Book Review: “The Five: The Untold Lives Of The Women Killed By Jack The Ripper” by Hallie Rubenhold

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Hello!

Last month I was able to four books at one time, and as you might’ve seen in my review for Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, I mentioned that I really wanted to get into that spooky vibe that October always seems to bring and so this was a great addition to the lineup, although I did feel sad as I was finishing it but I will explain in detail later on the post.

For now, let’s move on to the blurb of the story.


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Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London – the untold lives of the women 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 more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that ‘the Ripper’ preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

taken from Goodreads.

There were a number of things I actually liked about this book. The first has to be the introduction: the author gave you an idea of how the time of the Jack The Ripper killings, a year after the Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebrations in 1887. You have a great reference of showcasing the glamor and luxuries of the royals but the darkside of her people, the lives of the victims are less infamous as they were all assumed to be prostitutes, but here they are up front and you really get to see how much a person, whether they are male or female, had to live in that era.

My second is the question that I seemed to have while reading the beginning of each of the women’s lives, which was, “how did it go wrong?” and for most, they were addicted to alcohol. Apparently it was very easy to get a drink, whereas having the resources to find birth control was not, and at this point the two were mixed and unfortunately had sad consequences, like experiencing the heartbreak of multiple stillbirths and children born with disabilities. The main reason why many lives were consumed to the alcohol were because of the many tragedies that came into their homes, whether it was their parents, siblings, or their own children; a way of coping with the guilt or pain was to drink it all away.

However, the drawback of a person, especially a woman with a family of her own, depending on the drink to cope with life’s struggles made her into a “fallen woman” if she would rather rely on the thirst or be at the heart of her family, good wife to her husband. Unfortunately, if the husband and father was also using the same coping mechanism, he wouldn’t be judged the same way as his wife. He could be open to his vices, if he could still hold down a job and pay his rent to the landlords. However, if the drink became too much, it was most likely the wives would be cast out of the home rather than the husband. The double standards of the Victorian era reigned heavily over the lives in London.

I want to say, I have looked up the women before, but have never once focused my attention on who they were; the notion that all five were considered “whores” really set me off about them and when I decided to give this a go, I was more focused on the nature of ‘The Ripper’ even as I talked it over with my mom, but once I finished I quickly realized everything that happened was real. Since there are five victims, I ended up having favorites, which I felt horrible at the time (and honestly still do!) because I saw the same things happening over and over again but with a different name and social class. My three favorites were: Annie, Elisabeth and Catherine or Katie as she was called in the book.

If you haven’t read this book, you should definitely put it on your list, and despite the fact that Halloween is now over with, it doesn’t mean you need to wait because autumn in general puts me in the mood for these kinds of books anyway. Oh, and you can also read it for the rest of ‘Nonfiction November’ theme too!

Have you read this book before? If you have, what were your thoughts about it?

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Top 40 Halloween Baby Names!

Howdy!

It is finally October, so it is perfectly fine for me to talk about this subject out loud, but let’s be honest, I’ve been talking about fall since the beginning of summer! When it comes to this post in general, I’ve had to keep it hidden so people wouldn’t think I was that kook-y, but my family members knew its appearance was coming soon.

This will be in the same format as my post about the possible names of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex could name their little one. Unfortunately, I was somewhat wrong with my picks but I did get one part right, their baby boy is named after Prince Harry, just not with a name that I expected at the time, but now I really like it and everything fits well, as it’s both American and British worthy! Anyways, I will talk about eight different names from both sexes and explain why I believe each one could work for all seasons!

I think I might have went a little overzealous with this picture, but in my defense, I had a lot more names that I could have included but I decided that would be too much for me. A lot of these names are full-on Halloween themed, whereas some are not, and they are very subtle to the point where you can hide the meaning behind it. I wanted to respect everybody’s point of view with the ones I’ve selected.

Now, as I’ve successfully put this banner on here, and considering how careful I was on how everybody was straight from top to bottom, I have already found a mistake. If I hadn’t put four fairly large sections I would actually attempt to fix it, but there’s nothing I can do so if you spot it, please have a little laugh on me!

Here are the 16 names that I thought deserved a little loving, and maybe they’ll be an inspiration to you and your partner to give to your newly witch or goblin.

