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Friday, October 16

The Harlot's Progress: Yorkshire Molly by Peter Mottley

"Innocent virgin Molly Huckerby arrives in London from York. Immediately she is lured into The Bell by the notorious bawd Mother Wickham. Her destiny seems changed forever but there is a breathtaking twist in the tale..."

This is the first in a trilogy and a fictional actualization of Hogarth’s series of etchings called “The Harlot’s Progress”. Each story follows one of three 18th Century harlots who have all been seduced into a life of prostitution at The Bell, a Wood Lane brothel in the City of London run by the notorious bawd, mother Wickham. Underlying each story is the tale of a young woman’s struggle against overwhelming misfortune. The first in the trilogy is called Yorkshire Molly, launched on 7th November, 2009 in the UK.

It’s a very special trilogy as Peter died in 2006. He paid meticulous attention to the period detail of Hogarth’s London. It is a compelling story and a bawdy romp with a breathtaking twist in the tale that keeps the reader gripped right up to the rewarding ending…

The Harlot’s Progress: Yorkshire Molly, by Peter Mottley, £9.99, ISBN 978-0-9563756-0-5

Listen to the author's daughter read an excerpt in a most excellent manner. Posted by Vic, Jane Austen's World.


Gaby said...

Wonderfully read by the daughter! What an actress! Fingers crossed they make a drama of this book

Laurel Ann said...

What a great find Vic. I am looking forward to reading the series. Thanks.

Andrea Evans said...

This novel is nothing short of a sumptuous medley of everything you'd expect from a period thriller; innocence stolen, greed, romantic love, folly, debauchery, ruthless betrayal etc. But its one with a much more integrity. The story is loosely based around William Hogarth's series of etchings called A Harlot's Progress – the life of an 18th Century prostitute. The attention to period detail is so strikingly precise and so well written that it really does breathe life into Hogarth's prints. I loved the way Mottley pepper's the story with such accurate detail of criminal trials at The Old Bailey, the stench of the Thames, the London churches, early bankers and barristers, Smithfield, Cheapside and Spitalfields, even The Beggar's Opera.

The story begins in a world of horse drawn carriages, polite society and poetic landscapes but just as you settle into Jane Austin territory, the story quickly unravels a chain of events that change Yorkshire Molly's life forever. From the moment she steps off the Yorkshire coach, she is seduced into a life of prostitution at The Bell, a Wood Lane brothel in the City of London run by the slithering notorious bawd, Mother Wickham. The pace gallops along, twisting and turning unexpectedly and all the time drawing you into the seedy underbelly of London life, until finally the tale ends with a “breathtaking twist” that leaves the you rewarded but wanting more. Luckily it is apparently the first in a trilogy, I can't wait for Annie's Quest!