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Encyclopedia > Courtesan
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A courtesan in mid-16th century usage was a high-class prostitute or mistress, especially one associated with rich, powerful, or upper-class men who provided luxuries and status in exchange for her services. In Renaissance Europe, courtesans played an important role in upper-class society, sometimes taking the place of wives at social functions.[citation needed] As it was customary during this time for royal couples to lead separate lives—commonly marrying simply to preserve bloodlines and to secure political alliances—men would often seek sexual gratification and companionship from a courtesan. This was a large practice in Mughal India until the British Raj, where they were commonly known as tawaif and were often also skilled dancers. There have been a few isolated cases of courtesans providing services to wealthy females, however.[citation needed] Courtesans usually enjoyed more freedoms than was typical of women at the time. For example, they were financially stable and independent. Being in control of their own resources meant that they did not need to rely on their spouses or male relatives to survive, as was the case for the majority of women. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... Madame de Pompadour the mistress of King Louis XV of France. ... The Renaissance (French for rebirth, or Rinascimento in Italian), was a cultural movement in Italy (and in Europe in general) that began in the late Middle Ages, and spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century. ... The Mughal Empire (alternative spelling Mogul, which is the origin of the word Mogul) of India was founded by Babur in 1526, when he defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the last of the Delhi Sultans at the First Battle of Panipat. ... The flag of British India British India, circa 1860 The British Raj (Raj in Hindi meaning Rule; from Sanskrit Rajya) was the British rule between 1858 and 1947 of the Indian Subcontinent, which included the present-day India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Burma (Myanmar), whereby these lands were under the colonial... Historically, a tawaif was a courtesan who catered to the Muslim nobility of South Asia, particularly during the Mughal era. ...

Contents

Categories

Essentially, there were two types of courtesans. In one category were the courtesans known (in Italy) as the cortigiana onesta, or the honest courtesan, who were cast as intellectuals. In the other were the cortigiana di lume, which designated a lower-class of courtesan. Although the latter were still considered better than the average prostitute, the former were the ones most often romanticized and treated more or less equal to women of royalty. It is with this type of courtesan that the art of "courtisanerie" is best associated.


The cortigiana onesta were usually well-educated and worldly (sometimes even more so than the average upper-class woman), and often held simultaneous careers as performers or artists. They were typically chosen on the basis of their "breeding"—social and conversational skills, intelligence, common sense, and companionship—as well as their physical attributes. It was usually their wit and personality that set them apart from regular women. They were prostitutes in the sense that sex was one of their obligations, but unlike the average prostitute, sex constituted only a facet of the courtesan's array of services. For example, they were expected to be well-dressed and ready to engage in a variety of topics ranging from art to music to politics.


In some cases, courtesans were born from well-to-do backgrounds and were even married but to a husband lower on the social ladder than that of her client. In these cases, their relationships with those of high social status had the potential to improve that of their spouse's and as such, it was more often than not, that the husband was aware of his wife's profession and dealings.[1]


Differences in status

As primary employment

Courtesans from unwealthy backgrounds were expected to provide charming companionship for extended periods, no matter what their own feelings or commitments might have been at the time, and had to be prepared to do so on short notice. They were also subject to lower social status, and often religious disapproval, because of the sexual aspects of their profession and their reliance upon courtisanerie as a primary source of income. In cases like this, a courtesan was solely dependent on her benefactor or benefactors financially, making her vulnerable.


Often, courtesans serving in this capacity began their career as a prostitute, or were passed from one benefactor to another, thereby resulting in them being viewed in society circles as lower than both their benefactor and those of wealth and power with whom they would socialize. Often, in instances of this sort, if the courtesan had satisfactorily served a benefactor, that benefactor would, when ending the affair, pass them on to another benefactor of wealth as a favor to the courtesan, or set them up in an arranged marriage to a semi-wealthy benefactor. In the event that the courtesan had angered or dissatisfied a benefactor, they would often find themselves cast out of wealthy circles, returning more often than not to street prostitution.


For social or political benefits

Those from wealthy backgrounds, either by birth or marriage, and who were only acting as courtesans for the social or political advancement of themselves and/or their spouses, were generally treated as equals. They were more respected by their extra-marital companions, both placing one another's family obligations ahead of the relationship and planning their own liaisons or social engagements around the lovers' marital obligations.


