Women Who Ruled Paris from Bed: a scandalous catalog of 19th-century Parisian courtesans
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In the 19th century, prostitution was legal in France. For the convenience of customers, each district of Paris published a booklet listing the courtesans with photos, price, special skills and origins.
In 1804, Napoleon became emperor and ordered the registration of all female workers of the country's sexual front and a medical examination. Five years later, 180 brothels were officially operating in Paris alone. According to the law, the institution had to be run by a woman, most often it turned out to be a former prostitute. The facade of the establishment was supposed to look as inconspicuous as possible-modest and restrained.
But let's go back to the XIX century, when corrupt love flourished. These photos were taken from the 1883 catalog of The Pretty Women of Paris, which lists the most famous prostitutes and courtesans of their time. Their lovers included princes, princes, famous actors, and even the future King of Great Britain. These famous priestesses of love were said to rule Paris from their beds.
The catalog was published in 1883 in 169 copies and was intended for rich Britons who came to France.
Leontine Massin (Leontine Massin) was one of the most famous prostitutes in France, among whose clients was even Edward VII, at that time the future king of England. Her description said: "Short, plump, with beautiful blue eyes, blonde hair, and soft lips that she always bites and licks with a pink tongue."
Louise Valtess -" doesn't refuse any man, takes everything she can get... Valtess is one of the most beautiful and intelligent whores of our time". Among other things, Valtess was a writer and actress. She earned a fortune that can be estimated at three million dollars today.
Cora Pearl was a lady of the Parisian demi-monde of English descent. The catalog read: "She was once served naked on a platter, sprinkled with parsley. The dish was carried by four men." Cora dressed extravagantly, with the intention of provoking and shocking, and dyed her hair in bold colors.
Alice Loady could be found on Edinburgh Street. Alice was an extremely gifted actress and at the insistence of her parents began acting on stage at the age of 18. The description of the catalog says about her: "Lovers pursued her like mad dogs, and soon she began to prefer aging suitors and libertines, but with full purses. For money, he will do anything you ask."
Jeanne Aladi, whose " base tastes, originating in her early education, will surprise those who have long been fed up with everything."
Delphine Delizy- " 38 years old, but we can say with all responsibility that she is still an extremely appetizing person. And there's nothing in the Cupid's Entertainment catalog that she doesn't know how to do."
Leonide Leblanc, Rue D'offemont. "It is difficult to properly evaluate such a famous courtesan. She has charmed generations, and every self-respecting rake has spent at least one night in her bed."
Marguerite Baretti, Rue du Faubourg Poissonniere, 46. " A tall, dark-haired, elegant girl, a charming smile, a beautiful nose and a delicate chin with a tiny dimple. Her main patron and lover is a young banker who is too sensible to be jealous. And if the client has a good voice, then he should immediately join the charming duet of Marguerite and her sister."
Alice Marot, 4 Rue de Marignan. " A cheerful and beautiful courtesan who was very lucky in her time. After a hopeless wanderings in the provincial theaters, she came to Paris, and soon the actors of the Palais Royal Theater added to the list of her lovers."
Ellen Andree, also from the Palais Royal Theatre. "She has many lovers, has a penchant for people of art. Doesn't like to wear a lot of clothes."
Julia de Clery, Place du Havre, 16. " Was a member of the society of the Gay Women, an association of lesbians, mostly Parisian actresses, who met every month for a dinner without men and spent the night together."
The cover of the catalog.