Fact or Fiction in the Series

Below are links to pages with various articles regarding fascinating information woven into my stories, listed in no particular order. 

Hope you enjoy the reality of 19th century Paris!

Update:  December 29, 2013

Recently, I watched a graphically shocking movie about prostitution in France in a mansion of tolerance like the Chabanais. It's a French movie ("House of Pleasures" - 2011) with English sub-titles, streaming free for prime members on Amazon. It may also be on Netflix, but as of this posting I have not looked.

It has everything I researched for The Price of Innocence from registering as prostitutes, being indebted to mistresses, champagne baths, selection parlors, various outfits worn by prostitutes, opulent client bedrooms, and scheduled examinations by doctors. I'm a bit speechless after seeing it, because one prostitute in the movie said she had been a laundress beforehand and prostitution was a  better job, because of the horrible conditions in the wash house.

The movie is filled with nakedness, sexually explicit scenes, etc., and is subtitled in English. In US terms think NC-17 rating (or close to porn).  There is one sick customer who cuts the face of one prostitute, which is horrible. Frankly, I had difficulty watching it (closed my eyes), but the act adds to the sad and hopeless plight of these women in brothels.

The movie is two hours, slow moving, and not the best flick you'll ever see. In fact, it's disturbing to see the sad lives of these poor women working night after night in the house of pleasure catering to rich businessmen and aristocrats. However, I found myself transported into the world I wrote about and came away shocked.

The scenery fit closely to my book--the staircase to the rooms, pictures of naked ladies on the walls going up to the second floor, and the different quarters for the women who roomed and slept together.  There is also a very graphic scene of the prostitutes waiting to be examined by the doctor and his report to the mistress of the house. As far as their personal hygiene, it was pretty much as I described.  They kept cleaned, bathed, used creams, and perfumes.

Below is link to the movie, but I warn you it is very graphic and not for the timid, shy, or prudish.  The sexual acts are graphic.  There are full naked scenes of women and one of a man. The language is crude. Let's face it, being a prostitute wasn't all the glamor in the world.  It was a dangerous job where women died of syphilis, lived lives with no hope, and sold their bodies in order to eat and have housing.  It is what it is - a society that finds pleasure in sex and a way of life where brothels were acceptable forms of male entertainment.

The ending told a stark contrast showing prostitutes today standing on the street soliciting customers, compared to the houses of pleasure that once existed in Paris until abolished.