The Whore's Story: Women, Pornography, and the British Novel, 1684-1830 (Ideologies of Desire)
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This fresh and persuasively argued book examines the origins of pornography in Britain and presents a comprehensive overview of women's role in the evolution of obscene fiction. Carefully monitoring the complex interconnections between three related debates--that over the masquerade, that over the novel, and that over prostitution--Mudge contextualizes the growing literary need to separate good fiction from bad and argues that that process was of crucial importance to the emergence of a new, middle-class state. Looking closely at sermons, medical manuals, periodical essays, and political tracts as well as poetry, novels, and literary criticism, The Whore's Story tracks the shifting politics of pleasure in eighteenth-century Britain and charts the rise of modern, pornographic sensibilities.