Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The Other Duchess
While male prostitution isn’t so wholly unusual in this place and time, the names these men picked for themselves is. Like our modern-day strippers with names like “Sapphire,” the White Swan prostitutes went by names that their mothers obviously did not give them: Miss Selina, Harriet, and even Kitty Fisher (a nod to the original, perhaps) could be found loitering about the tavern looking for customers. But perhaps the most grandiose of these gay prostitutes was one man who must have been pretty confident in his abilities for he went by the name, the Duchess of Devonshire.
Perhaps the most delightful bit of this juicy gossip is that these colorful tavern workers only took this role by night. If you needed to find the Duchess of Devonshire before the sun set, you could find her (or him) at her day job as a blacksmith.