A nuanced history of prostitution in Victoria told through newly uncovered stories of women who lived it.
From the establishment of Fort Victoria, BC’s capital city has had a long history of prostitution. But little has been written on the lives of the women themselves—some of the most enterprising women in Victoria’s past. Instead, these women’s stories have been relegated to judgmental newspaper headlines. Now historian Linda J. Eversole takes a deeper look at their lives, from the mid-nineteenth century to the First World War and the Moral Reform movement.
Story by story, from the fur trade, through confederation, waves of immigration, and attempts at reform and legislation, Eversole uncovers the histories of the women who made a living, and in some cases a fortune, from the world’s oldest profession.
With accompanying maps and historical photos, new research, and the support of the descendants of some of her subjects, Eversole presents a nuanced, human series of portraits that enhances our understanding of this important strand of the city’s history.
About the author
Linda J. Eversole is a writer and historian with a long career in research, heritage preservation, and museums. Stella: Unrepentant Madam, her biography of Victoria bordello owner Stella Carroll, was published in 2005. She lives in Victoria, BC.