- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 538 KB
- Print Length: 185 pages
- Publisher: Halcyon Press Ltd.; First edition (7 Sept. 2010)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0042ANYY8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #189,737 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland (Unexpurgated Edition) (Halcyon Classics) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It was boring - just sex sex sex with no particular storyline. The 'heroine' was very helpless, and I prefer strong heroines. I can't be doing with females who need rescuing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Cleland writes in an appropriately corseted Victorian vernacular. This particular edition maintains his peculiar spelling, syntax and punctuation, all of which present certain obstacles to a contemporary reader. Lucky for us, the subject-matter presents no such obstacle. Eminently more readable (and less laughable) than Anne Desclos's (nom de plume: Pauline Réage) Story of O, Fanny Hill or, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure contains many of the same elements so sportingly penned by Henry Fielding in Tom Jones -- complete with happy ending. John Cleland, however, is no Henry Fielding. If the definition of `circumlocution' in Webster or the OED doesn't say `cf. John Cleland's Fanny Hill,' it ought to!
There's a wee bit of popular wisdom in Fanny Hill, an example of which can be found on p. 93: "We may say what we please, but those we can be the easiest and freest with are ever those we like, not to say love the best." And yes -- as several critics suggest -- there's ample irony, particularly in Volume II. "(A)ll my looks and gestures ever breathing nothing but that innocence which the men so ardently require in us, for no other end than to feast themselves with the pleasure of destroying it, and which they are so grievously, with all their skill, subject to mistakes in (on p. 149)"; and "(as) no condition of life is more subject to revolutions than that of a woman of pleasure, I soon recover'd my chearfulness (sic), and now beheld myself once more struck off the list of kept-mistresses, and return'd into the bosom of the community, from which I had been in some manner taken (on p. 162)."
And how does Fanny (i.e., John Cleland) conclude her tale other than through a happy reunion with her first lover--and only real love? Permit me to quote at length from p. 174: "You may be sure a by-job of this sort interfer'd with no other pursuit, or plan of life, which I led in truth with a modesty and reserve that was less the work of virtue, than of exhausted novelty, a glut of pleasure, and easy circumstances, that made me indifferent to any engagements in which pleasure and profit were not eminently united; and such I could with the less impatience wait for at the hands of time and fortune, as I was satisfied I could never mend my pennyworths, having evidently been serv'd at the top of the market, and even been pamper'd with dainties...".
As Gary Gautier suggests (in almost inscrutably convoluted academic jargon) in his Introduction, and as Liza Minnelli, in the 1972 film version "Cabaret," had so lustily sung. "money makes the world go around, the world go around, the world go around...".
Do I recommend a reading of Fanny Hill? Absolutely and without equivocation! After all, sex has been an appropriate topic of literary discourse here in the Western world since the Ancient Greeks (Sappho) and the Ancient Romans (Ovid and Catullus). Boccaccio, Rabelais, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Sterne, Fielding, Cleland & Co. merely embellished upon the genre, each in his own particular way.
Trompe-l'oeil (or, The In and Out. Of Love.)