Image for The Curse of Success: The Story of John ClelandNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 30 minutes

Profile of author John Cleland, whose novel Fanny Hill – Memoirs of an 18th Century Prostitute is one of the most notorious books in British literary history. A London sophisticate, at the age of 38 his debts saw him thrown into prison. After writing his bestselling novel there he was released, but triumph swiftly turned to disaster when Cleland was arrested on obscenity charges. The authorities forced him to disown his novel or face further jail time; thus was a fortune snatched from his grasp.

Last on

Sun 4 Nov 2007 00:10 BBC Four


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss