This historical novel is based on the improbable but true rags to riches story that culminated in the greatest romance of the Georgian era…
Left without the protection of family or fortune at a young age, Lizzie Cane learns the hungry, brutal reality of life on the streets of 18th century London. She is rescued by a handsome young man and loses her heart to him, only to discover he is not what he appears. This experience teaches Lizzie that if she is to make her way in the world, she cannot rely on anyone but herself. Her only option is to barter her youth and beauty in one of London’s exclusive brothels. The luxurious life she finds there has a sordid, even dangerous, side but she quickly discovers what men want and what they can give her in return.
With intelligence, determination and luck, Lizzie rises from the anonymity of the brothel to the pinnacle of high harlotry. As Elizabeth Armistead, she becomes one of the most sought-after courtesans of the Georgian era, making conquests of earls, dukes and finally becoming a royal mistress to the handsome, young Prince of Wales. Not content to be a mere plaything, Elizabeth Armistead also becomes confidante and hostess to some of the most fascinating men of her time – the roguish, radical followers of Georgian era statesman Charles James Fox.
Elizabeth is determined to acquire the material security that will keep her from ending up back on the streets when her charms fade. To accomplish that, she must take care to live by the Courtesan’s Creed. That means keeping plenty of gentlemen vying for her favors and playing off rivals against one another for the coveted prize of a place in her bed. Then she must negotiate the most advantageous terms for her services. She must flaunt the wealth and power of her patrons by spending vast amounts of their money to dress in the most lavish styles, wear the most magnificent jewels and be seen at the most fashionable places of entertainment.
Her unique position in Georgian era society gives Elizabeth Armistead a ringside seat to the most important events of that turbulent period – wars, riots, threats of invasion, hotly contested elections and even a sensational murder! Then, at the height of her career, she risks everything she has struggled to gain by breaking the cardinal rule of the Courtesan’s Creed ...Never fall in love!
This edition of Confessions of a Courtesan contains additional bonus content:
Separating Fact from Fiction
What Happened to...?
Verses on the Temple to Friendship
Funeral of the late Honourable Mrs. Fox
Selected Research Sources
"Confessions of a Courtesan is the most fascinating historical novel I've read in a very long time. Writing as Elizabeth Charles, Deborah Hale has taken her remarkable research skills and crafted a story that delves into a side of the Georgian era rarely seen in romantic fiction." ~ Paula Altenburg, author of the Demon Outlaws series and co-author of the Game Over series.