Abigail Rose – I think the name “Abigail” is a beautiful name. It is a very timeless, but if you are familiar with the account of the Salem Witch Trails in the 1600’s, then you might remember that one of the first people to accuse a person for being a witch was a young girl by the name of Abigail Williams. Whether or not you believe in witchcraft or if she was making it up, the name is a beautiful example of having a spooky disguise as it is still classy and elegant but there’s this little hint of history within it too.

Daphne Grace – You might not think of this as a Halloween-ish type of name, but I do. I grew up watching the Scooby-doo cartoons and out of all of the names featured on the show, this was my only favorite. I have never liked the nickname Freddie for Frederick so that is why I didn’t include it on the boys side either. Since the show was created in the late 1960’s, it still has that hippie flare that some people might enjoy.

Ingrid Alexandra – This one was inspired the character Ingrid from Witches Of East End and yes, that was one of the reasons why I also put Freya on there too, but there was a character on The Originals with that same name, but they were all witches on their shows. The other reason why I chose to use it here was because everytime I think or hear of the name Ingrid, I immediately think of the color green. I would love to read up on auras and what they mean, especially if they can appear on words or baby names, because this happens a lot and I’m always at a loss to explain the reasoning for it.

Marnie Olivia – I actually worked on the banner above back in spring, but I had switch it out purely because I forgot to put “Marnie” on the list! I think it is an important name to this post because nobody would know it was a Halloween inspired name unless they have all of the Halloweentown films growing up! I have added “Agatha” to the girl’s side too, but I think this is a quirky name to give a little girl for the witch-y vibes!

Nercissa Louise – It was so difficult not to include a whole bunch of Harry Potter characters into this post, so I was very proud with the amount that ended up making it! I really love the name Nercissa, but I’m not really sure why though. A part of me thinks it’s because it feels like a classic but has this dark flare about it too.

Prudence Alice – Now when I went to include this one to my list, I figured people would think I put it on there because of my obsession with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but it’s not. I generally loved it as “Prue” on the original Charmed series. I always envied her power on the show too! This is another really old name too, it actually dates back to the 1600’s, around of the time of the Salem Witch Trails!

Selene Brooke – I’ve known about this name for a long time because before my dad brought home Oliver, we had a cat named Selene. She was originally my Aunt Laurie’s but somehow she gave her to us. Selene was mostly an outside cat. She was very shy and very pretty! I remember being bitten a couple of times after trying to get close to her. After a few months, we think she took off because we never saw her again. I think my mom tried to hold off a few days before making that announcement because she really loved her!

It would be a long time before I hear the name again, but for different circumstances; this time it came from the Underworld films! I still love the name as it sounds really dark and mysterious 

Wilhelmina Amalia – Now, you might not associate this one with fall or Halloween at first, but I found out late in 2018 that the name Wilhelmina was one of the characters in a little animation show on Boomerang called “Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz”. She is the Wicked Witch Of The East’s niece that basically wants to finish what her aunt started. The TV show is cute, but I think I loved the name better!

Now that we have the girl side done, we can move on to talk about the boy names that I have picked out for you. I had a lot more word names for this part because I just haven’t been inspired to use them for the girls yet. They all just sound masculine to me, but you could still use them for girls too, so don’t go with what I tell you because these are my opinions too.

Alchemy Paul – The boys were pretty easy as I have always loved adding a more spooky flare to their names compared to the girls. I wasn’t too keen on this one at first, but I think once I figured out it is apart of both the historical and science worlds, it makes me love it a lot more. It even reminds me of my papaw too!

Byron William – If you love Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and John William Polidori’s The Vampyre,you really need to take a closer look on what inspired both of these works. The story goes that Lord Byron brought a big group of novelists to stay in a villa and share stories. He even challenged to create the scariest story they could write and this is the beginning of history. So, if you enjoy the English name Byron but want to give it some spooky flare, here you go!

Harvest Roy – A lot of people are loving this name lately! However, the only way I’ve seen it used as a girl name. I have never loved it for a girl, everything about it makes me think of a guy! It might have something to do with football, tagliatelle parties, beer always coming into my head when I say it out, but I just love it this way. I would also only use it with smaller middle names too! 