Affairs of this sort would often be short-lived, ending when either the courtesan or the courtesan's spouse received the status or political position desired, or when the benefactor chose the company of another courtesan, and compensated the latter financially. In instances like this, it was often viewed simply as a business agreement by both parties involved. The benefactor was aware of the political or social favors expected by the courtesan, the courtesan was aware of the price expected from them for those favors being carried out, and the two met one another's demands.


This was generally a safe affair, as both the benefactor's spouse and the courtesan's spouse usually were fully aware of the arrangement, and the courtesan was not solely dependent on the benefactor. It, rather, was simply an affair of benefits gained for both those involved. Publicly and socially, affairs of this sort were common during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the early 20th century, and were generally accepted in wealthy circles.[1]


Intrigues

Prior to the Victorian era, courtesans were sometimes limited in their apparel by various sumptuary laws and were restricted in where they could appear at social functions. Periods of overt religious piety in a city would often lead to persecution of the courtesans, up to and including accusations of witchcraft. In many cases prior to the 18th century, women leading the life of a courtesan in a royal court, with romantic relationships with kings, achieved wealth and status, but eventually it would lead to many of them being executed following very public trials that often left them appearing to have been evil, or power-hungry, when in fact they more often than not were nothing more than a lover and mistress to the king. Queen Victoria (shown here on the morning of her accession to the Throne, 20 June 1837) gave her name to the historic era The Victorian era of the United Kingdom marked the height of the British Industrial Revolution and the apex of the British Empire. ... Sumptuary laws (from Latin sumptuariae leges) were laws that regulated and reinforced social hierarchies and morals through restrictions on clothing, food, and luxury expenditures. ... For other uses, see Witchcraft (disambiguation). ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ...


Very often, courtesans would betray one another in acts of political intrigue in attempts to climb into higher positions of power within royal courts. There are many cases throughout history where one courtesan would attempt (sometimes successfully) to supplant the mistress to a king or emperor. This was typically preceded by her discrediting the ruler's companion, often by divulging secrets that could lead to her rival being cast aside and replaced by her. However, this was a delicate process, and if a courtesan of lower status attempted to replace a courtesan who wielded a substantial amount of power within the court, it would often result in the lower courtesan being exiled from the royal court, or married off to a lesser noble in an arranged marriage, or even murdered. There are also many examples of courtesans who took advantage of their involvement with powerful individuals, which usually ended in their downfall[citation needed]


Career length

In later centuries, from the mid-18th century on, courtesans would often find themselves cast aside by their benefactors, but the days of public execution or imprisonment based on their promiscuous lifestyle were over. There are many examples of courtesans who, by remaining discreet and respectful to their benefactors, were able to extend their careers into or past middle age and retire financially secure. By the late 19th century, and for a brief period in the early 20th century, courtesans had reached a level of being socially accepted in many circles and settings, often even to the extent of becoming a friend and confidant to the wife of their benefactor.[1] Promiscuity is the practice of making relatively unselective, casual and indiscriminate choices. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999...


More often than not, a woman serving as a courtesan would last in that field only as long as she could prove herself useful to her companion, or companions. This, of course, excludes those who served as courtesans but who were already married into high society. When referring to those who made their service as a courtesan as their main source of income, success was based solely on financial management and longevity. Many climbed through the ranks of royalty, serving as mistress to lesser nobles first, eventually reaching the role of mistress to a king, or prince. Others were able to obtain a position on that high level early on, but few lasted for any length of time, and there was nowhere to go but down after serving a prince or king.


Pietro Aretino, a Renaissance writer, wrote a series of dialogues (Capricciosi ragionamenti) in which a mother teaches her daughter what options were available to women and how to be an effective courtesan. Emile Zola wrote the book Nana about a courtesan in nineteenth century France. Categories: People stubs | 1492 births | 1556 deaths ... mile Zola (April 2, 1840 - September 29, 1902) was an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France. ... Nana book cover Nana is a novel by the French naturalist author Emile Zola. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In modern times

While the old model of the Courtesan royal still exists, it is somewhat rare. With the fall of most Monarchies and the rise of democratic societies, the role of the courtesan changed. In government, they have acted as spies such as was alleged with Mata Hari. Courtesans are not necessarily kept for the purpose of companionship or sexual pleasure.[citation needed] Mata Hari, exotic dancer and convicted spy, made her name synonymous with femme fatale during World War I. For the Indonesian supermarket/department store chain, see Matahari. ...


