Apr 20, 2021
City of Sin: London and Its Vices
Posted by Catharine Arnold

For over a thousand years, England s capital has been associated with desire, avarice and the sins of the flesh In this text, Catharine Arnold turns her gaze to the city s relationship with vice through the ages She takes us on a journey through the fleshpots of London from earliest times to present day.

  • Title: City of Sin: London and Its Vices
  • Author: Catharine Arnold
  • ISBN: 9781847393722
  • Page: 128
  • Format: Paperback
  • City of Sin London and Its Vices For over a thousand years England s capital has been associated with desire avarice and the sins of the flesh In this text Catharine Arnold turns her gaze to the city s relationship with vice throu


    England swings like a pendulum do It seems that London was once a writhing cesspool of filth, corruption and sexy, sexy sex, and everyone who was anyone had syphilis Arnold s account makes everything that stays in Vegas look tame by comparison.From medieval bath house hijinks to the sixties Profumo affair most of the history seems to swirl around the staggering amount of money to be made by the selling of sex I think everything is summed up nicely by John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester in his [...]

    Jill Hutchinson

    With such a titillating title, the reader might want to use a book cover when reading it in public However, this is a serious look at the sex trade in London from the time that it was called Londinium and the Romans brought their camp followers to Britain until modern times and the use of the internet for advertising.London had prostitutes than any city in the 17th 19th centuries Poverty was rampant and girls had to go on the game to survive Of course, there were the high class ladies who had a [...]


    Catherine Arnold s City of Sin London and its Vices is an entertaining history of the sex industry in London.Arnold takes us back as far as Roman times, and is concerned mostly with prostitution although pornography is dealt with in passing She encompasses every level of prostitution in her story, from the humbles streetwalkers to the most expensive and successful courtesans like Nell Gwyn and Skittles.The author does her best to give her subject matter an even handed treatment She doesn t gloss [...]

    Rob Atkinson

    Tales of debauchery This is a very entertaining look at the underground and sometimes right out in the open sexual history of London, from Roman Londinium to the modern era In its 2000 years of existence, London has seen it all, and there are many surprises here The first chapter on Roman London suffers a bit from an apparent lack of local evidence, and so it includes a lot of speculation based on generalities of urban life in the empire, and the extreme depravity of the Caesars which she cites [...]


    Written with an easy style that informs as well as entertains, City of Sin is an eagle eyed view of the English branch of the world s oldest profession through the ages, from the first girls brought in chains to our shores for the sport of the Romans, right up to modern sex workers advertising on the internet, scoring publishing deals and causing the Daily Mail to work themselves into self righteous froths.Taking in those who chose to enter the profession as well as those forced into in through [...]

    Florin Pitea

    Interesting Onwards to the next book in the series, now.


    You should read this if you want a short introduction to the darker side of London Arnold is entertaining, but not a historian by any means The tales she tells are interesting, although she does seem to like picking out the ones that will shock her readers the most She has no cohesive argument She flip flops from protitution to homosexuality although she barely touches lesbianism , and the last few pages or so of the book are completely pointless She simply isn t able to fit 2000 years of histor [...]


    i must be an easy sellI added this to my list of curious about books purely because of the following description Arnold takes us on a journey through the fleshpots of London from earliest times to present day Here are buxom strumpets, louche aristocrats, popinjay politicians, and Victorian flagellants all vying for their place in London s league of licentiousness strumpets that is all ps curious about is subtext for probably not

    Alison Hamel

    I won an advance copy of this book on I hoped to have a chance to finish it before its release date, and I m happy to say I did it was hard to put down once I started As a former English major and slight British history fanatic, I enjoyed the trip from medieval London to modern times Arnold does a fantastic job of providing salacious details that hold the pleasure reader s attention and writing in a manner that is easy to read, all the while remaining historical by citing her sources many of whi [...]

    E. Amato

    There s a lot of great information here, but Arnold is no Peter Ackroyd Though she paces the book at light speed, the material is organized chronologically which means a great deal of repetition and circling back on subjects The emphasis of the book based on percentage of material is on the female sex worker While there is a lot of information here, this has all been covered before, and Arnold s unnecessary and often inconsistent editorializing gets in the way The case studies feel cobbled toget [...]

    Marguerite Kaye

    A look at London through the eyes of its many and varied sex workers through the ages, which was at times repellent, at times hilarious, sometimes simply sad, but always fascinating From Roman times, when the army brought its first accompanying prostitutes, right up to present day, Ms Arnold covers a galaxy of characters and tastes, punters and providers, the many attempts which have been made to control them, and the cases, both positive and negative, which those laws brought to court There s l [...]


    I picked this up at a used book store because of the title and cover although we are urged not to judge a book by its cover, of course we all do This was an interesting history of London from Roman times until the present giving details of the underside of life Catharine Arnold has apparently already written about London s insane and London s dead and this apparently completes the trilogy Having just read The Infidel Stain by M.J Carter, a novel that involves one of characters making his living [...]