Jasper Augustus – Out of all the Twilight names that I had in my original list, this was my ultimate favorite of the bunch! Jasper and Carlyle were my favorites on the movies, but I think Jasper is both classic and cool at the same time! 

Marius Bernhardt – When I went about creating this list, I wanted to make sure I represented all of the Halloween-y movies as I could so that I had a wide array of names to pull from, so thankfully I’ve been trying to watch the ones of Anne Rice’s books. There were plenty to use in this post, but one that I really liked the most was Marius. It is such a mysterious name but you could easily use “Mars” for a nickname though!

Poe Lafayette – There is no chance in hell am I leaving out the King of Halloween literature: Edgar Allen Poe. I thought his first and middle names were too common to be on here, but Poe is a great way to honor him. I would definitely use it as a first name, but I think it could work anywhere you want to put it. 

Wolf Travis – A part of me wanted to use “Wolfgang” for the list, but I thought it would be too much. Personally, I love that way but using “Wolf” as a nickname. I love older names compared some of the popular trends. Whatever way you prefer, I think it is a strong name for this time of the year. 

Viktor Campbell – I wasn’t going to use multiple names for the same book or movie, but the more I started picking out ones I wanted to talk about on this section, I quickly became aware that I wasn’t going to get by with it. This name is featured on the Underworld series with this spelling, but I like it with the original “Victor” for the creator of the monster on Frankenstein. It is a very serious name but I like it that way!

We are finally done with this post. This is my final baby names post for the year, or at least we’ll see! I might find another tag or talk about my favorite names of the year, but we’ll see what happens in the meantime!

How did you like all of the names above? If you were able to use any of them for a baby or maybe a pet, which one(s) would you use?

Autumn Tag

Howdy!

So, I was on Twitter earlier this week when I found a little comment thread and this little tag was shared by Tea Party Princess (love it, so cute!) and as I read the post I realized I have never done this one. I mean, I know for a fact I have another tag about fall, but I hadn’t seen this questions before so I think this might be a new one.

The Rules!

  • Answer the questions
  • Link back to the creator
  • Tag other people (if you want to!)

Here are the questions!

Hot Chocolate – what is your comfort book?

I was going to say To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, but that would be a lie. I mean, it’s a great book, but for some odd reason the first thing that popped into my head when I saw this question was a good erotica book! I mean, it’s true in a way. There are a couple of themes that make me comfortable as strange as that sounds, but whenever the weather outside gets a little colder, sometimes all I want to read a book that has a lot of sex in it. #shameless


Pumpkin Carving – what is your favorite creative outlet?

Recently it has been spending hours on Pinterest organizing! Now that you can make little boards within a board is very intoxicating for me! I have three of them that are full of different aesthetics. So, I started out with my new story boards and that has been a really good thing to have as far as figuring out more about my characters. In the beginning, I had each one with their own board, with having little sections for their style, home life, relationships with other characters etc. There is a massive amount of writers that use Pinterest for the same reason and I am basically learning to follow along I guess!

The next one is about colors. I have a lot light and vibrant hues. What’s even cooler (or weirder) is that they all have names for each one! For example, green is Giada Maria, red is called Valentina Soleil, and turquoise is Tiffany Brooke! And lastly, I just started collecting pictures that went with my favorite parts of history and once it got up to 50 pins, I just thought it would be really fun to create one section dedicated for a different important person. As of right now, the list goes..

  • Cleopatra
  • Bjorn Ironside
  • Vlad The Impalar
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Henry Tudor
  • Elizabeth of York
  • King Henry VIII
  • Katherine of Aragon
  • Anne Boleyn
  • Jane Seymour
  • Lady Jane Grey
  • Mary I
  • Elizabeth I
  • Abigail Williams
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Jane Austen
  • Mary Shelley
  • Queen Victoria
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Beatrix Potter
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Molly Brown
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Winston Churchill
  • John Dillinger
  • Neil Armstrong

Falling Leaves – changes that appear bad but you secretly love?

