Fanny Hill

References in popular culture

References in literary works

  • 1965: In Harry Harrison's novel Bill, the Galactic Hero, the titular character is stationed on a starship named Fanny Hill.
  • 1966: In Lita Grey's book, My Life With Chaplin, she claims that Charlie Chaplin "whispered references to some of Fanny Hill's episodes" to arouse her before making love.
  • 1984: In the book Frost at Christmas by R. D. Wingfield, the vicar has a copy of Fanny Hill hidden in his trunk amongst other dirty books.
  • 1993: In Diana Gabaldon's novel Voyager, in a scene set in 1758, the male protagonist Jamie Fraser reads a borrowed copy of Fanny Hill.
  • 1999: In a portrait that appears in the first volume of Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Fanny Hill is depicted as a member of the 18th century version of the League. She also appears more prominently in "The Black Dossier" as a member of Gulliver's League, as well as a "sequel" to the original Hill novel, complete with illustrations by Kevin O'Neill. The setting of her involvement with the League begins with her divorce from Charles after he is caught in the act in a brothel kept by former League member Amber St. Clare, and is shown to have been sexually involved with both Gulliver and Captain Clegg nearly 40 years before the second League was founded. She doesn't age as an effect of her stay at Horselberg. This version has apparently pursued a lesbian relationship with a character named Venus (who seems to be an amalgamation of the various versions of the Goddess of love in literature) for at least a century and a half as of the Black Dossier and in contrast to the novel's relationships this one seems to be enduring.

References in film, television, musical theatre and song

  • 1965: The novel is mentioned in Tom Lehrer's song "Smut" in the album That Was the Year That Was
  • 1968 (April) version of Yours, Mine, and Ours, Henry Fonda's character, Frank Beardsley, gives some fatherly advice to his stepdaughter. Her boyfriend is pressuring her for sex and Frank says boys tried the same thing when he was her age. When she tries to tell him that things are different now he observes, "I don't know, they wrote Fanny Hill in 1742 [sic] and they haven't found anything new since."
  • 1968 (December): A tongue-in-cheek reference appears in the David Niven, Lola Albright film The Impossible Years. In one scene the younger daughter of Niven's character is seen reading Fanny Hill, whereas his older daughter, Linda, has apparently graduated from Cleland's sensationalism and is seen reading Sartre instead.
  • 23 November 1972: An episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, fittingly titled "The War Against Pornography", featured a sketch that parodied the exploitation of sex on television for ratings, in which John Cleese played the narrator of a documentary on molluscs who adds highly sexualized imagery to maintain his audience's interest; when discussing the clam, he describes it as "a cynical, bed-hopping, firm-breasted, Rabelaisian bit of seafood that makes Fanny Hill look like a dead Pope!"
  • 1974: In a segment in the film The Groove Tube, children's TV show host Koko the Clown (Ken Shapiro) asks the children in his audience to send their parents out of the room during "make believe time." He then proceeds to secretly read an excerpt from page 47 of Fanny Hill in response to a viewer's request.[17]
  • 1975: In the M*A*S*H season 4 episode "The Price of Tomato Juice",[18] Radar thanks Sparky for sending the book Fanny Hill but says the last chapter was missing and asks "Who did it?" He repeats back Sparky's answer: "Everybody".
    • In the season 4 episode "Some 38th Parallels", Hawkeye tells Colonel Potter that he was reading Fanny Hill in the back of a truck on top of a pile of rotting peaches, and adds that when the truck hit a bump he was "in heaven".
    • In the season 6 episode "Major Topper", Hawkeye tells a person knocking on the door to go read Fanny Hill.
  • The 2006-07 Broadway musical Grey Gardens has a comedic reference to Fanny Hill in the first act. Young Edith Bouvier Beale (aka "little Edie") has just been confronted about a rumour of promiscuity that her mother, Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale (aka "Big Edie") told her fiancé. Little Edie was allegedly engaged to Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., in 1941 until he discovered that Little Edie may have been sexually acquainted with other men before him. Little Edie implores Joe Kennedy not to break off the engagement and to wait for her father to come home and rectify the situation, vouching for her reputation. The musical line that Little Edie sings in reference to Fanny Hill is: "Girls who smoke and read Fanny Hill / Well I was reading De - Toc - que - ville"

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.