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Confessions of a Courtesan [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Charles , Deborah Hale
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“A captivating true story that explores the passionate life of a brave and extraordinary woman who was ahead of her time.” ~ USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean

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.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elizabeth Charles is a pseudonym for Canadian author Deborah Hale. Deborah's first novel, the Georgian-era romance My Lord Protector won RWA's Golden Heart award and was nominated for the RITA for Best First Book. Since then she has written more than twenty more novels in the genres of historical romance, inspirational romance and otherworld fantasy. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. "Deborah Hale recreates mid-18th century manners with charming flair and the ending is deliciously cogent." - Romantic Times "Hale's characters are so finely created they become real in her readers' minds and hearts." - Sheryl Horst, syndicated romance reviewer "Yet another masterpiece penned by the historical mistress of romance. Don't miss this truly touching and tender story." - The Old Book Barn Gazette

Product Details

  • File Size: 2679 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,986 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what you might expect... July 3, 2012
By Mike P.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a whim (the author was new to me) and then had doubts as to whether I could actually read it. Let me explain. I've read a number of historicals where the heroine was captured by pirates, sold into white slavery, forced to become a concubine, coerced to marry a monster, or sometimes even worse (I read a lot). Terrible horrors were visited on these women over a prolonged period. Graphic abuse of women is particularly difficult for me as a man, husband, & father to stomach (I offer no excuses). My brother is fond of saying, "You can't un-see something". These types of stories have haunted me dreadfully, so I now try to avoid them. Confessions of a Courtesan is not one of these books. In fact in many ways, this book is an antidote for these other stories. Bad things happen to Elizabeth, but this story is about recognizing the peril of one's situation and having the courage to do what has to be done, the immeasurable value of real friendships, and the salvation that true love offers. It is a wonderful story, told extremely well, while remaining true to actual people and events. I enjoyed this book immensely and would describe it as a must read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I won't soon forget Elizabeth Armistead.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant January 23, 2012
By Cyndi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While reading "The Paris Wife" I was distracted and had to take a hiatus to read "Confessions of a Courtesan". Having just returned to finish "The Paris Wife", I recognized the similarities. While the books represent different eras, they are fictional based on the supporting roles of well-known historical figures with a spin to create a great story. Confessions of a Courtesan captured my attention from the first page, and I was hooked from that point onward. Knowing there were some facts to the story created an intrigue. Reading the "Fact or Fiction" at the conclusion of the novel provided insight into the writer, the story, and the reading experience. Deborah Hale, or should I say Elizabeth Charles, has fabulously portrayed this Georgian-era story to keep us entertained, and engaged throughout the entire book. Confessions of a Courtesan
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life of Luxury or Loneliness? October 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Confessions of a Courtesan by Deborah Hale writing as Elizabeth Charles

This is about Elizabeth Bridget Cane, known as Elizabeth Armistead. It is both fact and fiction. At the end of the book the details of the people and events are listed, including the real Elizabeth's obituary. Deborah writes it in such a way that gets you thinking how we don't know how people ended up where they were and maybe they don't always want to be there. In the fictional story you see the human side of Elizabeth. Her hopes and dreams and not just some lusty woman who chose to sell her body.

Deborah has taken the facts and created a story around them. In this case, a young girl who lost her mother and brother to illness and it had left her father blind. Living off what meager coins they received from her father's begging. When he passes away, Elizabeth is on her own and not doing well. She cannot get a job as you need money to apply or decent clothing. When she is at the point of freezing or starving an old friend comes across her and takes her in. She falls in love with him but he does not return it. He took her in with the purpose of gaining coin but bringing her to a House of Pleasure- a brothel where they catered to the higher class and made sure the girls stayed disease free.

The fictional Elizabeth takes on the name of her rescuer to remind herself not to fall in love again. After some years in the same place she is kicked out after one her patron's rowdy friends burst into her room. She goes to those men and asks them to help her because the Queen of Courtesan's. And they do. She creates a lasting friendship with Bob, Charles and Richard. This book walks through her life and her conquests. It is not a detailed account of every sexual encounter as much as showing her life.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A kaleidoscope of perspective June 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book hits the mark as both a romance novel, historical novel, and was just a fun read all together. I thought the insight to the "oldest profession in the world" was intriguing. I have read several other books on madams, working girls, etc. and this book did not disappoint. It wasn't as graphic as most, but what it lacked in steam it more than made up for with an actual story that the reader can delve into and enjoy.
Warning-it reads a bit like a roller-coaster; some chapters you tear through and others drag a little. All together, well worth the slow points.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read October 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This erudite book exudes an aura of the Georgian and Regency eras.

Elizabeth Cane became a prositute through necessity and a courtesan through planning and adherence to her own rules. She knew that if she was to survive in a ruthless world she must do more than merely sleep with men for money. She must become a true courtesan - a kept woman.

The research Ms Hale (Charles) brought to this book is outstanding. Her characterisations of Charles Fox and his cronies and the young prince who was to become the Regent are outstanding.

For anyone interested in this time in history, I could not recommend a more satisfying book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Steamy story
I'm a big fan of historical romances. This one really appealed to me since it had the added element of courtesans in it. Ms. Read more
Published 16 days ago by W. Perdue
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well-written, with characters that are likable, and with an engaging storyline.
Published 18 days ago by C. Cotrone
3.0 out of 5 stars adequate
The book was adequate, neither great literature nor trash. A decent read for light reading. Would prefer less fiction and more history
Published 28 days ago by suhamer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story!
Loved it!
Published 1 month ago by Jaxiom
3.0 out of 5 stars but overall they manage to write a memoir of a courtesan that is both...
Completely enjoyable, though it could stand to be trimmed back a little. There are parts that get a little repetitive, but overall they manage to write a memoir of a courtesan that... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it. It wasn't one of those books that ...
This happened to be the book I was reading while on holiday. I enjoyed it. It wasn't one of those books that you çan't put down until you know what happens next - which is probably... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Louise
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Very easy read, and if you like historical fiction as I do, then you'll enjoy this book. It takes you away to a time where women didn't have the freedom we now enjoy today... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jessica Johnston
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting historical novel
This book reminded me somewhat of "Memoirs of a Geisha." The story kept me engaged, and I learned a lot about the mores of the era.. Read more
Published 2 months ago by N. Teeter
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful "Thinking" Historical
The research these authors have done to write this book, is a credit to them.
I found the fiction with the non-fiction a delightful, touching and interesting read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by 1950 G-Maw
4.0 out of 5 stars Life forces some hard choices.
I enjoyed this book. Historically it brought back an era where women had few choices and the choices they made were dictated by survival.
Published 3 months ago by sharon sadusky
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More About the Author

After a decade spent tracing her ancestors to their roots in Georgian-era Britain, Deborah Hale learned a great deal about the period and uncovered enough fascinating true stories to inspire her fiction plots for years to come. A Golden Heart® Award Winner and Rita® Finalist award Deborah has written over thirty novels and novellas in the genres of historical romance, inspirational romance, historical fiction and otherworld fantasy.

Deborah and her family live in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada, a place steeped in history and romance. She is currently writing more historical romance novels in settings that include Regency England, Georgian England, medieval England,
post-Civil War America and colonial Canada. Besides writing, Deborah continues to dabble in genealogy, sings with a Celtic choir and tries to keep in shape by practicing tai-chi.

Readers can is visit her website at: or interact with her on Facebook at

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