Famous courtesans

The term "courtesan" has often been used in the political context to damage the reputation of a powerful woman, or disparage her importance. Particularly striking examples of this are when the title was applied to the Byzantine empress Theodora, who had started life as a burlesque actress but later became the wife of the Emperor Justinian and, after her death, an Orthodox saint; the term "courtesan" has also been disparagingly and inaccurately applied to influential women like Anne Boleyn, Madaline Bishop, Diane de Poitiers, Mathilde Kschessinska and Eva Perón. Theodora, detail of a Byzantine mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna. ... Justinian may refer to: Justinian I, a Roman Emperor; Justinian II, a Byzantine Emperor; Justinian, a storeship sent to the convict settlement at New South Wales in 1790. ... In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ... Anne Boleyn, 1st Marchioness of Pembroke[1] (ca. ... Diane de Poitiers (September 3, 1499 - April 25, 1566) was a noblewoman and a fixture at the courts of Francis I and Henri II of France. ... Mathilde Kschessinska (Polish: Matylda KrzesiÅ„ska, 19 August 1872 (O.S.) — 7 June 1971), (also known as Her Serene Highness Princess Romanova-Krasinskaya since 1921) was a Polish-born ballerina and the second prima ballerina assoluta in the world. ... Maria Eva Duarte de Perón (May 7, 1919 – July 26, 1952) was the second wife of Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón (1895–1974) and the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. ...


The movie Dangerous Beauty, starring Catherine McCormack, tells the story of Veronica Franco, a Venetian courtesan.


