Authors: Erica Jong
Being the True History of the Adventures of Fanny Hackabout-Jones
THE TRUE HISTORY OF
THE ADVENTURES OF
IN THREE BOOKS
Comprising her Life at Lymeworth,
her Initiation as a Witch,
her Travels with the Merry Men,
her Life in the Brothel,
her London High Life, her Slaving Voyage,
her Life as a Female Pyrate,
her eventual Unravelling of her Destiny,
A short Description of my Childhood with particular Attention to the Suff’rings of my Step-Mother, Lady Bellars.
In which I meet my first Great Man, and learn the Truth of that Maxim: “’Tis easier to be a Great Man in one’s Work than in one’s Life.”
Of Gardening, Great Houses, the Curse of Fashion, Paradise Lost, a Family Supper with a Famous Visitor in Attendance, and the Foolish Curiosity of Virgins of Seventeen.
Of Flip-Flaps, Lollipops, Picklocks, Love-Darts, Pillicocks, and the Immortal Soul, together with some Warnings against Rakes, and some Observations upon the Erotick Proclivities of Poets.
Some Reflections upon Harmony, Order, and Reason, together with many surprizing Adventures which follow one upon the other, in rapid Succession.
Venus is introduced, with some pretty Writing; and we learn more of the Am’rous Dalliances of Lord Bellars than we, or our Heroine, would wish to know.
Containing the sundry Adventures of our Heroine in preparing her Escape, as well as many edifying Digressions upon Doweries, upon Love, upon the Beauties of the English Countryside, upon the Wisdom of Horses, upon the Necessity for Disguises, and, finally, upon the Preferability, at all Times, of being a Man rather than a Woman.
Containing a most improving Philosophical Enquiry into the diff’ring Philosophies of the Third Earl of Shaftesbury and Mr. Bernard Mandeville, together with an Account of our Heroine’s sincere Dilemma concerning the Role of Womankind in the Great World; whereupon we follow our Heroine to a Country Fair and relate the Misadventures she had there, her Debut as a Duellist, and, last but not least, her most surprizing Rescue by a most surprizing Rescuer.
A Word to the Wise about Gratitude; an exciting Chase upon horseback; our Heroine’s Conversations with two Wise Women of the Woods; and a most astonishing Prophecy.
Containing some Essential Information regarding the Nature of Esbats, Sabbats, Flying thro’ the Air upon Broomstaffs, and other Matters with which the enlighten’d Young Woman of Parts should be acquainted; together with a most dreadful Scene upon Stonehenge Down, which few Readers should venture upon in an Ev’ning, especially when alone.
Containing sev’ral Dialogues concerning Fate, Poesy, and the Relations betwixt the Sexes, as well as other Intercourse of a more sensual Nature (because of which the Modest Reader is advis’d to pass o’er this Chapter unread), which our Heroine had with Miss Polly Mudge, Chambermaid, Mr. Ned Tunewell, Poetaster, and e’en with Herself, at that celebrated Coaching Inn call’d The Dumb Bell.
In which Lancelot Robinson and his Merry Men are introduced and our Heroine meets her Fate in all its Nakedness.
A short Hint of what we can do in the Rabelaisian Style; our Heroine gets her Name; Lancelot Robinson begins his astounding History.
Lancelot Robinson concludes his astonishing History, showing that a Man may be wise in all Things, both sublunary and divine, yet still be a Ninny where Women are concern’d.
An improving philosophical Conversation upon the Nature of Orphans, after which the Merry Men are introduced, Lancelot discloses his future Plans, and Horatio’s curious History is reveal’d.
Containing some mischievous and am’rous Play in which ’tis presently seen that Lancelot’s Protestations of sexual Preference are not as fixt as he would have had us believe, nor indeed are those of our Friend Horatio, whereupon our Heroine finds herself in a Predicament which Prudes will applaud but the Hot-blooded will find (nearly) tragick; after which we ponder a prophetick Dream and thereafter begin our Voyage to London.
In which our Heroine first makes an intimate Acquaintance with the Great City of London, and what befell her upon her historick Arrival there.
Some Animadversions upon the Author of that Notorious Book,
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure,
together with our Heroine’s True and Compleat Recital of what really happen’d during her Initiation into Mother Coxtart’s Brothel, her first Visit to a London Draper’s, and a most astonishing Message from the Ghost of Robin Hood.
In which our Fanny meets a Frog who thinks himself a Prince and loses her Virginity for the second Time (which Doubting Thomases may profess to be impossible, but Readers wise in the Wicked Ways of the World will credit).
In which we follow Fanny to Mrs. Skinner’s Emporium, are initiated into some Mysteries to which Wise Women have been privy thro’out the Centuries, and subsequently make our Descent into London’s own Hades, namely, Newgate Prison.
