‘The Life and Adventures of Miss Fanny Hill’ by John Cleland

Fanny Hill was a free book I came across on my e-reader. It was written in England in 1748. I figured, English 1748, might be a nice historical read. Or then again … DEFINITELY not!

I mean, wowzers, color me surprised. Honestly, I did not know novels of this sort were allowed to be published in those buttoned-up days {perhaps they were not so buttoned-up??}.  All I know is I sat on my train, blushing. Whatever I may have been expecting, I was definitely not expecting so vivid a story. Fanny, in short, was a prostitute – though not by choice. She, through a letter format, shares her life story in exquisite, specific, honest – yet somehow bordering on innocent – detail.

Fanny begins her tale saying:

‘Truth! Stark, naked truth, is the word; and I will not so much as take the pains to bestow a strip of gauze wrapper on it …’

I guess that should have prepared me. Also, after some further research I learned that the full title of the tale is ‘The Adventures of Miss Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Women of Pleasure’. That probably would have tipped me off had I gotten all the facts.

PS > This book is not for the faint of heart or prude of soul. If you can’t handle a run-of-the-mill romance tale – then you can NOT handle Fanny.