie Flynn, Untouchables: Dirty Cops, Bent Justice and Racism in Scotland Yard (London: Bloomsbury, 2nd 2012 [2004]).
  • Graeme McLagan, Bent Coppers: The Inside Story of Scotland Yard’s Battle Against Police Corruption (London: Orion, 2004).
  • James Morton, Bent Coppers (London: Little, Brown, 1993).
  • Martin Short, Lundy: The Destruction of Scotland Yard’s Finest Detective (London: Grafton, 1992).
  • ________ Inside the Brotherhood: Further Secrets of the Freemasons (London: HarperCollins, 1993).

Guiding lights through London’s fog:

  • David Aaronovitch, Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory has Shaped Modern History (London: Vintage, 2010).
  • Peter Ackroyd, London Under: The Secret History beneath the Streets (New York: Doubleday, 2011).
  • William J. Fishman, East End 1888 (Nottingham: Five Leaves Press, 2005 [1988]).
  • Judith Flanders, The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime (London: Harper Press, 2011).
  • Rachel Lichtenstein, On Brick Lane (London: Penguin, 2008).
  • Peter Linebaugh, The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century (London: Verso, 2006).
  • John Marriott, Beyond the Tower: A History of East London (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).
  • Nikolaus Pevsner, An Outline of European Architecture (Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2009 [1943]).
  • Peter Quennel, London’s Underworld by Henry Mayhew (London: Bracken Books, 1983 [1862]).
  • Fiona Rule, The Worst Street in London (Hersham: Ian Allen, 2008).
  • Iain Sinclair, Lights Out for the Territory: 9 Excursions in the Secret History of London (London: Penguin 2003 [1997]).
  • _______ Ghost Milk: Calling Time on the Grand Project (London: Penguin, 2012).
  • http://spitalfieldslife.com/
  • Jerry White, Rothschild Buildings: Life in an East End Tenement Block, 1887-1920 (London: RKP, 1980).
  • ________ London in the Nineteenth Century: A Human Awful Wonder of God (London: Vintage, 2008).
  • Richard Wiseman, Paranormality: Why We See What Isn’t There (London: Macmillan, 2011).
  • Patrick Wright, A Journey through Ruins: The Last Days of London (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd, 2009).
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2 Responses to To Hell with Hawksmoor: Alan Moore & Myths of Jack the Ripper

  1. Pingback: The Writing on the Wall: Jack the Ripper – Case Cracked? | Londonlowlife

  2. Pingback: Lucas Gedge Walked these Streets: Spitalfields Locations

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