Подпись: 'The Protestant Whore' It is thought that Nell Gwyn may have been a child prostitute as well as an oyster-seller. Working in brothels she is said to have been a mistress to several men, but only one at a time. In those days, the word 'whore' related to kept women and adulteresses. When a new theatre was built on Drury Lane, she took on a new career selling fruit and confectionery at the King's Theatre. Then, as a comic actress, she had relationships with reputed artists of the day. She became involved with the king via the Duke of Buckingham who wanted to get closer to the monarch himself, but Nell asked for too much money, leaving the way clear for her friend Moll to be royal mistress. Allegedly, she slipped Moll a dose of powerful laxative before she was due at the king's chambers. The affair with the king is believed to have started in the theatre when he flirted with Nell, and when he invited her out afterwards - with her date - she ended up paying the bill. Although not an official mistress of the Merry Monarch, 'Pretty, witty Nell' Gwyn was a favoured lover of Charles II and stayed with him until his death. He was also the father of her two sons - two of several offspring by his mistresses.

Hollywood silent movie star Louise Brooks is famed for her sexual power over men on and off screen. As a rare sexually liberated woman, her philosophy was not generally well received at the time and she was saddled with a bad reputation. Her European films, which include Pandora’s Box (1929) and the heated tale of Lulu, who whores herself for pleasure, has a lesbian encounter and ends up in the hands of Jack the Ripper, feature explicit adult themes, heavily censored. Ironically, at one point her own life followed a similar pattern. When she returned to the USA and failed to regain stardom, she ended up working as a high-class call girl. Apparently, as an elderly woman, she told theatre critic and lover Kenneth Tynan she could still ejaculate across a room.