The murders of Jack the Ripper stirred controversy and emotion at the time and continues to stimulate fascination within society, not only because of the vicious nature of the crimes but also due to the impact the Jack the Ripper murders had on society. The crimes by Jack the Ripper highlighted a number of differing views towards women prevalent in 19th Century London. In late 19th Century there was a changing attitude towards women, causing ambiguity in the views of women at the time. Through the use of primary documents, this essay intends to illustrate the view of women in late 19th Century London. These views of women were highlighted at the time through the murders of Jack the Ripper. Firstly, the definition of primary evidence will be explained briefly and a number of problems with primary sources will be elucidated. The expected behavior of an English woman will also be presented through the aid of primary sources. The differing views towards women will also be discussed, including the differing opinions towards prostitutes; the idea of the ‘fallen woman’ or prostitutes as creatures of evil. Representations of the victims of Jack the Ripper will also be addressed, in particular the accounts of Mary Kelly. Overall, it will be clear the attitudes towards women in late 19th Century London was a very complex subject and the Jack the Ripper murders aided in drawing attention to ambiguous views of women.
According to the definition, ‘primary sources are first hand accounts of an event, a person’s life, and other historical facts.’ Some examples of primary sources can be newspaper articles, diaries, eye witness accounts, photographs and letters. Furthermore, a primary source should not be based on any other sources. Not all sources have the same reliability and one source can very rarely be used on its own as conclusive evidence. Instead, using a group of primary as... [continues]
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