Fanny Hill, one of the most popular novels of the 18th century, traces the rise of its heroine from prostitution to middle-class respectability. Condemned in its own time on grounds of indecency, the book was the subject of several law suits until as recently as the 1960s. For today's listener, the work holds as much fascination as when it was first published, not only as the foremost example of English erotic fiction, but as a literary classic in its own right.
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Scandalous when it came out in 1748 after being written from prison by John Cleland, Fanny Hill was almost immediately banned for obscenity, and was only available "underground" for centuries before finally being published legitimately in 1963. It still titillates even today.
The highly charged, erotic novel is told as a series of letters from prostitute Fanny Hill, that describe her vivid sexual encounters in and around London. The 350 years after its publication has done nothing to damper the steamy heat this arousing drama generates. Narrated elegantly with subtle sensuality by Emma Fielding.
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