Born to rough cloth in working-class London in 1748, Mary Saunders hungers for linen and lace. Her lust for a shiny red ribbon leads her to a life of prostitution at a young age, where she encounters a freedom unknown to virtuous young women. But a dangerous misstep sends her fleeing to Monmouth... show more
Born to rough cloth in working-class London in 1748, Mary Saunders hungers for linen and lace. Her lust for a shiny red ribbon leads her to a life of prostitution at a young age, where she encounters a freedom unknown to virtuous young women. But a dangerous misstep sends her fleeing to Monmouth and the refuge of the middle-class household of Mrs. Jones, to become the seamstress her mother always expected her to be and to live the ordinary life of an ordinary girl. Although Mary becomes a close confidante of Mrs. Jones, her desire for a better life leads her back to prostitution. She remains true only to the three rules she learned on the streets of London: Never give up your liberty; Clothes make the woman; Clothes are the greatest lie ever told. In the end, it is clothes, their splendor and their deception, that lead Mary to disaster. Emma Donoghue's daring, sensually charged prose casts a new sheen on the squalor and glamour of eighteenth-century England. Accurate, masterfully written, and infused with themes that still bedevil us today, Slammerkin is historical fiction for all readers.
Publish date: May 1st 2002
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
Pages no: 335
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Book Club
, Historical Fiction
, Literary Fiction
, 18th Century
, Sex Work
For want of a red satin ribbon, Mary Saunders was hanged for murder at the age of sixteen in 1764. "In her sixteen years she'd shot along the shortest route she could find between life and death, as the crow flew" (p. 376). Emma Donoghue's astonishing novel, Slammerkin, is based on the sketchy histo...
Set in London and Monmouth in the eighteenth century, Slammerkin is the story of Mary, a fourteen year old girl abandoned by her family and forced to resort to prostitution in order to survive. Be warned - it is often deeply harrowing. However, Emma Donoghue's eye for detail, coupled with her deligh...
I hate endings like this.That is all.(read for school)
In many ways Slammerkin reminded me of older Danish books in style (like Ditte Menneskebarn and Guds blinde øje to name a couple of examples), but unfortunately that's not an entirely good thing. I've always thought those books too depressing for their own good and much to my disappointment, Slammer...
With 1751's Calendar Reform Act, Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar implemented elsewhere in 1582; resulting in the elimination of 11 days between September 2 and 14, 1752. The edict, viewed as more than a mere alteration in the calculation of time, caused widespread riots; grounded as much in p...