Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure or Fanny Hill has already been mentioned once before in this column. I wanted to review it because it is a singularly beautiful novel, even if it is considered a little tame by today’s standards.

John Cleland’s novel was first published in 1748 and caused immense consternation when it did, unsurprisingly. It was banned immediately for its disreputable content, thereby gaining instant notoriety. It is the tale of Fanny Hill, a young woman in Augustan England who chooses the world’s oldest profession as a means of gaining middle-class respectability and financial independence. She is sweet and easygoing and views her work as a means to an end. It is a rather delightful romp (600 pages) and an easy read; not to mention providing us (the readers) an intimate look at sexual practises in the eighteenth century.

Read more here.