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  • 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

Harriet now dressed as a prostitute sits at a table, taking snuff. On the table are playing cards and the book 'Hoyles Games'. A milliner also sits at the table and hands her a hat to try on. The milliner's apprentice stands behind her holdind a box. Harriet is being served a glass of wine by a black female servant whose apron is torn. A soldier also sits at the table drinking and smoking a pipe and another sailor sits near to the door in the right corner stroking a young girl on her chin.

The room is moderately furnished with a bed with curtain and bent curtain rail, carpet, two tables, plain mirror, and chairs. On the wall are two large paintings, one a scene of ruins, another a naval battle. Also on the wall is a printed ballad pinned next to the door-frame with an illustration of a ship below which is the title Man of Fashion and the ballad. Through the open doorway is a landing and window, through which can be seen ships' masts suggesting a ocation near to docks.

Place of Origin

London (printed)


1780 (published)


Carington Bowles (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Etching and engraving

Marks and inscriptions

Harriet being discarded for her Infidelity, takes Lodgings, turns Common, is attended by Rakes and Gamesters, and furnished / by her Milliner, with Dresses to continue her Prostitution.
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

title of open book on table


Height: 18.6 cm sheet, Width: 27.5 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

Bedrooms; Carpet; Sailors; Chairs; Ships; Gambling; Caricatures; Costume; Windows; Tables; Ruins; Wallpaper; Bed curtains; Book; Pictures; Prostitutes; Popular prints; Milliners; Card games; Interior views; Domestic servants


Black History; Fashion; Interiors; Satire; Prints


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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