Lotte van de Pol

Lotte van de Pol is a historian who has worked at various academic institutions. She has written about women, the life of the common people, and criminality and culture in the Netherlands in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In collaboration with the historian Rudolf Dekker, she wrote Vrouwen in mannenkleren. De geschiedenis van een tegendraadse traditie (The Tradition of Female Transvestitism in Early Modern Europe, 1989), which Simon Schama described as ‘one of the most exciting works of social history written’. It has been translated into several languages.

The burgher and the whore

The burgher and the whore

Prostitution in Early Modern Amsterdam

(Wereldbibliotheek, 1996, 493 pages)

Het Amsterdams hoerdom can be read as the history of the Golden Age from below. It is a story of dark lanes and meagre earnings – an occasionally disabusing panorama of the full life led by society’s underbelly. For Amsterdam and its inhabitants, prostitution has been a clearly present and much-discussed problem for centuries: a necessary evil because of the large numbers of dissolute seamen in the city.

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