    Another fantastically entertaining book from Catharine Arnold Her London specific histories are always both fascinating and educational.Going from Roman London to the 21st Century the book leaves no stone unturned in the search for interesting facts about sex mostly illicit in what is, arguably, the world s most fascinating city.It was interesting, for instance, to discover that one Victorian man donated his collection of over 15,000 pornographic books to the British Museum, thereby starting wha [...]


    I guess my expectations for this book were incorrect I was hoping it would cover of the history of perversions what has been considered perverse across the ages, how our perceptions have changed, etc But this book was primarily just a history of prostitution, which I didn t find to be largely different from one era to the next At least not different enough for me to notice be interested in the differences as someone who doesn t have much of a base interest in that area of sexual history The end [...]


    Unevenly paced, with rather attention paid to the exceptions than the rules, and focusing rather too excessively on the 16th to 18th centuries I for one should have appreciated a closer look at the Roman and contemporary periods Far from demystifying sex work, I fear that Arnold s book paints a too glossy veneer onto the industry While an enjoyable and colourful read, it rings just as hollow as Joleen Zanuzoski s Social Analysis of Sex For Sale in Modern Singapore 2006.


    More appropriately titled A History of Prostitution in London.It s very clear the author did extensive research on the subject and I applaud how well she was able to abbreviate all of that information for this book and write without judgement I also think she did a great job keeping the tone fairly light despite the subject matter It was surprisingly a fairly entertaining read.


    Remember when Metacritic used to do books Go to bookscores to see a makeshift metacritic for books AND LIKE THIS COMMENT SO IT CAN GET NOTICED


    A broad description of London s sex life throughout the ages Great for a first timer in the topic.


    As others have mentioned, a focus on prostitution I can t help but think there are probably in depth books on that subject, in addition to which it takes a very enthusiastic tone and a generally sensationalist look at things, so for example Arnold quotes scurrilous rumors about Roman emperors as though they are unquestioned historical truth, and writes dramatic lines about how some of the most beautiful women in the world ended up as whores on the docks of Roman Londinium what really that backw [...]


    Catharine Arnold is good at taking a subject and following it through the timeline In this case, sex, precisely the seedier, grayer and darker side of it It s a fascinating read on a subject that is still, even today in an age of sexual freedom , uncomfortable.As you go through it, it makes you realise that we really haven t evolved all that much through the ages The book s last chapter has a line in the first paragraph that sums it up real well Plus a change, plus c est pareil in other world t [...]


    Wow Well researched historical background with many details, authors, prositutes and other or less prominent characters from the age of Romans up to the present time I only missed some caricatures or illustrations in this exhaustive research Otherwise it was extremely insightful Very recommended


    I enjoyed reading this it was well researched and I like her style, breezy, but not overly so, and happy to call a spade a spade when required Lots of trigger alerts for the snowflakes

    James Venturi

    A fairly good book with interesting insights on London s dirty history spanning from ancient times to the present.

    Beth Martin

    Dry, full of non sequiturs, and mostly preoccupied with the 1800s There s some good information but overall it s hit and miss.


    Based on the title I assumed this would be a historical account of the sexual changes of London over the last 2000 years I knew it had once been a Roman outpost and, like modern day military bases, I assumed the sex trade would be prevalent My mistake was that I thought the narrative would move past that The city started that way, and some of the old ways remain to this day but I was interested in knowing how the average person changed their views of monogamy, sexuality, and morality as the move [...]


    This was an easy read that managed to be informative and entertaining at the same time.Well worth a read for anyone who likes Victorian era London and beyond, as the glimpse into the past was quite enlightening.

    Kevin Fanning

    Essentially a history of prostitution in London, from Roman slaves to Belle du Jour, with detours through Jack the Ripper, the Hellfire Club and the trial of Oscar Wilde I enjoyed the book and I love the subject but I guess I was hoping the sexual history of London was somehow much perverted and strange than I imagined That s about me, not the book.The first half of the book is essentially there has always been prostitution in London, but it went in or out of favor with different monarchs The s [...]


    When it comes to sex, London has always had a bit of a reputation I picked up this book in part because I love the history of London, and because I d just read Peter Ackroyd s book, London Under, which a co worker recommended I wanted to read about London during Roman times, and we all know the Romans knew how to throw a party So why not a little sexual history This book is dense, but very readable, and packed with info on the history of sex and prostitution in London, England There s an extens [...]


    This was a nice bit of fluff that painted an overall rather rosy picture of the world s oldest profession Most of the whores the author mentioned were successful whores mistresses to powerful men, high dollar call girls, industrious types who saved their money so they could retire and open coffee shops, and the like Women who entered the game or less willingly and played it to their advantage Well, power to those women, but what about the drug addicted teen aged street worker who will get beat [...]

    johnny dangerously

    Ultimately a strong work, though the historical errors in the first chapter made me suspicious of the factual accuracy for the rest of it I strongly suspect that a great deal of the wild tales this book retells are better labeled as apocryphal and alleged I was also a bit bothered or maybe confused by the continued habit of calling prostitutes whores when it wasn t strictly necessary for example, in the actual prose written by the author and no one else However, all of these things are a risk I [...]

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