The "man of pleasure" would browse this handbook in order to find a suitable "fallen lady". Sadly enough, it seems the ladies were actively pursuing an entry in the list for advertising purposes. It was written by the Irish poet Samuel Derrick from inside a debtor's prison and based on the list of available ladies carried by the famous whoremonger Jack Harris. Derrick kept publishing the list, sometimes on the sly before dying and passing on the profits to a former mistress, brothel-keeper Charlotte Hayes. Thus, the list was very much a product from the underbelly of society seeming like another page out of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera.
For more entries from Harris' list, go to amazon.co.uk.
Source: Harris. Harris's list of Covent-Garden ladies Or man of pleasure's kalender for the year 1793. Containing the histories and some curious anecdotes of the most celebrated ladies now on the town, or in keeping, and also many of their keepers. London, . Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Gale. NTNU Universitetsbiblioteket. 19 Dec. 2010