This was the third sentence in the Foreword. It was part of the first person narration of the main character, Lord Grandrith. Normally when I hear the year 1888 my mind jumps to one thing. Despite all of the events that took place in 1888; The founding of the National Geographic Society, the Washington Monument opening to the public, Susan B. Anthony organizing a Congress for Women's Rights, George Eastman's patent on a camera that uses film rolls, the crowing of Wilhelm II as the Emperor of Germany, and countless other events of that year.
No, the first thing I think of hearing 1888 is Jack the Ripper.
This time my instincts would be right. The fourth sentence of the Foreword is: "Jack the Ripper was my father."