17th century and before

Lais of Corinth was a legendary hetaera or courtesan of ancient Greece who was born probably in Corinth. ... Lais of Hyccara (d. ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC - 340s BC - 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC Years: 345 BC 344 BC 343 BC 342 BC 341 BC - 340 BC - 339 BC 338 BC... Marble herm in the Vatican Museums inscribed with Aspasias name at the base. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 5th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 520s BC 510s BC 500s BC 490s BC 480s BC 470s BC - 460s BC - 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 474 BC 473 BC 472 BC 471 BC 470 BC - 469 BC - 468 BC 467 BC 466... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC - 400s BC - 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC Years: 414 BC 413 BC 412 BC 411 BC 410 BC - 409 BC - 408 BC 407 BC... Pericles or Perikles (ca. ... View of the Colonna Venus, ancient replica of the Aphrodite of Knidos by Praxiteles, (Phryne is thought to be the model). ... The 4th century BC started the first day of 400 BC and ended the last day of 301 BC. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period. ... Su Xiaxiao in a detail from a Ming porcelain dish, ca 1630 Su Xiaoxiao (蘇小小), also known as Su Xiaojun and sometimes by the appellation Little Su, was a famous courtesan and poet from Qiantang city (now Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China) in the South Qi Dynasty (479-502). ... Europe in 450 The 5th century is the period from 401 to 500 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... Agnès Sorel was the model for this Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels, by Jean Fouquet (c. ... Events March 21 - Battle of Baugé. A small French force surprises and defeats a smaller English force under Thomas, Duke of Clarence, a brother of Henry V of England, in Normandy. ... // March - French troops under Guy de Richemont besiege the English commander in France, Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, in Caen. ... Charles VII the Victorious, a. ... Jane Shore (c. ... Events Discovery of Senegal and Cape Verde by Dinas Diaz Births March 1 - Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter (died 1510) March 16 - Johann Geiler von Kaisersberg, Swiss-born preacher (died 1510) Albert Brudzewski, Polish astronomer (died 1497) Nicolas Chuquet, French mathematician Deaths June 5 - Leonel Power, English composer June 11 - Henry... January 5 - Felix Manz, co-founder of the Swiss Anabaptists, was drowned in the Limmat in Zürich by the Zürich Reformed state church. ... Edward IV (April 28, 1442 – April 9, 1483) was King of England from March 4, 1461 to April 9, 1483, with a break of a few months in the period 1470–1471. ... Margaret Drummond (c. ... 5<sup>Superscript text</sup>7<!-- Comment --><blockquote> Block quote </blockquote>{| class=class=wikitable |- ! header 1 ! header 2 ! header 3 |-{| class=wikitable |- ! header 1 ! header 2 ! header 3{| class=wikitable |- ! header 1 ! header 2 ! header 3 |- | row 1, cell 1 | row 1, cell 2 | row 1, cell 3 |- | row 2... 1502 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... James IV (March 17, 1473-September 9, 1513) was King of Scots from 1488 to his death. ... Françoise de Foix, Comtesse de Châteaubriand (1495 - 1537) was a mistress of Francis I of France. ... 1495 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 6 - Alessandro de Medici assassinated August 25 - The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army, and the second most senior, was formed. ... Francis I (François Ier in French) (September 12, 1494 – March 31, 1547), called the Father and Restorer of Letters (le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres), was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547. ... Diane de Poitiers (September 3, 1499 - April 25, 1566) was a noblewoman and a fixture at the courts of Francis I and Henri II of France. ... 1499 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 7 - Pius V becomes Pope Selim II succeeds Suleiman I as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Religious rioting in the Netherlands signifies the beginning of the Eighty Years War in the Netherlands. ... Henry II (French: Henri II) (March 31, 1519 – July 10, 1559), a member of the Valois Dynasty, was King of France from March 31, 1547, until his death. ... Mary Boleyn Mary Boleyn (c. ... 1499 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... // Events February 21 - Battle of Wayna Daga - A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeat the armies of Adal led by Ahmed Gragn. ... Henry VIII (28 June 1491 - 28 January 1547) was King of England and Lord of Ireland, later King of Ireland, from 22 April 1509 until his death. ... Francis I (François Ier in French) (September 12, 1494 – March 31, 1547), called the Father and Restorer of Letters (le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres), was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547. ... Hwang Jin-i (fl. ... Events February 7 - Julius III becomes Pope. ... A gisaeng is a female Korean entertainer similar to the Japanese geisha. ... Territory of Joseon after Jurchen conquest of King Sejong Capital Hanseong Language(s) Korean Religion Neo-Confucianism Government Monarchy Wang  - 1392 - 1398 Taejo (first)  - 1863 - 1897 Gojong (last)1 Yeong-uijeong  - 1431 - 1449 Hwang Hui  - 1466 - 1472 Han Myeonghoe  - 1592 - 1598 Ryu Seongryong  - 1894 Kim Hongjip Historical era 1392-1897... Anne de Pisseleu dHeilly Anne de Pisseleu dHeilly, duchesse dÉtampes (1508 – 1580), mistress of Francis I of France, daughter of Guillaume de Pisseleu, a nobleman of Picardy. ... 1508 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Events March 1 - Michel de Montaigne signs the preface to his most significant work, Essays. ... Francis I (François Ier in French) (September 12, 1494 – March 31, 1547), called the Father and Restorer of Letters (le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres), was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547. ... Veronica Franco (1546-1591) was a poet and courtesan of Venice during the sixteenth century. ... // Events Spanish conquest of Yucatan Peace between England and France Foundation of Trinity College, Cambridge by Henry VIII of England Katharina von Bora flees to Magdeburg Science Architecture Michelangelo Buonarroti is made chief architect of St. ... Year 1591 was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Henry III (French: Henri III; September 19, 1551 – August 2, 1589), born Alexandre-Édouard, was a member of the Valois Dynasty, King of France from May 30, 1574 until his death. ... Marie Touchet (born 1549 at Orleans and died March 28, 1638 in Paris), Dame de Belleville, was the only mistress, Charles IX of France ever had. ... Events July - Ketts Rebellion Francis Xavier arrives in Japan. ... Events March 29 - Swedish colonists establish first settlement in Delaware, called New Sweden. ... Charles IX (June 27, 1550 – May 30, 1574) born Charles-Maximilien, was a member of the Valois Dynasty, King of France from 1560 until his death. ... Marion Delorme (3 October 1613–2 July 1650) was a French courtesan known for her relationships with the important men of her time. ... Events January - Galileo observes Neptune, but mistakes it for a star and so is not credited with its discovery. ... Year 1650 (MDCL) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé , called the Great Condé (September 8, 1621 - November 11, 1686). ... Cardinal Richelieu was the French chief minister from 1624 until his death. ... Anne Ninon de lEnclos also spelled Ninon de Lenclos and Ninon de Lanclos (November 10? sometime between 1615 and 1623 - October 17, 1705) was a French author, and patron of the arts. ... Events June 2 - First Récollet missionaries arrive at Quebec City, from Rouen, France. ... // Events Construction begins on Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, England. ... Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé , called the Great Condé (September 8, 1621 - November 11, 1686). ... Gaspard de Coligny (February 16, 1519 – August 24, 1572), Seigneur (Lord) de Châtillon, Admiral of France and Protestant leader, came of a noble family of Burgundy. ... Lucy Walter (c. ... Events February 22 - Native American Quadequine introduces Popcorn to English colonists. ... Events January 13 - Edward Sexby, who had plotted against Oliver Cromwell, dies in Tower of London February 6 - Swedish troops of Charles X Gustav of Sweden cross The Great Belt (Storebælt) in Denmark over frozen sea May 1 - Publication of Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus by... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total 130... Barbara Villiers, by Sir Peter Lely. ... Events December 1 - Portugal regains its independence from Spain and João IV of Portugal becomes king. ... // Events January 12 - Two-month freezing period begins in France - The coast of the Atlantic and Seine River freeze, crops fail and at least 24. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total 130... Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart, marquise de Montespan Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart-Mortemart, marquise de Montespan [1] (October 5, 1641 – May 27, 1707) was a mistress of Louis XIV of France. ... Events The Long Parliament passes a series of legislation designed to contain Charles Is absolutist tendencies. ... Events January 1 - John V is crowned King of Portugal March 26 - The Acts of Union becomes law, making the separate Kingdoms of England and Scotland into one country, the Kingdom of Great Britain. ... “Sun King” redirects here. ... Louise Françoise de la Vallière (August 6, 1644 – June 7, 1710) was mistress to Louis XIV of France from 1661 to 1667. ... // Events February to August - Explorer Abel Tasmans second expedition for the Dutch East India Company maps the north coast of Australia. ... // Events April 10 - The worlds first copyright legislation became effective, Britains Statute of Anne Ongoing events Great Northern War (1700-1721) War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713) Births January 3 - Richard Gridley, American Revolutionary soldier (d. ... Louis XIV King of France and Navarre By Hyacinthe Rigaud (1701) Louis XIV (Louis-Dieudonné) (September 5, 1638&#8211;September 1, 1715) reigned as King of France and King of Navarre from May 14, 1643 until his death. ... Nell Gwyn (or Gwynn or Gwynne), was born Eleanor Gwynne, (February 1650 - 14 November 1687), the most famous of the many mistresses of King Charles II, was called pretty, witty Nell by Samuel Pepys. ... Year 1650 (MDCL) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Events March 19 - The men under explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle murder him while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total 130...

18th and 19th centuries

Marie-Anne de Mailly-Nesle duchesse de Châteauroux (October 5, 1717 – December 8, 1744) was a mistress of Louis XV of France, and the youngest of four sisters who served as courtesans in the royal court of France. ... // Events January 4 — The Netherlands, Britain & France sign Triple Alliance February 26-March 6 What is now the northeastern United States was paralyzed by a series of blizzards that buried the region. ... // Events The third French and Indian War, known as King Georges War, breaks out at Port Royal, Nova Scotia The First Saudi State founded by Mohammed Ibn Saud Prague occupied by Prussian armies Ongoing events War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) Births January 10 - Thomas Mifflin, fifth President... Claudine Alexandrine Guérin de Tencin (1681 - 4 December 1749) was a French courtesan and author. ... Events March 4 - Charles II of England grants a land charter to William Penn for the area that will later become Pennsylvania. ... Events While in debtors prison, John Cleland writes Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure). ... Louise Julie, Comtesse de Mailly (1710 - 1751), mistress of Louis XV of France, was the daughter of Louis, marquis de Nesle. ... // Events April 10 - The worlds first copyright legislation became effective, Britains Statute of Anne Ongoing events Great Northern War (1700-1721) War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713) Births January 3 - Richard Gridley, American Revolutionary soldier (d. ... Events Adam Smith is appointed professor of logic at the University of Glasgow March 25 - For the last time, New Years Day is legally on March 25 in England and Wales. ... Madame de Pompadour, portrait by François Boucher circa 1750 Madame de Pompadour (December 29, 1721 – April 15, 1764) was a well known courtesan and the famous mistress of King Louis XV of France. ... // Events Pope Innocent XIII becomes pope Johann Sebastian Bach composes the Brandenburg Concertos April 4 - Robert Walpole becomes the first prime minister of Britain September 10 - Treaty of Nystad is signed, bringing an end to the Great Northern War November 2 - Peter I is proclaimed Emperor of All the Russias... 1764 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Catherine Maria (Kitty) Fisher (died 1767) was one of the most famous English courtesans of her day. ... 1767 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Sophia Baddeley (1745 - 1786), English actress and singer, was born in London, the daughter of a sergeant-trumpeter named Snow. ... // Events May 11 - War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Fontenoy - At Fontenoy, French forces defeat an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army including the Black Watch June 4 – Frederick the Great destroys Austrian army at Hohenfriedberg August 19 - Beginning of the 45 Jacobite Rising at Glenfinnan September 12 - Francis I is elected... 1786 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Jeanne Becu, Comtesse Du Barry [1] [2] (Marie-Jeanne, Comtesse Du Barry) (August 19, 1743 - December 8, 1793) was a French courtesan who became the mistress of Louis XV of France. ... // Events February 14 - Henry Pelham becomes British Prime Minister February 21 - - The premiere in London of George Frideric Handels oratorio, Samson. ... 1793 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Louise OMurphy by Francois Boucher c. ... Events 12 February — The San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, is inaugurated. ... Year 1814 (MDCCCXIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... Mrs Jordan ( November 21, 1761 &#8211; July 5, 1816), actress, was the mistress of King William IV of the United Kingdom. ... 1761 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1816 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey (February 25, 1753 – July 23, 1821, Cheltenham) was the most notorious of the many mistresses of King George IV of the United Kingdom. ... 1753 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The coronation banquet for George IV 1821 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Grace Elliot (1754?–1823). ... 1754 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1823 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Harriette Wilson [1] [2] (nee Harriette Dubochet) (February 22, 1786 – 1845) was a notorious English courtesan. ... 1786 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Esther Lachmann, later Pauline Thérèse Lachmann, later Mme Villoing, later Mme la Marquise de Païva, later Countess Henckel von Donnersmarck, (7 May 1819-21 January 1884) was the most successful of 19th century French courtesans. ... 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1884 (MDCCCLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Marie Duplessis (1824-1847) was a French courtesan who was a mistress of a number of prominent men. ... 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Elizabeth Rosanna Gilbert [1] (February 17, 1821 – January 17, 1861), better known by the stage name Lola Montez, was an Irish-born dancer and actress who became famous as an exotic dancer, courtesan and the mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. ... The coronation banquet for George IV 1821 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... Cora Pearl (1835-1886) was a famous courtesan of 19th century France. ... | Come and take it, slogan of the Texas Revolution 1835 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1886 (MDCCCLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The Countess in a photo by Pierre-Louise Pierson (c. ... Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom (1837 - 1901) 1837 (MDCCCXXXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday [1] of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards and make it more accessible to a general audience, this article may require cleanup. ... 1839 (MDCCCXXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Frances Evelyn Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick [1] (10 December 1861–26 July 1938) was a society beauty and courtesan, and a mistress to King Edward VII. [2] Royal marriage, affairs Born Frances Evelyn Maynard, she was the daughter of The Hon. ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Alice Frederica Edmonstone Keppel (14 October 1869 – 22 November 1947) was a British socialite and the most famous mistress of Edward VII of the United Kingdom, the eldest son of Queen Victoria. ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... Liane de Pougy [1] (2 July 1869 - 26 December 1950), was a Folies Bergères dancer renowned as one of Pariss most beautiful and notorious courtesans. ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Carolina Otero, La Belle Otero born Agustina Otero Iglesias [1] (November 4, 1868 - April 12, 1965) was a famous Spanish born dancer, actress and courtesan. ... Media:Example. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... Umrao Jaan (Urdu: امراؤ جان, Hindi: उमराव जान) is a Bollywood film released in 1981. ... 1804 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...

