The Covent Garden Ladies

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November 2012



In 1757, a down-and-out Irish poet, the head-waiter at Shakespeare's Head Tavern in Covent Garden, and a celebrated London courtesan became bound together by the publication of a little book: Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies. This salacious publication detaling the names and 'specialities' of the capital's prostitutes eventually became one of the eighteenth century's most successful and scandalous literary works, selling 250,000 copies. During its heyday (1757-95) Harris's List was the essential accessory for any serious gentleman of pleasure. Yet beyond its titillating passages lay a glimpse into the sex lives of those who lived and died by the List's profits during the Georgian era.

The Covent Garden Ladies tells the story of three unusual characters: Samuel Derrick, John Harrison (aka Jack Harris) and Charlotte Hayes, whose complicated and colourful lives were brought together by this publication. The true history of the book is a tragicomic opera motivated by poverty, passionate love, aspiration and shame. Its story plunges the reader down the dark alleys of eighteenth-century London's underworld, a realm populated by tavern owners, pimps, punters, card sharks and of course, a colourful range of prostitutes and brothel-keepers.


Hallie Rubenhold


Rubenhold proves herself both a keen researcher and a writer who understands narrative tension...a compelling and ingenious book Independent Scrupulously researched and cleverly structured... Among the scurrilous tales of 18th-century low life...this one is the most intriguing. Daily Telegraph A good story...impeccable... Times Rubenhold's pages practically reek with smelly, pox-ridden Georgian Soho. She shows, with a complete lack of po-faced sermonising, the dangers of prostitution as well as the possibilities it offered, and she creates a narrative from the interrelated fortunes of her three main characters that crackles with drama and tension. Guardian A fascinating expose of the seamy side of 18th century life (awarded five stars) Mail on Sunday
EAN: 9781448153916
Untertitel: The Extraordinary Story of Harris's List. Epub Digital Only. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Transworld
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2012
Seitenanzahl: 160 Seiten
Format: epub eBook
Kopierschutz: Adobe DRM
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