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Erotic ExchangesThe World of Elite Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century Paris$
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Nina Kushner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451560

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451560.001.0001

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The Police and the Demimonde

The Police and the Demimonde

(p.14) Chapter 1 The Police and the Demimonde
Erotic Exchanges

Nina Kushner

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Jean-Baptiste Meusnier's investigation of elite prostitution in eighteenth-century Paris. In his ten-year career with a police unit, the Département des femmes galantes, he had observed some 550 women. He was succeeded by his assistant, Inspector Louis Marais, who kept track of an equal number of women. By 1764, Marais combined these Notes with submissions of Anecdotes Galantes, reporting the extramarital affairs of men and women in elite society. Marais and Meusnier's activities show that police attention to kept women was essential to understanding how the demimonde operated. As such, current knowledge about the demimonde came from the police reports.

Keywords:   Jean- Baptiste Meusnier, Paris, Département des femmes galantes, Louis Marais, Anecdotes Galantes, extramarital affairs, kept women

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