Courtesans, Prostitutes and Streetwalkers

Literary Representations
Lorettes and society

Lower Class Prostitutes and the Law
Representations in Les Miserables
Realities of Authority in Paris
Brothels and Streetwalkers

The Privileged Class: Courtesans

Defining the courtesan
Visual representations
Courtesans in reality




In the 19th century, during the time of Hugo's Les Miserables, the differing categories of prostitutes were subject to varying degrees of societal response, as well as distinctive depictions of prostitutes and authority in both the art and literature of the day.


photo caption here


"A hundred francs," thought Fantine, "but where is there a place where one can earn a hundred sous a day?" "Come!" said she, "I will sell what is left." The unfortunate creature became a woman of the town.



Ever wondered what it was like to be a prostitute in Paris in the 19th century? (Admit it, you've thought about it.) In the following pages, you will get a behind the scenes look at the lifestyles of three distinctly different classes of prositutes, through the eyes of the law, artists and writers.