The Burgher and the Whore: Prostitution in Early Modern Amsterdam

Hardcover | April 15, 2011

byLotte van de Pol

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Amsterdam was, after London and Paris, the third largest city in early modern Europe, and was renowned throughout Europe for its widespread and visible prostitution. Delving deep into a wide range of sources, but making particular use of the transcripts of thousands of trials, The Burgher andthe Whore reconstructs Amsterdam's whoredom in detail. The colourful and fascinating descriptions of the prostitutes, their bawds, their clients, and the police shed new light on the cultural, social, and economic conditions of the lives of poor women in a seafaring society. Lotte van de Pol explores how the vice trade was embedded in Amsterdam's society, economy, and judicial system, and how legislation and policing were shaped by misogynist attitudes towards women and fear of God's wrath and venereal diseases towards sex. The story concentrates on the people living atthe margins of a rich metropolis, in which there was a large surplus of women, many of them poor immigrants with little prospect of marriage. Many changes are visible in the 150 years under scrutiny, including the view of prostitution from immorality to trade, and of prostitutes from whores andcriminals to paupers. The result is a book that can be read as the history of the Dutch Golden Age from below.

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Amsterdam was, after London and Paris, the third largest city in early modern Europe, and was renowned throughout Europe for its widespread and visible prostitution. Delving deep into a wide range of sources, but making particular use of the transcripts of thousands of trials, The Burgher andthe Whore reconstructs Amsterdam's whoredom ...

Lotte van de Pol is a specialist in social, cultural, and economic history, and women's history of early modern Europe. She received her Ph.D. at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, and held positions at the Erasmus University and the Dutch Open University. Her book with Rudolf Dekker, The Tradition of Female Transvestism in Early Mo...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pagesPublished:April 15, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019921140X

ISBN - 13:9780199211401

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAbbreviationsIntroduction1. 'Amsterdam is the Academy of Whoredom.' Prostitutes, brothels, and music houses2. 'Whores and scoundrels always talk of their honour.' Honour, prostitution, and the respectable citizenry3. 'The caterpillar in a cabbage, the canker in the leg.' Attitudes to prostitution, prostitutes, and women4. 'The world cannot be governed with a Bible in the hand.' Prosecution policies and their background5. 'The devil! I must have money for this.' The dark side of prosecution policy6. 'Birds of a Feather Flock Together.' Prostitutes, clients, and seafaring7. 'Miraculous tricks, to earn a living by idling.' Sex for money and money for sexAppendicesArchival Sources and Unpublished TextsBibliography of Printed Sources and Published WorksIndex