Harlots follows the lives brothel owners and the numerous women making a living selling sex. It’s 1763 and women’s opportunity for economic advancement is to marry well or be a prostitute. The city’s brothels are run by canny, cruel businesswomen such as Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton) and Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville). The prostitutes are reviewed in ‘Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies’.
However there is a storm brewing as, religious crusaders demand the closure of brothels, and constables are happy to launch brutal raids.
The series revolves around Mrs Wells’ determination to improve her life and fortune by moving her brothel to Greek Street in Soho and serve a better class of Georgian society. To pay for the move, she auctions the virginity of her younger daughter Lucy (Eloise Smyth), as she had done before with her older daughter Charlotte (Jessica Brown Findlay) when she was 12 years old. Charlotte is the lover of the besotted Sir George Howard, who wants her to sign a contract with him that makes him her “keeper.”
Margaret’s move to Greek Street puts her into conflict with Lydia Quigley, for whom she had previously worked as a prostitute. Lydia Quigley operates a high class brothel in Golden Square, serving rich, highly influential people in the judiciary and police, and blackmails a religious reformer into opposing Margaret.
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UK Channel: Amazon (Prime Video)
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