Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)

  • Date:

    1780 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Carington Bowles (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching and engraving

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 75, box C

This is one of a set of six prints telling the story of Harriet Heedless, a county girl who arrives in town looking for a position as a servant, only to be duped into becoming a 'kept woman' and later descending into prostitution and poverty. This set, published in 1780, is based on an earlier set by William Hogarth entitled 'The Harlot's Progress' (1732) and shows how his influence on printmaking remained strong fifty years on.

Physical description

The interior of a bedroom furnished with a curtained bed, a dressing table with mirror, a round table and chairs, and a carpet with arabesque pattern. On the wall are three landscape paintings and a fourth painting depicting a woman and Cupid. There is a Serlian window, through which can be seen parkland with lake.

Harriet sits in a swoon next to a writing table where the Rake is reading a letter inviting 'William' to meet her at the piazza. A maid hides in the doorway watching the scene.

Place of Origin

London (printed)


1780 (published)


Carington Bowles (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Etching and engraving

Marks and inscriptions

Harriet being discovered by her Keeper in making an appointment with his Footman, faints away, while the Maid listens to know the result.
across bottom below image

Printed for & Sold by Carington Bowles, at his Map & Print Warehouse, No. 69 in St Pauls Church Yard, London. Published as the Act directs, 15 May 1780
across bottom below image and description

numbered bottom right corner below image

numbered top right corner above image

Dear / William / meet me / under / the / piazza / at 6 / o'Clock
writing visible on the paper on the writing table


Height: 22.2 cm sheet, Width: 28.7 cm sheet

Object history note

RP No. 92/2553

Descriptive line

Print from a set of six 'The Modern Harlot's Progress or the Adventures of Harriet Heedless', printed by Carington Bowles, London; British, 1780.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

British Museum. Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires. London. 1870-1954.


Printing ink; Paper


Etching; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Dressing rooms; Drapes; Window head; Bed curtains; Caricatures; Pictures; Serlian windows; Door frames; Costume; Courtesans; Table mirrors; Interior views; Domestic servants; Overdoor; Bedrooms; Tables; Chairs; Windows; Writing materials


Fashion; Interiors; Satire; Prints


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.

  • Copyright: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2017. All Rights Reserved