I am usually pretty good with changes in life, a lot better than some members of my family. I know everything is there to teach you a lesson of some kind, but of course there are some that I will try to dodge but everything happens a reason and there’s no use in hating something like that.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte – something you love that others that tend to judge

I am still a lover of Disney princesses falling in love at first sight–although I have never believed in it, I fall hopelessly in love with these types of movies. I believe a woman can rescue herself but I will always love knowing there’s a man wanting to protect her too. I really don’t see anything wrong with that.


Bonfire Night – what makes you explode with joy?

So, there are two things. I love being around our cats. I haven’t been able to go out and be with them up close for a while, but I can see them through the windows and when I say their names, they’ll meow back to me. It is literally one of the cutest thing ever!

And of course, hanging out with my little nephew makes me happy, unless he is not feeling good and crying/screaming, all that does is make me want to cry right along with him! He has been loving everytime I get on the floor with him though, he knows I’ll play and read books with him. Everytime I hear him say “hi” or give me a hug makes me so happy!


Fright Night – favorite scary book of film

I am not much of a scary film person, but as far as scary books there’s a great short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman called “The Yellow Wall-Paper” we read it for one of my English courses in school and it was so hauntingly beautiful that it became one of my favorites!


Halloween Candy – favorite thing to eat

I love PASTA! After years of being in a house with a father who has described himself as “meat and potatoes” type of guy, I have found myself branching out of that lifestyle and want almost every carbs you can find on this planet! The only second thing I am addicted to is dark chocolate!


Scarves – your autumn ‘must have’ accessory

I don’t really wear any accessories when I go out, but I do believe having great nails is a must! For fall, I think any color you see on the trees of the changing season is a nice touch. My favorites are gray, red and a vibrant yellow that would clearly match the petals of a sunflower!


Fire – a book or film that burns your soul

Hmmm, I’ll go with the movie first, I think The Hours wins the top spot! It is the story of three women in three different time periods going through life. It is a very sad film. It even brought out some very negative thoughts for me, but after I released those feelings, I changed emotionally and mentally, it was very weird but obviously it must have been what I needed at that time and I didn’t even know it!

Now for the book, this is going to sound weird yet again, but at the time I read this, I was still adamant about the fact that rockstars don’t deserve to or fall in life. Yeah, I know, that’s a bit harsh! After I began reading Olivia Cunning’s series Sinners On Tour, starting with Backstage Pass, I really came around that I was being very mean to the whole music genre and I saw their humanity, even if they were all fictional characters, they felt real to me because there are probably a lot of musicians dealing with the same things too.


Toffee Apples – a book or film that seems one thing but really has a different inside

I think when everyone watches superhero movies, they are either a giant fan of the comic book characters and look for the things that make them fall in love with that character, but when I watched X-Men: First Class I didn’t have all of that information, I just had what was given during the previous X-Men films of Charles Xavier and Erik. So, when I was watching this one, I got to see Magneto’s point of view on being proud of your differences, and for me this was very big because I grew up always wanting to be like everyone else and never loving me who I was, so it was really eye opening as a person with a disability.

I am finished! I am also not going to tag anyone special for this. If you want to do it, you can, as long as you link me back to your post so I can read answers! I hope you have enjoyed today’s post!

Do you like these tags or surveys as they use to be called on MySpace? Yes, I went there!

REVIEW | The Order

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I have been searching for new shows… again! I have a couple of shows that are literally being ignored on my DVR because I would rather search for something on Netflix instead. Sometimes when I go off on these “little” adventures I either come back with duds or really great discoveries, it just depends on my mood at the time honestly.

Recently, I went off into the “New Releases” scroll and found this new show called “The Order” but sadly it was there for like a week and a half before I decided to check it out. On the good note, I am getting somewhat smarter now as I’ve been watching the trailers before I actually start a series in general. As much as the summary wasn’t as appealing, the trailers were responsible for changing my mind about it and taking a chance on it.

Backstory

The Order is a Netflix Original, that follows a young man by the name of “Jack” on his way to a very special college called Belgrave University. One of the main reasons why Jack wants to go to Belgrave is because of this secret society, called The Hermetic Order of The Blue Rose. It’s a society of people learning various levels of witchcraft, and at the heart of the order is a man named Edward Coventry, who Jack’s grandfather or “pops” thinks is the main reason for his daughter and Jack’s mother’s death. Anyways, Jack is on his way of getting into the order when all hell breaks loose, and he ends joining another secret society called The Knights of Saint Christopher. So, in other words he turns into a werewolf and Jack is basically having to choose which side he is loyal to the most.

