Nightwalkers
Prostitute Narratives from the Eighteenth Century
9781551114699.jpg
  • Publication Date: August 12, 2008
  • ISBN: 9781551114699 / 1551114690
  • 264 pages; 6" x 9"

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Nightwalkers

Prostitute Narratives from the Eighteenth Century

  • Publication Date: August 12, 2008
  • ISBN: 9781551114699 / 1551114690
  • 264 pages; 6" x 9"

This anthology makes available for the first time a selection of narratives by and about prostitutes in the eighteenth century. These memoirs, some written by and some about eighteenth-century prostitutes, offer important insights into female experience and class and gender roles in the period. Portraying the lives of women in both success and hardship, written in voices ranging from repentant to bawdy, the memoirs show the complexity of the lives of the “nightwalkers.” For eighteenth-century readers, as Laura Rosenthal writes in her introduction, these memoirs “offered sensual and sentimental journeys, glimpses into high life and low life, and relentless confrontations with the explosive power of money and the vulnerability of those without it.” Offering a range of narratives from the conservative and reformist to the unabashedly libertine, this book provides a fascinating alternative look into eighteenth-century culture.

Comments

Nightwalkers is an affordable and useful anthology that would be a fine addition to libraries and classes dedicated to exploring how constructions of women and prostitution were rendered in the long eighteenth century. These narratives quite convincingly prove that the subgenre of the prostitute narrative is an important one to consider.” — Linda E. Merians, Eighteenth-Century Fiction

“Prostitutes in eighteenth-century literature are often either abject or evil, and we usually assume that this reflects more general attitudes towards actual prostitutes of the era. Nightwalkers reveals the error of this assumption. This entertaining and eye-opening collection of prostitute narratives powerfully challenges our ideas about both prostitution and female sexuality in eighteenth-century England. These narratives show us prostitutes who could be witty observers, canny businesswomen, and tender mothers. Laura Rosenthal has done a beautiful job of selecting compelling texts, and her introduction skillfully places them in the context of eighteenth-century literature and society.” — Charlotte Sussman, Duke University

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
INTRODUCTION
A NOTE ON THE TEXTS

  1. Authentick Memoirs of the Life, Intrigues, and Adventures of the Celebrated Sally Salisbury. With True Characters of
    her most Considerable Gallants

    CAPTAIN CHARLES WALKER
  2. The Juvenile Adventures of Miss Kitty F[ishe]r (1759)
    ANONYMOUS
  3. From The Histories of Some of the Penitents in the Magdalen-House, as Supposed to be Related by Themselves
    ANONYMOUS
  4. An Account of the Death of F.S. Who Died April 1763, Aged Twenty-Six Years. In a LETTER to a FRIEND
    MARTIN MADAN
  5. An Authentic Narrative of the Most Remarkable Adventures, and Curious Intrigues, Exhibited in the Life of Miss
    Fanny Davies, the Celebrated Modern Amazon

    ANONYMOUS

APPENDIX: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PROSTITUTE NARRATIVES IN THE LONG EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

Laura J. Rosenthal is Professor of English at the University of Maryland College Park. She is the author of Infamous Commerce: Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture (Cornell University Press, 2006).