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The Burgher and the WhoreProstitution in Early Modern Amsterdam$
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Lotte van de Pol

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211401

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211401.001.0001

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‘Amsterdam is the Academy of Whoredom’: Prostitutes, Brothels, and Music Houses

‘Amsterdam is the Academy of Whoredom’: Prostitutes, Brothels, and Music Houses

(p.18) 1 ‘Amsterdam is the Academy of Whoredom’: Prostitutes, Brothels, and Music Houses
The Burgher and the Whore

Lotte van de Pol

Oxford University Press

This chapter characterizes Amsterdam prostitution and its organisation, and tracks the changes that took place over the 17th and 18th centuries, often in reaction to government policies. Prostitutes usually lived in and operated from small whorehouses; a minority were streetwalkers. ‘Procuring’ was considered women's work; pimps were few and male brothel keepers as a rule had female partners. With the introduction of street lighting in 1668, a lively nightlife emerged, in which music and dancing were important. Music houses (taverns with live music and dancing where whores picked up clients) multiplied and became tourist attractions; their history of expansion, suppression and re-emergence is traced here. At the end of the 18th century, large, capital intensive and male dominated music houses abounded where violence was common. The elite shied away from the once popular music houses.

Keywords:   prostitutes, streetwalkers, brothels, procuress, street-lighting, music, dancing, violence

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