Belle Brezing made a major career move when she stepped off the streets of Lexington, Kentucky, and into Jennie Hill’s bawdy house. At nineteen, Brezing was already infamous as a youth steeped in death, sex, drugs, and scandal. But it was in Miss Hill’s “respectable” establishment that she began to acquire the skills, manners, and business contacts that allowed her to ascend to power and influence as an internationally known madam.
In this revealing book, Maryjean Wall offers a tantalizing true story of vice and power in the Gilded Age South, as told through the life and times of the notorious Miss Belle. After years on the streets and working for Hill, Belle Brezing borrowed enough money to set up her own establishment. Soon, her houses were known internationally, and powerful patrons from the industrial cities of the Northeast courted her in the lavish parlors of her gilt-and-mirror mansion.
Maryjean Wall is the author of How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders. She holds a doctorate and is an instructor in the Department of History at the University of Kentucky.
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