Rupert Owen's Reviews > Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies: Sex in the City in Georgian Britain

Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies by Hallie Rubenhold
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's review
Aug 15, 2008

liked it
Read from January 26 to February 05, 2011

It's a curio. I would like to be able to read the original, but apparently very few exist. This short pamphlet style novel details the sanctum sanctorum of many a Convent-Garden Lady. Sex Workers who frequented the Soho area et cetera. What is interesting abou this book, is that websites have picked up where it has left off. I found the writing of Sam Derrick, who was the apparent literary stylist behind Harris's List to be intriguing in the sense that on the most part it described the services of each worker to the benefit of the worker, and thus culled perhaps unnecessarily clientele from knocking on their doors. Each Sex Worker is described as to her service and then her price is named.

The frequent mention of birch wood for spanking is amusing, and on particular description of a Sex Workers services towards the end is well worth the potter through the earlier pages. If the oldest 'business' in the world tickles your curiosity, I would say it is a fine petite edition to perhaps more extensive descriptions of working in the Sex Industry. As I said before, I sometimes am somewhat questionable about the validity of such edited curios simply because I fancy having a bit more premise behind what I am about to read especially if penned by numerous or dubious authors, I like a bit of foreword to lead me into the merit of the text rather then descriptive tattle before I nurture the neatly bound eccentric artefact - but this can only encourage one to dig a bit deeper into the history of our sexual anthropological selves.
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