London's Sinful Secret
The Bawdy History and Very Public Passions of London's Georgian Age
By Dan Cruickshank
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312658984, 672pp.)
Publication Date: November 23, 2010
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Georgian London evokes images of elegant mannered buildings, but it was also a city where prostitution was rife and houses of ill repute widespread in a sex trade that employed thousands. In London’s Sinful Secret, Dan Cruickshank explores this erotic Georgian underworld and shows how it affected almost every aspect of life and culture in the city from the smart new streets that sprang up in Marylebone, to the squalid alleys around Charing Cross to the coffee houses, where prostitutes plied their trade, to the work of artists such as William Hogarth and Joshua Reynolds. Cruickshank uses memoirs, newspaper accounts and court records to create a surprisingly bawdy portrait of London at its most-mannered and, for the first time, exposes its secret, sinful underside.
DAN CRUICKSHANK is an architectural historian and television presenter. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a member of the Executive Committee of the Georgian Group, and on the Architectural Panel of the National Trust. His recent work includes the television programmes and accompanying books Around the World in 80 Treasures and Dan Cruickshank’s Adventures in Architecture. He lives in Spitalfields, London.