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|A sacrifice to the Arts of a Fat Woman
Written by JulieW
(8/31/2005 10:05 a.m.)
here in making this remark in Letter 7 JA is playing up to a sterotype of the country girl up from London meeting with a fate worse than death in the brothels of London after being abducted by a bawd.
Hogarths picture,above,shows just such a scene.It was an 18th century urban myth, if you like.
JA had obviously seen a copy of this print, part of Hogarth's The Harlot's Progress series.
However, it did have more than a grain of truth in it.
The bawd( the fat woamn) in the picture is in fact portraying a real person :one "Mother" Needham who was known to use this technique,of "helping" innocents up from the country, who tehn found themselves trapped into prostitution.She was in fact a procuress for her own brothel and was publically flogged when found guilty of this offence.
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