The drama series, Harlots (on ITV Encore and Hulu)  is currently educating viewers on the realities of life for prostitutes in eighteenth century London. Anyone who ever thought they must have had a jolly olde tyme, or who bought into the romance of the bodice ripper would benefit by taking a good, hard look at the difficulties and complexities of

Sometimes I’m amazed by how little we question history and its accepted narratives. For nearly 130 years, we’ve been told that the five canonical victims of Jack the Ripper: Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Kate Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly were ‘just prostitutes’ and remarkably, most of us have swallowed this whole. It’s as if somehow tarring them with