Since Jack the Ripper was never caught, fascination with the unsolved mystery has been widespread and enduring. But what of the women? Who were they? What was life like for them in London of that time period? What were their struggles, their hopes, their regrets? The two novels within this volume, Say Anything But Your Prayers, about the life of Elizabeth Stride, and Of Thimble and Threat, about the life of Catherine Eddowes, give possible answers to these questions.
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In Victorian London, the greatest city of the richest country in the world, the industrial revolution has created a world of decadence and prosperity, but also one of unimaginable suffering. Ever-present in its streets are rats, parasites, filth, death, decay, danger and sorrow. Catherine Eddowes is found murdered gruesomely in the street. When the police make their report, the only indicators of her life are the possessions carried on her person, likely everything she owned in the world.
The beast of poverty and disease had stalked Elizabeth all her life, waiting for the right moment to take her down. To survive, she listened to the two extremes within herself - Bess, the innocent child of hope, and Liza, the cynical, hard-bitten opportunist. While Bess paints rosy pictures of what lies ahead and Liza warns of dangers everywhere, the beast, in the guise of a man offering something better, circles closer.