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John Cleland

Cleland, John, 1709–87, English novelist. His Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1750), commonly known as Fanny Hill, was an immediate popular success; the novel's notoriety led to a number of official efforts to ban it over the next two centuries. Traditionally considered the first great pornographic work in English, it is now linked to the works of Richardson and Fielding as a typical mid-18th cent. British novel.

See studies by W. Epstein (1974) and H. Gladfelder (2012).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 1500 to 1799: Biographies


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