In Victorian England “freak-peeping” was an accepted form of entertainment and for twopence you could see a bearded lady, a pair of Siamese twins or you might just chance upon the greatest “attraction” of them all…

LONDON 1884: Dr. Frederick Treves, Surgeon and Lecturer in Anatomy at the London Hospital, paid a full shilling for a private view of what a gaudily-painted poster outside a vacant greengrocer’s shop in the Mile End Road claimed to be a frightful creature called The Elephant Man.

He was confronted with a limping, malodorous wreck whose distorted grotesque face was incapable of expression, and on whose body hung bags of spongy, pendulous tissue.

However, Treves was to discover that behind this monstrous appearence, there was a highly intelligent and sensitive human being. His name was Joseph Merrick and he appears in the first two episodes in the highly anticipated return of RIPPER STREET in the UK on Monday 28th October, 9pm on BBC1.

– Damian Michael Barcroft

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