"I am down on whores and I shan't quit ripping them till I do get buckled," wrote Jack the Ripper to the Central News Agency on September 18, 1888.1 The question I want to raise in this essay reflects not on the reality of Jack the Ripper—real he was, and he never did get buckled—but on the contemporary fantasy of what a Jack the Ripper could have been. To understand the image of Jack, however, it is necessary to understand the image of the prostitute in Victoria's London. It is also necessary to comprehend the anxiety which attended her image in 1888, an anxiety which, like our anxieties a hundred years later, focused on diseases labeled sexual and attempted to locate their boundaries within the body of the Other.2