NABOKV-L post 0017527, Sun, 28 Dec 2008 21:02:24 +0100

Re: THOUGHTS: Charlotte Hayes in LO
Monsieur Couturier,

Please find attached the scan of a few pages containing all the information
you require.
The pages are from Index Librorum Prohibitoru by Pisanus Fraxi [Henry
Spencer Ashbee]
(Privately printed 1877-85), more exactly from the 1962 facsimile reprint as
Bibliography of Prohibited Books in 3 vols. by Jack Brussel, New York.
The French translation in question is of Nocturnal Revels; or, the History
of King's-Place, and
other Modern Nunneries....In Two Volumes. London: Printed for M. Goadby,
Pater-Noster Row. 1779.
Charlotte Hayes is mentioned earlier in the book, on page 257, under
"Fashionale Lectures: composed
and delivered with Birch Discipline, By the following, and many other
Beautiful Ladies, Who have filled
with universal approbation, the characters of Mother, Step-Mother...."
By the way, the work mentioned before Nocturnal Revels is The New Epicurean;
or, the Delights of Sex,
Facetiously and Philosophically Considered, in Graphic Letters Addressed to
Young Ladies of Quality.
London 1740. The extracts cited are very interesting when compared to Eric
Veen's Villa Venus.

A. Bouazza.


From: Vladimir Nabokov Forum [mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU] On Behalf
Sent: zondag 28 december 2008 18:42
Subject: [NABOKV-L] THOUGHTS: Charlotte Hayes in LO

Maurice Couturier writes:

Though I have practically completed my annotations of "Lolita" (which Brian
Boyd has already read and annotated), I have just made a new discovery which
can't wait to tell you about. As an aficionado of Guillaume Apollinaire, I
recently came across a long introduction to "Fanny Hill" which he published
1914 in which he writes about the London world of prostitutes in the
eighteeenth century. He relies mostly on two sources, Casanova's "Memoirs"
a book entitled "Les sérails de Londres ou les amusements nocturnes,
les scènes qui y sont journellement représentées, les portraits et la
description des courtisanes les plus célèbres et les caractères de ceux qui
les fréquentent", allegedly a translation of an English book (no name of
author nor of translator), published in Paris, "chez Barba", in 1801. I
to trace the "original" in the catalogue of the British Library but couldn't

find it; but I found, instead, a reference to that French "translation".

In the long passages quoted by Apollinaire in that introduction, there is a
long evocation of a famous prostitute named "Charlotte Hayes, femme bien
connue pour sa galanterie et ses intrigues..." who was supported by a man
called Tracey, "un des hommes les plus dissipés du siècle par rapport au
sexe." Considering the similarity of this name with "Charlotte Haze" and
Hays" ("the brisk, brickly rouged, blue-eyed widow who ran the motor court",

Part II, ch. 22), it is reasonable to assume that Nabokov lifted them
from the book published in 1801 or from a reprint of it published in 1911,
more likely, from that introduction. My bet would be that he came across
French edition of "Fanny Hill" in the stall of a "bouquiniste" along the
while he lived in Paris; or perhaps he went to the "Bibliothèque Nationale"
which has both that edition of "Fanny Hill" and the 1911 edition of "Les
sérails de Londres".

If anybody comes across the English "original" of "Les sérails" I'd very
like to hear about it.

Maurice Couturier

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