Slammerkin

By Emma Donoghue
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780156007474, 408pp.)

Publication Date: March 25, 2002

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Description
Born to rough cloth in working-class London in 1748, Mary Saunders hungers for linen and lace. Her lust for a shiny red ribbon leads her to a life of prostitution at a young age, where she encounters a freedom unknown to virtuous young women. But a dangerous misstep sends her fleeing to Monmouth and the refuge of the middle-class household of Mrs. Jones, to become the seamstress her mother always expected her to be and to live the ordinary life of an ordinary girl. Although Mary becomes a close confidante of Mrs. Jones, her desire for a better life leads her back to prostitution. She remains true only to the three rules she learned on the streets of London: Never give up your liberty; Clothes make the woman; Clothes are the greatest lie ever told. In the end, it is clothes, their splendor and their deception, that lead Mary to disaster.
Emma Donoghue's daring, sensually charged prose casts a new sheen on the squalor and glamour of eighteenth-century England. Accurate, masterfully written, and infused with themes that still bedevil us today, "Slammerkin" is historical fiction for all readers.



About the Author
EMMA DONOGHUE, born in Dublin, is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction whose eight novels include the internationally bestselling Room--winner of both the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Canada and Caribbean region) and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the Man Booker Prize--as well as Slammerkin, Life Mask and The Sealed Letter. She lives in London, Ontario, with her partner and their two children.
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