Realities of Authority in Paris

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




Regulations Against Prostitution in the City of Paris
Passed by the Restoration/July Monarchy in the 1820s

This chart represents how prostitutes could be arrested for what is referred to as "contravention". If they were found doing any of the following things, as is made very clear through the wording of each specfic rule, they would most certainly be arrested by the police in Paris, or more specifically, the Gendarmerie Royale, who would then report their findings to the Prefecture of Police, who had the ultimate say in what happened to "less filles" after they were arrested.

  • They are arrested when, after 11:00 P.M., they are found in the streets, cabarets, etc.


  • They are arrested if they are found at dusk in the courtyard or in the garden of the Tulieries, or near the Tulieries, or in the courtyard of the Louvre.


  • If they are not among the women allowed to live in the Palais Royal, they are arrested if they are found in the garden of the Palais Royal, at any time. They are arrested when they are standing together in a large group, at any hour of the day or night.


  • They are arrested outside the barriers when they are involved in any kind of riot.


  • They are arrested when they walk by or stand on the place Vendome, the place du Palais Royal, the place Louis XV, in the Luxembourg gardens, near the Luxembourg gardens, in the church and the place Sainte-Genevieve, and on the Champs Elysees.


  • They are arrested when they are found at any time of the day on the bridges, quais, the public places, in the taverns near the Palais de justice, and finally, when they exercise their metier on the streets.

Don't know where any of these places are? Go to this page, brought to you by the Paris Mapping Group!