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 what it meant to sell your body in a largely misogynistic society.
Harlots hits all the right notes, but I’m most captivated by the characters and how true to life these women feel; their sensibilities, their attitudes, their desires, their inner conflicts, and their experiences are all so real and so searingly historically accurate. Where it comes to getting inside the heads of London’s ‘Votaries of Venus’, the creators, Moira Buffini and Alison Newman have truly done their homework. To see these magnificent creatures rise from the pages of The Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies is an awesome thing.
I’m thrilled that my work on the Harris’s Lists, and by my book, The Covent Garden Ladies has inspired their creativity...and if you’d like to read more about the real Charlotte Wells (Charlotte Ward aka Hayes aka O’Kelly) and her mother, as well as many of the other women and men who populated the world in which they lived, The Covent Garden Ladies and my edited version of several editions of the Harris’s List are available as an e-book, paperback and hardback on Amazon.
And if you’d like to read more the series, there’s some excellent press coverage and analysis available: