So, I finally settled on a book to read. I had found The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of Their Virtues. by Susan Griffin, on a “Free Books” desk in the Humanities Department. Ever since seeing Moulin Rouge and reading Memoirs of a Geisha, this entire world seems very interesting and unique to me. The whole history of prostitution is enlightening about society and how it has changed over the years. During the classical period in Greece, prostitutes were given more respect and value by men. Although it seems that women that are outgoing, charming and put themselves out there, are given more respect than the overly moral women that are prudish.
As much as I like the content, the author’s writing style is really annoying with long run-on sentences, paragraphs that either lead nowhere or just repeat what was said 2 pages earlier. The main focus seems to be on courtesans in France in real life (Madame Du Barry) or in various operas, plays and literature by French authors. What I do appreciate is that the author so far, has managed to stay indifferent about the topic. There is no bias as to whether this profession is moral or not, but just gives a history as to why its a part of society, how it came to be and how it is viewed throughout history.