Covent Garden Ladies - A Gentleman's Guide14th November 2014
Harris's List of Covent-Garden Ladies was published annually between the years 1757 and 1795 as a directory for gentlemen seeking the services of ladies of negotiable virtue in and around the Covent Garden area. 'Harris' refers not to the author but probably refers to Jack Harris - a notable Covent Garden pimp. The author is listed psuedonymously as H. Ranger but the real writers are uncertain and varied over time. At its peak, it sold around 8,000 copies per year.
The 1788 volume, the text of which I am using here, lists the names and addresses of 93 ladies along with descriptions, the price you might be expected to pay and some descriptive poetic verse of variable quality. I have, as is my wont, split them into separate files.
By turns funny, tragic and downright bitchy, it provides some fascinating insights into the fair ladies practising the oldest profession in Georgian London.
Have a look here »