Fanny Hill Background

Fanny Hill Background

Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure , also known as Fanny Hill, is an erotic novel written by John Cleland and was first published in 1748. The novel is considered "the first original English prose pornography, and the first pornography to use the form of the novel" and was initially shunned by society and even banned from being printed. In the United States, a Massachusetts court outlawed Fanny Hill. The publisher, Peter Holmes, was convicted for printing a "lewd and obscene" novel.

The novel was released as two installments and follows the life of Frances "Fanny" Hill across her lifetime. The novel is written as a series of letters by Fanny, who comments on the state of her life and the decisions she makes as a young woman living in the 17th century and exploring her sexuality.

Fanny effectively plays the role of a prostitute throughout the novel and though this caused wide outrage upon the novels initial release, critic’s have now praised it for its unique take and perspective on such an unconventional character.

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