Harriette Wilson entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
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Harriette Wilson turned her career as an early nineteenth-century courtesan to good practical use as a memoirist and writer of scandal fiction: though she shows genuine literary talent, the primary aim of her writing was blackmail. She also wrote drama and verse.
22 February 1786 Harriette Dubouchet (later HW) was born at 2 Carrington Street, Mayfair, London, the most fashionable district in the recently-developed West End. Bibliographic Citation link.
6 January 1825 Newspapers advertised the first instalment of HW's Memoirs as due next day—but the promised contents (a list of names headed by the king and three dukes) was an obvious invitation to buy out. Bibliographic Citation link.
February 1825 HW began, with the first instalment, to issue her Memoirs through John Joseph Stockdale: four volumes followed the more numerous, briefer instalments. Bibliographic Citation link.
25 March 1825 HW (who had composed but not yet issued her account of her friend Julia Johnstone's death in 1815) was confronted with the first instalment of Johnstone's Confessions, written to confute her own Memoirs. Bibliographic Citation link.
Late August 1825 The three final instalments of HW's Memoirs appeared as a single paper-bound package: the delay since May may have been caused by Stockdale's involvement in a libel case. Bibliographic Citation link.
January 1830 HW published, anonymously, her second roman à clef, Clara Gazul; or, Honi soit qui mal y pense. Bibliographic Citation link.
10 March 1845 HW died at her house in Chelsea, leaving a careful estimate of her funeral expenses and requests to ex-lovers to pay them. Bibliographic Citation link.
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