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The Covent Garden Ladies: Pimp General Jack and the Extraordinary Story of Harris' List: Pimp General Jack the Extraordinary Story of Harris's List Paperback – 1 May 2006
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Sex toys, porn... forget Ann Summers, Miss Love was at it 250 years ago. (THE TIMES)
What a marvellous read Covent Garden Ladies is - I absolutely loved these divinely irresistible rascals and the brilliant telling of their escapades. (LEONIE FRIEDA Author of Catherine De Medici)
Scrupulously researched and cleverly structured... as lewd as goats and monkeys. (FREYA JOHNSTON THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)
A compelling and ingenious book... Rubenhold proves herself both a keen researcher and a writer who understands narrative tension. (THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
Exposed: filthy poet pimp who wrote the Georgian gentleman’s guide to prostitution... Essential reading for Georgian gentlemen in search of dangerous liaisons. (THE GUARDIAN)
The Covent Garden Ladies has all the atmosphere and edge of a good novel combined with the erudition and scholarship of history at its best… gives us the eighteenth century underworld as it is rarely portrayed, complete with whores and whoremongers, pimps and publishers. With this magnificent debut, Hallie Rubenhold deserves to storm the literary world. (FRANCES WILSON Author of The Courtesan’s Revenge)
From the Inside Flap
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 telling plunges the reader down the dark alleys of eighteenth-century London's underworld, a realm populated by tavern owners, pimps, punters, card sharps and of course, a colourful range of prostitutes and brothel-keepers. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product description
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I was fortunate to know of Harris's List prior to reading the book but not its history or that of its author(s) and this is why I bought the book in the first place. However, nothing could prepare me for the depth of information found here.
An unusual book, expertly written.
Off now to look for more of this ladies work!
This is facinating social history. Not only do we learn about the lives of our three main protagonists, but also what it was like to be in the Fleet prison, what is was like to be a struggling writer at the time and also about the theatres, pubs and brothels of Covent Garden.
The book also includes many of the entries from Harris's List, some of which are hilarious. I would have loved to have met a woman with 'breath like a Welsh bagpipe' or the prostitute who 'if you can forget she's hunchbacked, she's a little Venus'!
I would have liked to know more about the lives of the prostitutes at the time. All this was confined to the last chapter of the book, which was unfortunate as it was one of the more interesting parts of the book as a whole.
should be 10 stars
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