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Slammerkinby Emma Donoghue
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"This book rocks, from the title on." USA Today
"This boldly imagined historical fiction...represents a quantum leap forward....Donoghue has triumphantly reimagined the life of a real historical figure of whom nothing is known beyond [a] few facts....Irresistible, and deeply satisfying. Donoghue has surpassed herself." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Donoghue shows her mastery of eighteenth-century England and epic storytelling....[A] serious but suspenseful and even entertaining novel....What is most amazing is Donoghue's capacity for tackling weighty issues (prostitution, crime, and slavery) while avoiding didacticism." Booklist
Inspired by the story of a teenage girl who murdered her mistress in 1763 because she "longed for fine clothes, " "Slammerkin" is the bestselling classic story of a lower-class Roxana, a female Tom Jones.
About the Author
Emma Donoghue was born in Dublin in 1969 and earned her Ph.D. in eight-eenth-century fiction at Cambridge. She is the author of three novels, a book of fairy tales, and several works of literary history. She lives in Ontario, Canada.
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