Progress of a Woman of Pleasure:Prostitutes in 18th Century London

Here is the post on _Progress of a Woman of Pleasure_ that I showed at the beginning of class today. How does it link to Hogarth’s _A Harlot’s Progress_ or Syrena’s adventures in Haywood’s _Anti-Pamela_?

Jane Austen's World

Prostitutes were regarded with mixed feelings in the 18th century. An awareness of the vulnerability of women who had few economic options for making their way in the world owed much to the sentimental view taken of prostitutes. Ladies of pleasure were generally born into poverty and had little education or work skills. The sentimental prostitute narrative, which was common at the time, rarely condemned these women. These narratives, whether in print or on canvas, tell the story of a prostitute’s career and sexual fall, and generally end their tales in two ways: happily, through her marriage or finding acceptable employment, or tragically with her death.

The Progress of a Woman of Pleasure was drawn by Richard Newton, a young artist who died at 21 in 1798, two years after making this illustration. The “Progress” formula, which Newton used for a variety of prints, is a familiar one to those…

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