Fanny’s Flight thro’ London; Dissension in the Body Politick, and a most amazing Revolution, which Whigs will applaud but Tories may grumble of; after which our Heroine learns sev’ral important Lessons, which we hope will help her her whole Life long, but ne’ertheless is mov’d to an Act of great Desperation which causes her untold Anguish and Agony.
Containing a short Sketch of the celebrated Dean Swift of Dublin, Author, Misanthrope, and Horse-Fancier extraordinaire; together with some philosophical and moral Lessons which our Heroine drew from her curious Friendship with him.
Of Fanny’s Acquaintance with those two curious Figures, Mr. William Hogarth and Master John Cleland; their opposing Views of her Character, their Predilections both in Life and Art; together with our Heroine’s Motives in composing this True and Compleat History of her exotick and adventurous Life.
In which we look in upon Mr. Lancelot Robinson in Newgate Prison and learn what hath transpir’d with him whilst our Fanny was very much Otherwise Engaged.
Containing a most edifying Excursion into the World of London Clubs, in which our Heroine journeys to the Centre of the Earth, meets the Devil, and finds him a more familiar Figure than she otherwise would have guess’d.
Of Love and Lust, Pan and Satan, Longing and Loyalty, and other such lofty (or low) Matters; together with our Heroine’s Adventures at the notorious George & Vulture Inn, and how (with the Aid of some of the surviving Merry Men) she resolv’d the Dilemma of her Destiny.
Containing a most curious Exchange of Letters thro’ which our Fanny learns more concerning the Capriciousness of Destiny than all her Adventures have taught her until now; after which she is summon’d by her one True love, as the Reader of this most stirring epistolary Chapter shall shortly see.
Containing an Incident of a more tragick than comedic Kind, the Import of which may not be Reveal’d for many Years, but which nonetheless alters our Heroine’s Destiny most profoundly.
Containing a most Edifying Comparison betwixt Life and a Masquerade, as well as our Heroine’s Meditations upon Maternity and the curious Bargain she struck with the Devil to ensure the safe Arrival upon this Earth of her unborn Babe.
How our Heroine spent her Confinement; a short Description of her Loyal Servant, Susannah; some philosophical Meditations upon the Phases of Childbirth, after which your Author enters into the Controversy (which raged thro’out the Age) betwixt Midwives and
s, and thereafter gratefully ends the Chapter.
Containing better Reasons than any which have yet appear’d for the happy Delivery of Women by those of their own Sex, together with the Introduction of the newest Character in our Historio-Comical Epick, who, tho’ small, proves more Trouble to her Author in her Entrance upon the Scene than any Personage of more prodigious Size.
In which such surprizing Events occur that we dare not e’en hint of ’em here, lest the Muse of Historio-Comical Epick Writing be very cross with us and flee our House forthwith.
We are introduced to Prudence Feral, Wet-Nurse extraordinaire, and your humble Author summarizes the current Controversy concerning Wet-Nursing versus maternal Breast Feeding, to which she appends some Views of her own, drawn from Experience (that greatest of all Teachers).
Containing the Character of a Cook, some useful Opinions upon the Nature of Infants, our Heroine’s Attempts to find a new Wet-Nurse for her Babe, and the compleat Contents of a Mother’s Nightmare.
In which our Heroine and her loyal Servant, Susannah, begin their Apprenticeship at Sea, and learn that the Sailor’s Life is not an easy one, tho’ the Ship hath scarce left the Dock.
Containing a Storm at Sea, a Scene which should perhaps be skipp’d o’er by those with squeamish Stomachs, and the Entrance into our History of the notorious Captain Whitehead.
In which ’tis prov’d that Sea Captains are as lustful as they are reputed to be, that Deists do not always make the best Lovers, and that many Persons in their Erotick Habits crave that Treatment which, in Truth, they deserve, in consequence of their Characters.
In which our Heroine learns more than she wishes to know about the Nature of Distemper’d Lust; debates with the Surgeon (and indeed with herself) about the Nature of Evil and whether anything we Mortals do can assuage it; and loses an old Friend just as she hath made a new.
In which our Heroine learns that no Man is such a Scoundrel that he doth not wish to be an Author, that e’en Slavers account themselves patriotick and virtuous, that the Sea is as full of Magick and Mystery as the Land, and that Ships oft’ become Pyrate Prizes as much thro’ the Connivance of their own Tars as thro’ any other Means.
Containing a better Explanation for the Prevalence of Pyracy than any Authors, ancient or modern, have yet advanced; together with out Heroine’s tragick but true Realization that most Revolutionaries are none where Women are concern’d, and what ingenious Stratagem she made Use of to alter this sad State of Affairs.
Containing divers Dialogues betwixt Lancelot, Horatio, and our Heroine in which the History goes backward somewhat and we learn what these Gentlemen have been doing whilst the Queen of our Narrative was extending her Education and Adventures; thereto is added a brief History of Buccaneering for the Reader who is bent upon the noble Cause of Self-Improvement as well as the more pleasant one of Entertainment.