A JOURNALIST turned author and historian has brought the mean streets of the Victorian East End to life in his new book.

Ian Porter, who lives near Basingstoke, is celebrating the publication of his new book Whitechapel Autumn of Errors, which was released on Wednesday, February 28.

The book is based at the time of the Whitechapel murders, which were committed in or near the impoverished Whitechapel in the East End of London between April 1888 and February 1891. 

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Basingstoke Gazette: Author Ian Porter has released a new book Whitechapel's Autumn of ErrorThe idea for the book came from Ian’s frustration by the way in which the Whitechapel murders are now used for comedic walking tours around the murder sites, or to sell a book or television programme of dubious research claiming to have worked out the killer’s identity.

He wanted to make his audience aware of the living situations of the time period within the working class.

He said: “The story of Whitechapel 1888 isn't Sweeney Todd-like fiction. These were real women; horribly murdered by a real psychopath. 

“I want to bring the mean streets of Whitechapel 1888, and the people who lived on them, particularly the women, to life by showing readers what it was really like to be around in those days.

“There is a feminist and social element to the story, that basically asks questions such as ‘why were women driven into such terrible lives?’ and can the end, namely changing such a situation for the better, ever justify the most terrible of means.”

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Ian, whose grandparents were teenagers living in East London at the time of Jack the Ripper murders, continued: “The novel has been exhaustively researched and is particularly strong on historical accuracy, though, of course, I've had to change some things so the modern reader can enjoy it. It is a novel at the end of the day, so I have written it as an exciting page-turner, with a mix of real life characters and others whom I have invented.”

Ian is a historian and lecturer who specialises in social history from the 1830s to the Great War and Spanish Flu.

His previous novels include Suffragette Autumn Women’s Spring and A Plague on Both Your Houses.