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William Hogarth
A Harlot's Progress

This, the first of Hogarth's social dramas, relates in a sequence of paintings the story of Moll Hackabout, a pretty country girl of easy virtue: she arrives in London; she becomes a kept woman; she quarrels with her rich lover; she is apprehended by a magistrate; she beats hemp in Bridewell Prison; she dies; she is buried. In the funeral scene her little son is perched on the coffin winding his top. This highly moral series with unmoral embellishments was the toast of Londoners, who joyfully identified its characters as real people.

The paintings themselves were destroyed in a fire in 1755, but excellent engravings - which Hogarth sold in advance by subscription and with much loud publicity - reveal the intimate detail of the originals.

Selected Works
Ensnared by a Procuress
Quarrels with her Jew Protector
Apprehended by a Magistrate
Scene in Bridewell
She Expires while the Doctors are disputing
The Funeral

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