- Hardcover: 221 pages
- Publisher: Louisiana State University Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807133973
- ISBN-13: 978-0807133972
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Brothels, Depravity, and Abandoned Women: Illegal Sex in Antebellum New Orleans Hardcover – April 1, 2009
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From the Author
Judith Kelleher Schafer is the author of several books, including Slavery, the Civil Law, and the Supreme Court of Louisiana and Becoming Free, Remaining Free: Manumission and Enslavement in New Orleans, 1846-1862. She lives in New Orleans with her husband.
From the Back Cover
Winner of the 2009 Gulf South Historical Association Book Award
"... [L]ikely to remain the definitive study of late antebellum prostitution in New Orleans for the foreseeable future, as it provides a cornucopia of information for scholars." -- H-Net Reviews
"Once again, Schafer has proven herself an indefatigable researcher in the city's court records." -- Journal of the Early Republic
In Brothels, Depravity, and Abandoned Women, Judith Kelleher Schafer examines case histories from the First District Court of New Orleans and tells the engrossing story of prostitution in the city prior to the Civil War. Relying on previously unexamined court records and newly available newspaper articles, Schafer ably details the brutal and often harrowing lives of the women and young girls who engaged in prostitution.
Judith Kelleher Schafer is the author of Slavery, the Civil Law, and the Supreme Court of Louisiana and Becoming Free, Remaining Free: Manumission and Enslavement in New Orleans, 1846--1862. She lives in New Orleans with her husband.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't disappointed. While the book can be construed as a regurgitation of police reports, it gave me a good picture of the interrelationship among working girls, the court system, and the wealthy landlords and powerful men who profited from the working girls "soiled lives."
Most valuable to me was the definition of terms. For example to call a prostitute a "frail woman" referred to her moral, not physical frailty. Schafer also debunks the Hollywood myth that women in the sisterhood looked after each other, when in reality they beat, robbed, and cheated each other with regularity.
The book covers sex and the law, sexual exploitation of children, infamous public women, violence, and murder of and by prostitutes, among other topics.
Most interesting to me were the colorful names working girls assumed to protect their families and the different levels of prostitution with parlor houses on top and cribs on the bottom. Schafer offers a detailed description of each.
While at times repetitious, this book is an entertaining read and quite helpful to my research.
A Shocking & Unnatural Incident [...]