It's Wednesday again, which means another installment of Shakespearean Imagination!
125 years ago today, on April 3rd, 1888, Emma Elizabeth Smith was found dead in Osborn Street in the Whitechapel area of East London, UK. Her death was the first of eleven unsolved murders in that neighbourhood between 1888-1891, although only six of the murdered women are now officially regarded as victims of the infamous “Jack the Ripper.” The Ripper crimes, in particular, shocked London, and indeed the world, with their brutality, and have spawned one of the most enduring mysteries of modern times. In honor of that, I give you today’s word:
- The quality of being savage
- An act of cruelty or violence
- An uncivilised state
Synonyms: atrociousness - atrocity - barbarity - barbarousness - brutality - cruelty - fiendishness - heartlessness - inhumanity - inhumanness - sadism - viciousness - wantonness
First seen in Shakespeare's King John (written 1596 - 1597). The full text of the play may be found here.
Read the official Metropolitan Police / New Scotland Yard report on the Whitechapel murders here.