The Secret History of Georgian London

The Secret History of Georgian London : How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital

3.8 (230 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Georgian London evokes images of elegant buildings and fine art, but it was also a city where prostitution was rife, houses of ill repute widespread, and many tens of thousands of people dependent in some way or other on the wages of sin. The sex industry was, in fact, a very powerful force indeed, and in The Secret History of Georgian London, Dan Cruickshank compellingly shows how it came to affect almost every aspect of life and culture in the capital.

Examining the nature of the sex trade, he offers a tantalising insight into the impact of prostitution to give us vivid portraits of some of the women who became involved in its world. And he discusses the very varied attitudes of contemporaries - those who sympathised, those who indulged, and those who condemned. As he powerfully argues, these women, and many thousands like them, not only shaped eighteenth-century London, they also helped determine its future development.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 672 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 48mm | 634g
  • Windmill Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations (some col.), maps, ports. (some col.)
  • 0099527960
  • 9780099527961
  • 234,644

Back cover copy

'The author paints an illuminating, eye-opening and generous account of the capital's courtesans, harlots, bath-houses and brothels. A book to read by the light of a flickering candle' Nigel Slater


Georgian London evokes images of elegant buildings and fine art, but it was also a city where prostitution was rife, houses of ill-repute widespread, and many tens of thousands of people dependent in some way or other on the wages of sin. The sex industry was, in fact, a very powerful force indeed, and Dan Cruickshank compellingly shows how it came to affect almost every aspect of life and culture in the capital.



' Fascinating. . . a scholarly panorama of Georgian London before the sex trade was chased underground by the Victorians and we all became prudish instead' Daily Mail


'Cruickshank brilliantly sketches the wild whirligig of drunkenness, debauchery, theft, exploitation, merriness, subversion, corruption, lust, fantasy, violence, disease, starvation and early death' Telegraph


'I heartily recommend this scholarly romp through the bordellos, inns and prisons of Henry Fielding and John Wilkes's London' A.N. Wilson

'a fascinating and deeply researched book' Kate Williams

'a monumental work' Hallie Rubenhold
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Review Text

"Fascinating ... Cruickshank removes the bland façade to expose one of London's biggest and most lively industries - its trade in sex ... a lively and scholarly panorama of Georgian London before the sex trade was chased underground by the Victorians and we all became prudish instead"
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Review quote

"Belle de Jour for the 18th century. Funny, fantastical, full of impossible facts and scandalous stories. Scholarly, but also the ideal stocking (and suspender) filler" -- Jeanette Winterson * Guardian * "I heartily recommend this scholarly romp through the bordellos, inns and prisons of Henry Fielding's and John Wilkes's London" -- A.N. Wilson * Reader's Digest * "Fascinating ... Cruickshank removes the bland facade to expose one of London's biggest and most lively industries - its trade in sex ... a lively and scholarly panorama of Georgian London before the sex trade was chased underground by the Victorians and we all became prudish instead" * Daily Mail * "This is a colossal melting pot of a book: ambitious, rigorously researched, vigorously narrated and marvellously illustrated. All of life is here, but not as we know it" * Sunday Times * "The author paints an illuminating, eye-opening and generous account of the capital's courtesans, harlots, bath-houses and brothels. A book to read by the light of a flickering candle" -- Nigel Slater * Telegraph *
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About Dan Cruickshank

Dan Cruickshank is an architectural historian and television presenter. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a member of the Executive Committee of the Georgian Group, and on the Architectural Panel of the National Trust. His recent work includes the television programmes and accompanying books Around the World in 80 Treasures (2005) and Dan Cruickshank's Adventures in Architecture (2008). He lives in Spitalfields, London.
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Rating details

230 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 27% (63)
4 38% (88)
3 24% (55)
2 9% (20)
1 2% (4)
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