Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 03/03/2011
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Bookseller Reviews

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A darkly compelling novel about the downfall of a young woman in eighteenth century London. Don't expect, rainbows, flower and happy endings but do expect ... READ MORE
Penelope Bullock at Lancaster


Set in London and Monmouth in the late 1700s, this is an extraordinary novel about Mary Saunders, the young daughter of a poor seamstress. Mary hungers greedily for fine clothes and ribbons, as people of her class do for food and warmth. It's a hunger that lures her into prostitution at the age of thirteen. Mary is thrown out by her distraught mother when she gets pregnant and almost dies on the dangerous streets of London. Her saviour is Doll - a prostitute. Mary roams London freely with Doll, selling her body to all manner of 'cullies', dressed whorishly in colourful, gaudy dresses with a painted red smile. Faced with bad debts and threats upon her life she eventually flees to Monmouth, her mother's hometown, where she attempts to start a new life as a maid in Mrs Jones's house. But Mary soon discovers that she can't escape her past and just how dearly people like her pay for yearnings not fitting to their class in society...

  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • ISBN: 9781844087341
  • Number of pages: 432
  • Weight: 300g
  • Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 28 mm

Customer Reviews

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Completely absorbing.
This novel (based on some true events) had me completely absorbed from beginning to end. It tells the tale of a young girl, Mary Saunders, living in London... READ MORE
Barbie Dunford
I like it
Mary Saunders is fourteen and knows already she does not want the life her mother has, she wants more. When she covets a red ribbon and approaches the sell... READ MORE