Nell Kimball: Her Life As an American Madam,

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9780025750500: Nell Kimball: Her Life As an American Madam,

"Every girl is sitting on her fortune if only she knew it." Thus advised by her fading Aunt Letty, the young farm girl set out on her odyssey of sin and seduction in the big cities - late nineteenth century St. Louis, San Francisco, and New Orleans. There "Goldie Brown," later knows as Nell Kimball, made her fame and fortune as a first-class entrepreneur in the flesh trade. Her compelling memoir, complete, uncut, and narrated with the skill of a born storyteller, is one of the most honest, earthy, and penetrating portraits of her era ever recorded: Nell Kimball: Her Life as An American Madam, by Herself.

"Looking back on my life, and it's the only way I can look at it now, nothing in it came out the way most people would want their life to be lived. And while I began at fifteen in St. Louis in a good house with no plans, just wanting as a young whore to hunker on to something to eat and something good to wear, I ended up as a business woman, becoming a sporting house madam, recruiting, disciplining whores, running high-class places. Always wondering, too, why it had happened just that way. Now I can say, if I ever had me any remorse, I never had any regrets."

So begin the remarkable reminiscences of Nell Kimball, who made history as one of the shrewdest, classiest operators in America until 1917, the year the government closed Storyville, the official sporting section of New Orleans. Funny, frank, and uninhibited, she tells her astonishing story with inimitable style and gusto, a story made public for the first time since it was completed in 1932. From it emerges a razor-sharp intelligence, a biting humor, and an unparalleled commentator on her times. As editor Stephen Longstreet observes, "It was a society whose cant and hypocrisy, fears and conformity she recognized and often indicted in her writing. If she was particularly hard on politicians, it should be remembered that she knew them more intimately than most of us."

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Nell Kimball
Published by MacMillan Publishing Company (1970)
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