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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

For fans of BBC TV's hit series Harlots.

My tale is not for the faint of heart.

Born illegitimate in 18th-century England, Henrietta Lightfoot reveals the truth about the events that shaped her in this candid confessional of a wide-eyed girl's journey to worldliness. 

Forced to flee her childhood home for the capital, Henrietta falls face first into a demi-monde of rakes, rogues, wits, pimps and courtesans. It is not long before she realises that true liberty is a privilege to be enjoyed by men. But Henrietta is determined to find independence. 

In this deliciously deviant novel, Rubenhold illuminates the dark lives of the women written out of 18th-century literature by the great male writers. Vibrant and full-blooded, it is an enthralling picaresque story for our times. 

©2011 Hallie Rubenhold (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A remarkable picture of a fascinating age." (Daily Express)

 "A full-blooded historical." (Independent)

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  • Anon
  • 08-05-21

Unputdownable

This book has everything you might want from a historical romp set in England around 1789. The heroine, Henrietta, has to deal with lots of trials and tribulations, learning as she goes how to survive. The historical detail is mesmerising and the prose is good. The narrator does a very professional job but at times I found her voice a bit soporific and slow. I’m excited to start the sequel.

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  • The Curator
  • 02-03-21

Good but...

At the end of this book I was furious. I felt like the author had copped out of giving us answers to various plot points and run out of steam. Then it occurred to me to see if there were more in the series and I’m really glad I didn’t write my review before that 🤦🏼‍♀️ Anyway, I mostly really enjoyed the heroine’s untrustworthy account of her misadventures. There are some great characters and that fascinating sense that her imagined Victorian readers were way less permissive than the Georgians of her youth. I didn’t warm to the ‘hero’ who lacks the requisite charm or appeal to get away with his behaviour but now he has two more books to make it up to me.

1 person found this helpful