By Emma Donoghue
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780156007474, 408pp.)
Publication Date: May 2002
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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.
Born in Ireland, Emma Donoghue spent many years in England and now lives in Canada. She is the author of Slammerkin as well as two other novels, a collection of short stories, and a collection of fairy tales. Her novels have been translated into eight languages.
PRAISE FOR SLAMMERKIN
"Superb . . . A novel of real force, filled with unforgettable sights . . . A profoundly entertaining and intelligent book."--Elle
"[A] colorful romp of a novel . . . Impossible to resist. Donoghue paints a spirited picture. . . . Fabulous."--The New York Times Book Review
"Intelligent and mesmerizing."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This book rocks from the title on. A spectacular job."--USA Today
"What a great read this book is! Donoghue is a real writer, and she's elevated her racy story close to art."--The Washington Post Book World
"[A] transporting read."--Mademoiselle