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About the book
  • Published: 8 November 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448153916
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 160

The Covent Garden Ladies

By the Sunday Times bestselling author of THE FIVE

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The fascinating true story behind the 18th century directory of Covent Garden prostitutes, known as HARRIS'S LIST and the inspiration behind ITV's hit drama HARLOTS

The book that inspired ITV's hit drama HARLOTS . . .

1757 - Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies, a salacious publication detaling the names and 'specialities' of the capital's prostitutes, eventually became one of the eighteenth century's most successful literary works as well as an essential accessory for any serious gentleman of pleasure.

Beyond its titillating passages lay a glimpse into the sex lives of those who lived and died by the List's profits during the Georgian era.

The Covent Garden Ladies tells the story of three unusual characters whose colourful lives were brought together by this publication.

Its story plunges the reader down the dark alleys of eighteenth-century London's underworld, a realm populated by tavern owners, pimps, punters, card sharks and of course, a colourful range of prostitutes and brothel-keepers.

  • Pub date: 8 November 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448153916
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 160

About the Author

Hallie Rubenhold

Hallie Rubenhold is a social historian and an authority on women's lives of the past. She has worked as a curator for the National Portrait Gallery and as a university lecturer. Her books include Lady Worsley's Whim, dramatized by the BBC as The Scandalous Lady W, and Covent Garden Ladies: The Extraordinary Story of Harris's List, which inspired the ITV series Harlots. She lives in London with her husband.

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Praise for The Covent Garden Ladies

“Rubenhold proves herself both a keen researcher and a writer who understands narrative tension...a compelling and ingenious book”


“Scrupulously researched and cleverly structured... Among the scurrilous tales of 18th-century low life...this one is the most intriguing.”

Daily Telegraph

“A good story...impeccable...”


“Rubenhold's pages practically reek with smelly, pox-ridden Georgian Soho. She shows, with a complete lack of po-faced sermonising, the dangers of prostitution as well as the possibilities it offered, and she creates a narrative from the interrelated fortunes of her three main characters that crackles with drama and tension.”


“A fascinating exposé of the seamy side of 18th century life (awarded five stars)”

Mail on Sunday

“The Covent Garden Ladies has all the atmosphere and edge of a good novel combined with the erudition and scholarship of history at its best. With this magnificent debut Hallie Rubenhold deserves to storm the literary world.”

Frances Wilson

“A marvellous read – I absolutely loved these divinely irresistible rascals and the brilliant telling of their escapades.”

Leonie Frieda

“A scandalous tale”

BBC History Magazine

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