In fiction

Inara Serra is a character from the science-fiction television series Firefly, created by Joss Whedon. ... Alliance Flag Alternate Alliance Flag In the Firefly television series, the Alliance is a powerful government and law-enforcement organization that controls a large sector of colonized core planets. ... Inara Serra, a Registered Companion from Firefly In the television series Firefly and its feature film sequel Serenity, a Companion is a skilled, well-educated and well-respected member of a guild of professional courtesans/entertainers, somewhat similar to geisha, though with more obvious focus on sexual matters. ... Joss Hill Whedon (born Joseph Hill Whedon[3] on June 23, 1964 in New York) is an American writer, director, executive producer, and creator of the well-known television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. ... Firefly is an American science fiction television series that premiered in the United States and Canada on September 20, 2002. ... Nicole Mary Kidman AC (born June 20, 1967), is an Academy Award-winning Australian[1] actress. ... Ewan Gordon McGregor (born March 31, 1971) (IPA pronunciation: [1]) is a Scottish actor who has had significant success in mainstream, indie and art house films. ... Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 Academy Award-winning musical film directed by Baz Luhrmann. ... Phèdre nó Delaunay The main character of Jacqueline Careys Kushiels Legacy series. ... Jacqueline Carey (born 1964 in Highland Park, Illinois) is an author and novelist, primarily of fantasy fiction. ... Kushiels Legacy is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Jacqueline Carey, comprising Kushiels Dart, Kushiels Chosen, and Kushiels Avatar. ...

See also

A call girl is a prostitute who is not visible to the general public, like a street walker, and who does not usually belong to an institution like a brothel. ... William Hogarths 1731 engraving of A Harlots Progress is about a young woman, Mary Hackabout, who arrives in London from the country. ... In ancient Greece, Hetaerae were courtesans, that is to say, sophisticated companions and prostitutes. ... Kisaeng (also spelled gisaeng), sometimes called ginyeo (기녀), were female Korean entertainers similar to the Japanese geisha and the ancient Greek hetaerae. ... Madame de Pompadour the mistress of King Louis XV of France. ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... Sing Song Girls is an English term derived from westerners in China during the early 19th century. ... Historically, a tawaif was a courtesan who catered to the Muslim nobility of South Asia, particularly during the Mughal era. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... An ukiyo-e print of an Oiran Oiran ) were high-class courtesans in Japan. ... Tayu were high-class courtesans in Japan. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c A brief history of the Courtesan (from icqurimage.com, 2005)
  • Griffin, Susan. The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of Their Virtues. New York: Broadway Books, 2001.
  • Hickman, Katie. Courtesans: Money, Sex, and Fame in the Nineteenth Century. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.
  • Lawnes, Lynne. Lives of the Courtesans: Portraits of the Renaissance. New York: Rizzoli, 1987.
  • Rounding, Virginia. Grandes Horizontales: The Lives and Legends of Four Nineteenth-Century Courtesans. London: Bloomsbury, 2003.

Susan Griffin is the eco-feminist author of The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of Their Virtues (2001); Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her; Pornography and Silence; and A Chorus of Stones; Unremembered Country (1987); The Eros of Everyday Life (1995); What Her Body Thought: A Journey into...

External links

  • Interviews With Courtesans
  • Defining the Courtesan (Mt. Holyoke College)
  • A modern-day courtesan's blog
  • [Kathleen Glyde: Black Courtesan]

  Results from FactBites:
 
Savannah Smiles - Courtesan (3869 words)
In a memorable scene from Colette's novel Gigi, the daughter of a courtesan is carefully taught to tell the difference between a canary diamond and topaz; a cocotte's cache of gems served both as an emblem of success and as a fund for her retirement.
Except among courtesans, if a woman had wealth, it was almost never her own, but hers to use only through the beneficence, permission, or parsimonious allowance of a father, brother, or husband.
But just as surely as the role of the courtesan was created by historical conditions, she was also inextricably linked to a historical mood that had come to an end by the third decade of the last century.
Icqurimage Electronic magazine: A brief history of the Courtesan (7175 words)
Courtesans were frequently patrons of the arts, fashion, language and music, and naturally excelled in political intrigue and in the erotic arts.
Marilyn Monroe was the consummate Hollywood courtesan of her day, and became the leading light of her era despite being a bleached blonde “bombshell” from the wrong side of town, and an illegitimate child of an insane mother and a nomadic father.
Courtesans occupy the corridors of power of Washington, Paris and London as they have always done, but the age of modern media means that their skills are often better directed towards the silver screens of Hollywood, the catwalks of the Fashion World, and within the all pervading medium of television.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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