By James Garbett, Gale Ambassador at the University of Exeter
I’m a third-year English student at the University of Exeter – and a Gale Ambassador for the University. I’m a huge fan of all things film, theatre and journalism, whilst also continuing to examine the changing forms of masculinity within gender studies. When not attempting to play drums, you can find me interviewing various individuals of the music and film world and working for the student newspaper, radio and television station.
“Here was the perfect setting for a crime of the blackest sort” states a captivating document about Jack the Ripper that can be found within Gale’s Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture, 1790-1920 archive; “a city with a network of winding streets; a city of tumble-down, rickety houses and filthy courts and gateways.” “Here took place,” the source continues, “over a stretch of 15 months, one of the most horrible series of murders the civilised world has ever seen”. Found in the ‘TS Wood Detective Agency Records’ collection, this document paints a terrifying and chilling image of the Whitechapel area of London in the late nineteenth century. It speaks of the labyrinthine nature and depravity of the district, as well as the heinous crimes that were committed there.