Prostitution in Medieval and Early Modern Literature
Prostitution is known as the oldest profession in the history of humanity. While historians have already given due consideration to the profession's social and cultural meanings across time periods, little has been written about literary representations of prostitution. Prostitution in Medieval and Early Modern Literature analyses the work of writers from an array of social positions, including courtly poets and even religious writers, dealing with the topic during the medieval and early modern periods. Its study shows that prostitutes and brothel owners were present on the literary stage far more often than we might have assumed. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach and incorporating relevant sources from across the entire European continent dating from the early Middle Ages to the sixteenth century, it examines the phenomenon of prostitution in a variety of contexts and highlights the extent to which the institution mattered for both the higher and the lower classes.