Danger, Darkness and Destitution in Nineteenth Century Britain

Danger, Darkness and Destitution in Nineteenth Century Britain by [Jo Ellis]

Dangers, Darkness and Destitution in Nineteenth Century Britain examines the life of a notorious serial killer and baby farmer, Amelia Dyer. Her actions ultimately led to the formation of modern child protection laws. Ellis uses Dyer’s case as a jumping off point to examine the danger and limited options of a woman living in the late 1800’s in Britain’s East End. Often as victims of circumstance, Ellis argues many women, including Dyer, did not have options to makes ends meet and fell prey to dangerous and dark professions.

This was a well researched and thorough examination of women in the late 1880’s. The argument presented, gave excellent details and a well rounded account from many academic perspectives to argue the idea. Author Jo Ellis’ analysis of Amelia Dyer’s case drew connections to fairytale witches to vilify women serial killers. Further, how the actions of Dyer and other accused “baby-farmers” should not be considered horrific solely based on the perpetrators gender, but more as a cultural practice. Women in Victorian times were expected to be utterly selfless and the perfect ideal of a mother; this dissertation drove home the fact that female criminals were presented as a form of “domestic betrayal” (pg. 46).

I particularly enjoyed how Ellis bridged Dyer’s case to Jack the Ripper’s case from 1888, stating there is significant evidence that would point towards it being a female serial killer, “Jill the Ripper.” I thought this was an excellent way to supplement their argument. It is interesting to read how many still discredit this theory despite the overwhelming evidence, because of their beliefs that “a woman could never do that.”

Danger, Darkness and Destitution in Nineteenth Century Britain was a great read and was not too muddled with high-brow jargon. The argument was straightforward and introduced me to many new concepts from Britain’s dark history. This is an informative and riveting book that conveys intriguing content in an entertaining and straightforward way.

Pages: 88 | ASIN: B09GKW3RFV

Buy Now From B&N.com


About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on October 25, 2021, in Book Reviews, Five Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: