Donoghue, Emma. Slammerkin.

Author:Allison, Susan G.
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article
 
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Harcourt, Harvest: 352p. c2001. 0-15600-747-9. $14.00. A

Possessing a quick mind and an indomitable taste for what money can buy, Mary Saunders, on the street at age 15, takes up prostitution in 18th-century London, along with many other poor young girls of similar background. The title of the book refers to the name of a loose dress and also a loose woman. After a brief stay in the Magdalen Hospital, more to improve her health than to repent her sins, Mary goes into "service" at the home of Thomas and Jane Jones in the Marches. They were childhood friends of Mary's mother and have no knowledge of her reversal of fortunes. Even though Mary demonstrates expert skill as an embroiderer in their shop, her love of money and fine clothes tempts her once again.

This grim piece of history, based in part on the life of an actual historical figure, provides a glimpse of...

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