At one time or another, we’ve all seen the private workings of a 19th-century brothel, thanks to the silver screen. My own favorite film on this subject happens to be something that you will only see on the Turner Movie Channel these days: McCabe and Mrs. Miller, directed by none other than Robert Altman.
Did Altman get any of it right? Well, archaeologists have dug a wide range of 19th century brothels in recent years, including a very upscale establishment in Washington D.C. that once catered to politicians. Now an ongoing research project by Boston University archaeologist Mary Beaudry is shedding light on the life of a brothel madam, Mrs. Lake, and her employees at 27 and 29 Endicott Street, Boston. For more, see my new post at The Last Word on Nothing.