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Viewers of BBC Harlot’s praise for the 18th century London sex industry

Viewers have praised critically acclaimed new BBC2 drama Harlots, which details the thriving sex industry of 18th-century London.

The first episode of the bawdy show, which originally aired on ITV Empire in 2017, followed the lives of the warring madams Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton) and Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville), and the prostitutes living in their brothels.

It saw brothel owner Margaret on the threshold of moving to a more upscale Soho home when her property was raided by the night guards, forcing her to sell her daughter’s virginity to pay her fine.

The show opened with a very ordinary scene, with a compilation of the ‘Harlots’ having sex with clients.

And viewers quickly took to Twitter, with one writing: “This started with a bang in every sense of the word.”

Viewers have praised critically acclaimed new BBC2 drama Harlots, which details the thriving sex industry of 18th-century London. The first episode of the bawdy show, which originally aired on ITV Empire in 2017, featured Fleabag's Hugh Skinner (pictured) in a very raunchy role chasing prostitute Charlotte (Jessica Brown-Findlay).

Viewers have praised critically acclaimed new BBC2 drama Harlots, which details the thriving sex industry of 18th-century London. The first episode of the bawdy show, which originally aired on ITV Empire in 2017, featured Fleabag’s Hugh Skinner (pictured) in a very raunchy role chasing prostitute Charlotte (Jessica Brown-Findlay).

The show opened with a very raunchy scene, with a compilation of the 'Harlots' having sex with clients (photo)

The show opened with a very raunchy scene, with a compilation of the 'Harlots' having sex with clients (photo)

The show opened with a very raunchy scene, with a compilation of the ‘Harlots’ having sex with clients (photo)

On Twitter, one person wrote, “This started with a bang in every sense of the word” (shown)

Meanwhile, a second added: “Spanking, nipples and bare buttocks so far on #harlots.”

Influenced by Harris’s 1700s prostitution guide, List of Covent Garden Ladies, the series began with Margaret’s daughter Lucy (Eloise Smyth) reading reviews from the brothel residents.

Viewers were introduced to Nancy Birch (Kate Fleetwood) – a longtime friend and neighbor of Margaret who specializes in domination – and sex workers Betsey Fletcher (Alexa Davies) and Fanny Lambert (Bronwyn James).

Those who tuned in also met impulsive sex worker Emily Lacey (Holli Dempsey), who abandoned Margaret to work for Lydia, but soon found her stay in the elite brothel not nearly as luxurious as she had ever imagined.

Margaret's eldest daughter Charlotte (Jessica Brown-Findlay) lives as the city's most coveted courtesan and is chased by Sir George Howard (Hugh Skinner)

Margaret's eldest daughter Charlotte (Jessica Brown-Findlay) lives as the city's most coveted courtesan and is chased by Sir George Howard (Hugh Skinner)

Margaret’s eldest daughter Charlotte (Jessica Brown-Findlay) lives as the city’s most coveted courtesan and is chased by Sir George Howard (Hugh Skinner)

Viewers were stunned by what they saw in the BBC Two period drama

Viewers were stunned by what they saw in the BBC Two period drama

Viewers were stunned by what they saw in the BBC Two period drama

Margaret made clear her ambitions to move to the more elite Greek Street in Soho, but her plans were thwarted when Quigley raided the area with the help of Florence Scanwell (Dorothy Atkinson) – a religious fanatic who opposes sex work and a pawn for Quigley.

The raid prevented her from paying a £ 100 court fine, and because she was unable to pay the upcoming payment at her Greek Street home, she was forced to sell the virginity of her youngest daughter.

She drew up a plan to sell to the highest bidder after previously declining any of the client’s £ 50 offer from the brothel to have sex with her daughter.

Meanwhile, aspiring MP Sir George Howard (Hugh Skinner) was expected to sign Margaret’s eldest daughter Charlotte (Jessica Brown-Findlay), who is the city’s most coveted courtesan, to formally become his ‘custodian’ turn into .

Becoming her custodian would make George pay for her lavish lifestyle in exchange for Charlotte having sex with no one else and legally becoming his property.

Viewers have praised critically acclaimed new BBC2 drama Harlots, which details the thriving sex industry of 18th-century London. Pictured, Eloise Smyth as Lucy Wells

Viewers have praised critically acclaimed new BBC2 drama Harlots, which details the thriving sex industry of 18th-century London. Pictured, Eloise Smyth as Lucy Wells

Viewers have praised critically acclaimed new BBC2 drama Harlots, which details the thriving sex industry of 18th-century London. Pictured, Eloise Smyth as Lucy Wells

Originally aired on ITV Empire in 2017, the bawdy show follows the lives of arguing madams. Pictured, Sir George Howard (Hugh Skinner)

Originally aired on ITV Empire in 2017, the bawdy show follows the lives of arguing madams. Pictured, Sir George Howard (Hugh Skinner)

Originally aired on ITV Empire in 2017, the bawdy show follows the lives of arguing madams. Pictured, Sir George Howard (Hugh Skinner)

In a funny scene, the character was seen giving the courtesan a pineapple, which he thought was the best luxury he could get – and later put on Charlotte’s clothes while waiting for her to return home.

However, in a fit of jealousy, after discovering that Charlotte was not ‘living as a nun’ as promised, he had successfully bid for Lucy’s virginity – and while the pair were not having sex, he forced Lucy to do something else. say.

Margaret Wells had ambitions to move to the more elite Greek Street in Soho, but her plans were thwarted when Quigley raided the area. Pictured, Samantha Morton as Margaret

Margaret Wells had ambitions to move to the more elite Greek Street in Soho, but her plans were thwarted when Quigley raided the area. Pictured, Samantha Morton as Margaret

Margaret Wells had ambitions to move to the more elite Greek Street in Soho, but her plans were thwarted when Quigley raided the area. Pictured, Samantha Morton as Margaret

Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville) owns an up-market brothel and was the original lady of a 10-year-old Margaret

Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville) owns an up-market brothel and was the original lady of a 10-year-old Margaret

Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville) owns an up-market brothel and was the original lady of a 10-year-old Margaret

Also introduced was the impulsive sex worker Emily Lacey (Holli Dempsey), who abandoned Margaret to work for Lydia, but soon found her brothel stay was not as luxurious as she had ever imagined

Also introduced was the impulsive sex worker Emily Lacey (Holli Dempsey), who abandoned Margaret to work for Lydia, but soon found her brothel stay was not as luxurious as she had ever imagined

Also introduced was the impulsive sex worker Emily Lacey (Holli Dempsey), who abandoned Margaret to work for Lydia, but soon found her brothel stay was not as luxurious as she had ever imagined

Viewers were captivated by Hugh’s character and laughed at the funny gesture of serving a pineapple.

“Nobody wants a man who thinks she’s a pineapple,” wrote one, while a second quipped, “You’re Britain’s pineapple. Imagine interrupting sex to say that. ‘

A third commented, “Exactly what every woman wants, a pineapple.”

Others loved the orderliness of the show from the start, but others noted that historically it is not correct for the sex workers to have ‘perfect hair and teeth’.

Harlots will be broadcast on BBC2 and BBCiPlayer from August 5 at 9pm

.