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Dispatch: 23 January 2017
Oxford University Press
Oxford Popular Fiction
The Lodger (1913) is the chilling story of Jack the Ripper's terrible murders and of the woman who shelters him from the law.
"Mrs Bunting always visioned The Avenger as a black shadow in the centre of a bright blinding light - but the shadow had no form or definite substance." In 1888 a series of prostitutes was brutally murdered in the East End of London, and the crimes filled the press and shook England. Marie Belloc Lowndes established her considerable reputation as a crime writer through The Lodger, her fictionalized account of the murders. Dealing not only with the psychology of 'The Avenger' - her version of Jack the Ripper - but also with that of his landlady, Mrs Bunting, who never gives away his secret, Belloc Lowndes creates an atmosphere of fear, suspense, and horror.
The Lodger has been made into a film four times, most notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1926.