Manual Whore to the Palace Guards

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Further sex was provided by Sexby, an unkempt musket-for-hire played by John Simm , excellently, in a hat.


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Sexby's name is no accident. He has long hair, probably smells of gun-smoke and trousers, and has an immensely hot scar across one eye, as if he briefly considered becoming some manner of 17th-century sex clown. Sexby is obsessed with Angelica. At one point, consumed by lust, he steals her wedding garters and buries his face in them, under a full moon.

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At another point, we see him reflected in a barrel of water, making his naked torso ripple. By the end of the episode, Angelica had forsworn her previous allegiance to the King and hitched her horse to the Roundheads' wagon.

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Next week, even more confusingly, Angelica seems to become a highwaywoman. A highwaywoman. Did the lack of exposition mess with your round head? Did Angelica cut the vital feminist heroine mustard, or were you too preoccupied with the parliamentary machinations to care? What maketh thee of this most curious broadcaste? Prithee, transcribe your thinkings below. Topics Television TV and radio blog. Drama blogposts. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

Loading comments… Trouble loading? Prior to the Renaissance, courtesans served to convey information to visiting dignitaries, when servants could not be trusted. In Renaissance Europe , courtiers played an extremely important role in upper-class society. As it was customary during this time for royal couples to lead separate lives—commonly marrying simply to preserve bloodlines and to secure political alliances—men and women would often seek gratification and companionship from people living at court.

In fact, the verb 'to court' originally meant "to be or reside at court", and later came to mean "to behave as a courtier" and then ' courtship ', or "to pay amorous attention to somebody". In Renaissance usage, the Italian word cortigiana , feminine of cortigiano "courtier" came to refer to a person who attends the court, and then to a well-educated and independent woman, eventually a trained artist or artisan of dance and singing, especially one associated with wealthy, powerful, or upper-class society who was given luxuries and status in exchange for entertainment and companionship.

A male figure comparable to the courtesan was the Italian cicisbeo , the French chevalier servant , the Spanish cortejo or estrecho.


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  • The courtesans of East Asia, particularly those of the Japanese empire , held a different social role than that of their European counterparts. Examples of Japanese courtesans included the oiran class, who were more focused on the aspect of entertainment in comparison with European courtesans.

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    One type of courtesan was known in Italy as the cortigiana onesta , or the honest courtesan, who was cast as an intellectual. Another was the cortigiana di lume , a lower class of courtesan. The former was the sort most often romanticized and treated more-or-less equal to women of the nobility. It is with this type of courtesan that the art of "courtisanerie" is best associated. The cortigiane oneste were usually well-educated and worldly sometimes even more so than the average upper-class woman , and often held simultaneous careers as performers or artists.

    They were typically chosen on the basis of their "breeding"—social and conversational skills, intelligence, common-sense, and companionship—as well as their physical attributes. It was usually their wit and personality that set them apart from regular women. Sex constituted only a facet of the courtesan's array of services.

    For example, they were well-dressed and ready to engage and participate in a variety of topics ranging from art to music to politics.

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    In some cases, courtesans were from well-to-do backgrounds, and were even married—but to husbands lower on the social ladder than their clients. In these cases, their relationships with those of high social status had the potential to improve their spouses' status—and so, more often than not, the husband was aware of his wife's profession and dealings. Courtesans from non-wealthy backgrounds provided charming companionship for extended periods, no matter what their own feelings or commitments might have been at the time, and sometimes had to be prepared to do so on short notice.

    They were also subject to lower social status, and often religious disapproval, because of the immoral aspects of their profession and their reliance upon courtisanerie as a primary source of income. In cases like this, a courtesan was solely dependent on her benefactor or benefactors financially, making her vulnerable; Cora Pearl is a good example. Often, courtesans serving in this capacity began their career as a prostitute, although many came to the profession by other means.

    It was not uncommon for a courtesan to enter into an arranged long-term liaison by contract with a wealthy benefactor. These contracts were written up by and witnessed by lawyers, and were binding. Most included some provision for the financial welfare of the courtesan beyond the end of the relationship in the form of an annuity. Many such women became so powerful socially and financially that they could be particular about the men they associated with; in other words they chose their paramour as would any other mistress, not the other way around.

    Wealthy benefactors would go to great lengths to court a courtesan as a prize, the ultimate goal being a long-term contract as a mistress. Occasionally courtesans were passed from one benefactor to another, thereby resulting in them being viewed in society circles as lower than both their benefactor and those of wealth and power with whom they would socialize. Often, in instances of this sort, if the courtesan had satisfactorily served a benefactor, that benefactor would, when ending the affair, pass them on to another benefactor of wealth as a favor to the courtesan, or set them up in an arranged marriage to a semi-wealthy benefactor.

    In the event that the courtesan had angered or dissatisfied a benefactor, they would often find themselves cast out of wealthy circles, returning more often than not to street prostitution. They were more respected by their extramarital companions, both placing one another's family obligations ahead of the relationship and planning their own liaisons or social engagements around the lovers' marital obligations. Affairs of this sort would often be short-lived, ending when either the courtesan or the courtesan's spouse received the status or political position desired, or when the benefactor chose the company of another courtesan, and compensated the former companion financially.

    In instances like this, it was often viewed simply as a business agreement by both parties involved. The benefactor was aware of the political or social favors expected by the courtesan, the courtesan was aware of the price expected from them for those favors being carried out, and the two met one another's demands, an example being Madame de Pompadour.

    This was generally a safe affair, as both the benefactor's spouse and the courtesan's spouse usually were fully aware of the arrangement, and the courtesan was not solely dependent on the benefactor. It, rather, was simply an affair of benefits gained for both those involved. Publicly and socially, affairs of this sort were common during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the early 20th century, and were generally accepted in wealthy circles.

    Very often, courtesans would betray one another in acts of political intrigue in attempts to climb into higher positions of power within royal courts. There are many cases throughout history where one courtesan would attempt sometimes successfully to supplant the mistress to a king or emperor. This was typically preceded by her discrediting the ruler's companion, often by divulging secrets that could lead to her rival being cast aside and replaced by her.