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Confessions of a Courtesan - a Review
Confessions of a Courtesan, an historical fiction novel, was written by Deborah Hale. I really wondered what an historical fiction novel about the life and times of a prostitute for noblemen and men of wealth would be like, but my curiosity got the best of me. I couldn't resist the temptation to buy this book.
The novel is the story of Elizabeth Bridget Cane. After the death of her father when she was a teen, Elizabeth Cane is left homeless and a pauper. She doesn't want to sell her body in order to survive, but things are so desperate for her that she is beginning to consider it. Then she is picked up off the streets by Ned Armistead, a former acquaintance of her father. He recognizes her beauty. Because she has such thick, luxurious hair, he tells her that he can get her a job as a hair model. He cleans her up and keeps her off the streets while training her to be a lady.
She if living with him while he teaches her, but he never once tries to “take advantage” of her. At first she is glad, but soon she finds herself falling in love with him. Then she learns why he hasn't so much as made a pass at her. Ned Armistead tends to prefer men instead of women. She is angry, but she tells him that she will now go and stay with Mrs. Goady. That is what he has been training her for.
Mrs. Goady is a lady who runs what is basically a high-class brothel that caters to young, rich men. There she becomes known by the professional name of Mrs. Armistead. The brothel is well-run and the girls are taken care of, but there are downfalls. If any of the girls get pregnant, they are made to leave. If any of them come down with the pox, they must go. Elizabeth does fine there until a rowdy bunch of young men kick down her door and burst into her room. Now she is asked to leave.
After she leaves there is when she decides to become a courtesan. She doesn't want to become just any courtesan, but she wants to become “the most sought after courtesan in the empire.” She finds the young men whose fault it is that she was asked to leave the brothel and demand they help her to do this. Now begins the career she is remembered for in history.
The politician and the courtesan were both creatures of public favor. This is my favorite line out of the book, and now you get to see just how true that statement is.
This book is not just about the many men she has dealings with. In this book full of history, romance, and drama, you get to see how once penniless and homeless Elizabeth Bridget Cane became one of the most respected women in the empire. Her road there was filled not only with pain, turmoil, and jealousy, but also with happiness and love.
Although the book is about the life of a courtesan, it isn't just a book of her intimate encounters. Fact is skillfully weaved into the fiction. The history takes place in the background of the story at first, then takes more of a prominent role as the political situation her friends are involved in heats up. The war in the colonies is taking place, so Elizabeth and everyone in her life is affected.
I purchased my own Kindle copy of this book from Amazon. If you would like a copy to read and enjoy, I have provided an Amazon link below.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
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