Books: Confessions of a Courtesan

THE GAME OF HEARTS: Harriette Wilson's Memoirs (532 pp.)—edited by Lesley Blanch—Simon & Schuster ($5).

Rarely has London lived quite so lustily as in the first years of the 19th century. Then the fat, fun-loving Prince of Wales reigned as Regent (for doddering George III) and "First Gentleman of Europe." Beau Brummell set the fashions, and the romantically adored Lord Byron sported through pubs and palazzi as Childe Harold in person. Of all the high-living courtesans who kept dizzy pace with the Regency's beaux and bucks, the most celebrated was Harriette Wilson. ''I...

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