Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, better known as Fanny Hill, is one of the most notorious texts in English literature. As recently as 1963 an unexpurgated edition was the subject of a trial, yet in the eighteenth century John Cleland's open celebration of sexual enjoyment was a best selling novel. Fanny's story, as she falls into prostitution and then rises to respectability, takes the form of a confession that is vividly coloured by copious and explicit physiological details of her carnal adventures. The moral outrage that this has always provoked has only recently been countered by serious critical appraisal.
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Fanny Hill, shrouded in controversy for most of its more than 250-year life, and banned from publication in the United States until 1966, was once considered immoral and without literary merit, even earning its author a jail sentence for obscenity.
The tale of a naïve young prostitute in bawdy eighteenth-century London who slowly rises to respectability, the novel–and its popularity–endured many bannings and critics, and today Fanny Hill is considered an important piece of political parody and sexual philosophy on par with French libertine novels.
This uncensored version is set from the 1749 edition and includes commentary by Charles Rembar, the lawyer who defended the novel in the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case, and newly commissioned notes.From the Back Cover:
"A rare achievement . . . a ray of sunshine in the gloomy world of lust."
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