An excellent example of Ripper fiction
A sprawling work, as excellently and thoroughly researched as it is marvelously inventive, From Hell is one of the best examples of historical detective fiction, or indeed of Jack the Ripper fiction, that I have ever read. The historical details of the case, far from clashing with the invented aspects, serve to encourage the dramatic plot, weaving the magical elements into a story that seems almost believable. The work’s atmosphere draws the reader into the story completely, thanks in large part to the excellent work of Eddie Campbell, who makes 19th century England come alive with his skillful art.
Darkly gothic, the work considers not only the crime itself but the society in which it took place, ultimately seeking to solve not the crime but Victorian society itself. This approach, so amazingly simple yet stunningly complex turns a case that has been repeated and rehashed for over a century into a novel story that does not fail to turn the case into something more than it has ever been before. The interesting choice to elaborate on a theory so thoroughly debunked allows for a story which at once deals in the gritty reality of the case, while also allowing it to transcend those few terrifying months in the autumn of 1888 to become one with the myth that has since proliferated, and yes, perhaps festered, in the minds and hearts of so many of those who have been touched by the case.
This book is an excellent representation not only of Alan Moore’s and Eddie Campbell's work, but of Jack the Ripper fiction. It is an entertaining and enthralling read not only for people who know nothing about the case, but also for those, like me, who are hopelessly dedicated to Ripperology. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.