Mistress Peachum's Pleasure

'Lisa Hilton has produced a...challenging book...she enfolds the elusiveness of her Duchess within the pleasures and obsessions of her times in such a way that they become indistinguishable from each other...This is a vigorous and invigorating book about a culture in which one side of the street offered the sophistication of coffee-house conversation and the other a rotting corpse swinging from a rope.'
Frances Wilson

'Hilton's style is...positively edible.'
Alice Fordham
OBSERVER (10.4.05)

'[a] scintillating read and vivid picture of the age.'

'Hilton's book is refreshing both in the lightness of its touch and the vividness of its descriptions...This is a portrait of an age, written with gaiety and an irreverence that would have delighted John Gay and his friends.'
Miranda Seymour
SUNDAY TIMES (10.4.05)

'Hilton has a real flair for making believable characters of historical figures and her portrait of the era is a soap opera with an 18th century cast. She has a finely tuned ear for gossip and scandal, and clearly relishes drama of all kinds. A wonderfully rich narrative history - informative, funny, risque and melodramatic.'

'Mistress Peachum's Pleasure is full of 18th-century colour; pantomimes, prostitutes and plump, truclent castrati; Gay, Pope, Swift and the Licensing Act of 1737.'
Mary Wakefield

'Hilton...shows sharp wit and a healthy irony: she is splendid on an acting manual's recommendation for the exact angle of the left leg needed to indicate "Astonishment and Surprise", and grasps the Duke of Bolton's character as a great aristocratic booby well (the sort who, according to an 18th-century joke, thought that "Classics" was the county next to Essex)."
Min Wild

'Hilton's vivid portrait of the upwardly mobile Lavinia Fenton brilliantly realises the political, social, criminal and theatrical nature of these dazzlingly contradictory times.'

'Lisa Hilton's account of the genesis of The Beggar's Opera is first rate, and her portrayal of the social and political context of early eary eighteenth-century London is vivid and compelling.'
Paula Byrne

TLS (13.5.05)