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Courtesans of Victorian England

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  • Catherine Walters (1839 - 1920)
    Catherine Walters Catherine Walters, also known as "Skittles" , was a fashion trendsetter and one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London. Walters was rumoured to have had intellect...
  • Cora Pearl (1835 - 1886)
    About Cora Cora Pearl (1835–8 July 1886) was a famous courtesan of the 19th century French demimonde, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch. Her date and place of birth are disputed, as she was believed to ...

Welcome to the Victorian courtesan project

A courtesan was originally a female courtier, which means a person who attends the court of a monarch or other powerful person.

In Renaissance usage, the Italian word "cortigiana", feminine of "cortigiano" (courtier) came to refer to "the ruler's mistress", and then to a well-educated and independent woman of free morals, eventually a trained artisan of dance and singing, especially one associated with wealthy, powerful, or upper-class men who provided luxuries and status in exchange for companionship.The word was borrowed by English from Italian through the French form "courtisane" during the 16th century, especially associated to the meaning of "court-mistress" and "prostitute

This project will contain profiles of famous and not so famous courtesans of Victorian England, feel free to add profiles and the story belonging to the profile