Probably the best-known work of erotic fiction, John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure was first published in London in 1748. More popularly known as Fanny Hill (the name of the novel’s female protagonist), due to its sexual content the book came to be one of the most controversial and banned books in the history of literature, a revelation in that it incorporated pornographic scenes in a novelistic form, a feat never previously undertaken in English literature. Following the young Fanny Hill from her village home to London, the novel depicts her sexual undoing.
In illustrating Fanny Hill, Cavell demonstrates his ability to match style with content. This is not the brooding menace of L’ermite de l’Apennin; here the action is domestic, restrained, detailed, carefully observed. This is the best recent graphic interpretation of John Cleland’s text; unfortunately it only treats of the first part of Fanny’s experiences, and was the last of Cavell’s bandes desinées, but maybe it is best to bow out while you’re ahead of the game.
We have included here the first sixteen of the complete book’s 48 pages.
The Cavell version of Fanny Hill was published by Éditions Dominique Leroy.