Author: Toughill (Thomas)
Year: 2009
Publisher: The History Press
Edition Details: 1st p/b edn.
Book Condition: Vg+
ISBN: 9780752452760
Price: 4.00
Paperback. Foreword by Robin Odell. The author of 'Oscar Slater, The Immortal Case of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle', applies his detective skills to the greatest mystery in British criminology : the identity of Jack the Ripper. The book begins with an account of the Ripper murders and the attempt by earlier sleuths to name the killer. Then after showing that the official Ripper files contain little of forensic value, the author approaches the mystery of Jack's identity from a very different direction - the life and works of the writer, Oscar Wilde. The author concludes that Jack the Ripper was a onetime "friend" of Oscar Wilde and that Wilde dropped hints about this in several of his works, most notably 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', which Wilde wrote in 1889, the year after the Ripper murders took place. In fascinating detail the author argues that Wilde's story, that of a privileged man whose life of vice in the EastEnd of London turns him into a murderer, is in fact a coded message about Jack's identity. The classic images of the Ripper murders - the London fog, the Whitechapel squalor, the caped figure with a Gladstone bag, the cutting of the victim's throat - are all to be found in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', Wilde's only novel. The author further argues that the killer was quietly placed in an asylum after the last murder in order to keep secret a Royal indiscretion and that Marie Belloc Lowndes modelled her famous novel, 'The Lodger', on what she had learned about the Ripper's identity from her lifelong friend, Oscar Wilde. In addition, Thomas Toughill reveals startling new evidence to support his claim that Oscar Wilde influenced the writing of the most important document in the Ripper files, the "Macnaghten Memorandum", which names as the prime suspect a barrister called Montague John Druitt, whose death in real life closely mirrors that of a character in Wilde's short story, 'Lord Arthur Savile's Crime'. Jack the Ripper aside, the author's research into Oscar Wilde will force a major reappraisal of that most charismatic of literary figures. Wilde boasted that he enjoyed "feasting with panthers". Here is a fresh insight into what he meant. Illus. (19 plates), Notes + Select Bibliog. 272pp. p/back. With several 'indentation' mks. to part of lower fore-edge and back cover o/w Vg+


Browse Catalogue


Login/My Account




About Us

Contact Us