Books: For Love & Money

LA BELLE OTERO by Arthur H. Lewis. 257 pages. Trident. $5.95.

THE COURTESANS: THE DEMIMONDE IN 19TH CENTURY FRANCE by Joanna Richardson. 257 pages. World. $10.95.

The profession of the fornicatrix has fallen upon seedy days. Rank amateurs have driven out the pros, giving the career field a bad name, and today's courtesans would rather provide grist for the sociologist's mill than salt for the Sunday supplements.

It was not always thus. In the turn-of-the-century fling known as la belle epoque, the courtesan was queen and her clients were often kings. In The Courtesans: The...

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