What I Really Thought About It

I thought the big reason why I decided to watch it was because I was really hoping it would give me that creepy vibe I needed to be able to remind myself on what I need to expect whenever The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina came back to me. I don’t think it did it justice but I enjoyed the effort though.

The rating that was given for the entire thing is TV-MA, meaning it is meant for mature audiences, so I half expected it to be really bloody and gory, but it really wasn’t like that considering the amount of killing that was involved among the characters. It also wasn’t very sexual either, other than the fourth or fifth episode but even then I’d still say those scenes were really PG=13. So, my logic was that it must’ve been given the rating because of the large amount of swearing within the hour-long episodes. Another thing is that, it was really funny, and normally I don’t like dark humor, but the dialogue was portrayed in the realist of ways so that I was laughing most of the time, so both elements really worked out well enough to make me a fan.

I am excited that there will be a season two! After the way they ended the last episode, I know everybody was really confused, and as much as I was laughing reading the comments on Twitter about their reactions of the last episode, I was too eating my own giggles because I was dumbfounded so we all need to know what happens to Jack, Alyssa and the rest of the characters.

Have you watched The Order yet? If you have, what were some of your thoughts? Do you have any theories about why the ending of season one happened like that?

REVIEW: “Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina”

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Howdy!

So, I took a big risk in the middle of December, I watched my second horror show on Netflix. Yes, second. The first was The Haunting Of Hill House back in September. I haven’t finished that yet and I have to say, that is a lot scarier compared the Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina but I’m willing to take the chance again!

I don’t know what really possessed me (no pun intended) to watch this, because I never watched the promos on YouTube beforehand because I figured it would be too much for me to take, but I was in the mood for something different and I just decided to check it out and by the end of the first episode, I knew I was hooked!

Backstory

We follow the half-human, half-witch Sabrina Spellman who splits her time between wanting to keep her mortal boyfriend Harvey Kinkle and her best friends Roz and Susie at Baxter High, and her family legacy of signing her name and life away becoming a full time witch and at the hands of the Dark Lord and no, we’re not talking about Voldemort, this is worse: the devil himself.  She’s divided between wanting to be there for her friends and living her life as a human but she’s been guided by her aunts: Zelda and Hilda, plus her cousin, whose on house arrest for trying to blow up the Vatican, Ambrose to fulfill her destiny of being a Spellman witch.

If you were a teen or young kid of the 90’s, the name Sabrina Spellman might be familiar to you. Melissa Joan Hart played the character on the show Sabrina The Teenage Witch – a lot of people have been very upset with the changes of this show to the remake. The biggest topic is the weirdest, the cat Salem. In this reboot, the black cat does not talk or we don’t hear him speak out loud to Sabrina like we did with the previous version. Honestly, I like Salem for what he is, he is Sabrina’s familiar or protector, so if he’s in animal form, he should be mute.

The other complaint I’ve seen a lot, especially after it was renewed for two more seasons, that a lot of people do not like the fact that it’s a lot darker than we remembered on the teen program. What really gets me is that, it’s a television show so it’s fictional but yet people are literally taking it so seriously, and that is just stupid! However, I feel like we rarely see the witches going bad. This is in a totally different direction, where they have Satan as the main “god” for these witches to worship. So, with that being said, it is going to be a little more out there because you’re talking about somebody that Christians are told to fear, and that is going to be a tad harder to overcome.

Overall

I just loved the show! I was thoroughly addicted to it for about a week. I would only watch during the day because I didn’t necessarily know what I would see on my screen in the dead of night. I’m pretty happy with that decision, especially seeing the sleep demon: Batibat. I was not ready for her, but then I actually kind of enjoyed her. My god, I’ve turned into my sister! Anyways, I think you should try it, you might like it too. Now all I have to do is wait until April for the next batch of 10 episodes to watch and I think I’m looking more forward to that than the final season of Game of Thrones! 

Have you watched Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina yet? What were thoughts about the differences between the older version to this reboot?