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John Cleland’s notorious novel, first published as Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure in 1748, is considered the first modern ‘erotic novel’ in English, and has become a byword in the battle against the censorship of literature.
The eponymous heroine, a poor country girl, arrives in the riotous London of the 18th Century, and is inducted into a life of vice, first in the capital’s brothels, and later as the companion of wealthy and eminent men. However, the great triumph of the novel is to portray Fanny as resourceful, intelligent, and frequently joyful, and Cleland’s writing is witty, learned, and full of classical allusion. With an introduction by Sean Walsh.