Other books byJohn Cleland
Memoirs of Fanny Hill
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
Memoirs of Fanny Hill, written in debtor's prison in 1784, is considered the first modern erotic novel in English. A young woman, Fanny Hill, is forced by poverty to go into service, but is tricked into becoming a prostitute instead. She is then saved by her love, only to have his jealous father send him from the country some months later. She moves from one lover to the next, gaining maturity with each encounter, and nearing her... happy ending.
Or, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, commonly known as Fanny Hill, has been shrouded in mystery and controversy since John Cleland completed it in 1749. The Bishop of London called the work 'an open insult upon Religion and good manners' and James Boswell referred to it as 'a most licentious and inflaming book'. The story of a prostitute's rise to respectability, it has been recognized more recently as a unique combination of parody, sensual entertainment and a philosophical concept of sexuality borrowed from French libertine novels. Modern readers will appreciate it not only as an important contribution to revolutionary thought in the Age of Enlightenment, but also as a thoroughly entertaining and important work of erotic fiction, deserving of a place in the history of the English novel beside Richardson, Fielding and Smollett.
Memoirs of a Coxcomb
Cleland, who took an early retirement from pornagraphy after Fanny Hill's publication got him a brief stint in jail and a lifelong pension, wrote a few more works in his lifetime. This companion book, Memoirs of a Coxcomb, about a male prostitute and relying perhaps on the experiences of both Cleland and his father, was long suppressed, not seeing publication until many years after the expurgated Woman of Pleasure became available.
The Memoirs of Fanny Hill
In a series of letters to an unknown woman, Fanny defends her lifein particular her career as a prostitute. With its extraordinary and explicit descriptions of sex Fanny Hill scandalized the world upon its release and resulted in author John Cleland's arrest for obscenity. Fanny Hill was not formally published until the mid-20th century, and continues to be revered as an erotic classic.