The Harlot’s Press

by Helen Pike

  • Published: 07 Jul 2011
  • Price: £7.99
  • Format: Paperback
  • Format: Ebook
  • Extent: 356p
  • ISBN: 9781907595400
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“And what was I, a mere printer, doing sweeping up my silk skirts on Jermyn-street, you might ask? Well, if you know anything about our city, I’m sure you can guess. The strange thing is, although I invented some lies to explain to my stepfather where I had been while he was imprisoned, and would rather impale myself on the iron railings which surround St Paul’s churchyard than tell him the truth, the desire to recount the events of those six months is gaining on me by the minute…”

Set in London during the reign of George IV in the tumultuous summer of 1820, The Harlot’s Press follows Nell Wingfield, a gutsy seventeen-year-old printer of political pamphlets. Nell’s mother is dead, her stepfather – a hellfire preacher – has just been released from gaol, and her brother Tom is about to be hanged for treason.

Nell herself has recently returned home after a six-month absence that she would rather not explain. After her mother’s death, she was duped into working at one of the ‘Houses of the Quality’, the brothels on St James’s, where she found herself turning tricks with men at the heart of the English establishment. When one of them is found dead in his bed, it is time for Nell to flee. For Nell has had more than a strictly commercial relationship with the man in question, and she knows that his political enemies will exploit this in an attempt to link her to his death…

The Harlot’s Press is a gripping historical drama, in which St James’s and Cheapside, royalty and the rabble become thrillingly entangled as Nell battles to stay alive. This plucky young printeress will show you a London that your history lessons might well have kept from you.

“I thoroughly recommend this book”
<em>The Daily Mail</em>
“This combination of bodice-ripping romp and political intrigue… adds up to a very good read ”
<em>Literary Review</em>

About Helen Pike

Helen Pike lives in Guildford and Oxfordshire. She is a History graduate of Oxford and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. This is her debut novel, and was in part inspired by her history teaching.