Slammerkin

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000 - Fiction - 410 pages
4 Reviews
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.
 

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Slammerkin

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

"Slammerkin," an 18th-century term meaning a loose gown or loose woman, is a fitting title for Irish writer Donoghue's (Hood) third novel. Mary Saunders's mother scratches out a meager living as a ... Read full review

Review: Slammerkin

User Review  - Alena - Goodreads

Thoroughly enjoyable read, well written as I've come to expect from Donoghue and I'm never disappointed. By no means uplifting, story about a young girl falling into prostitution in London in the ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Prologue
1
London
5
Ribbon Red
7
Magdalen
55
Liberty
107
Monmouth
141
The Whole Duty of Woman
143
Thaw
211
Bloom Fall
263
Punishment
307
As the Crow Flies
353
Note
385
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Emma Donoghue was born in Dublin in 1969 and earned her Ph.D. in eight-eenth-century fiction at Cambridge. She is the author of three novels, a book of fairy tales, and several works of literary history. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

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