Annie Chambers: Kansas City Madam

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

Annie Chambers ran a well-known brothel in Kansas City for nearly 50 years around the turn of the twentieth century. Read more about this local figure or check out a few books about the history of prostitution.

Related event:
Meet the Past: Annie Chambers, August 18, 2009

Annie Chambers

Kansas City Women of Independent Minds
By Jane Fifield Flynn
This book profiles significant women in Kansas City history and includes a two-page biography of Annie Chambers.

Annie Chambers
By Lenore Carroll
This novel was inspired by the life of Annie Chambers. She struggled to earn a living in an ignoble profession, was secretly in love with a respectable man, and enjoyed friendships and solidarity with women like herself who had no place to go.

Biography of Annie Chambers
By Daniel Coleman
This two-page article, prepared by the staff in the Missouri Valley Special Collections, provides a brief overview of Annie Chambers and her life.

History of prostitution

Good Time Girls of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush book jacket

Good Time Girls of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush
By Lael Morgan
History has long ignored many of the earliest female pioneers of the Far North - the prostitutes and other "disreputable" women who joined the mass pilgrimage to the booking gold camps of the Alaska and Yukon at the turn of the century. Leaving behind their hometowns and most constraints of the Victorian era, the "good time girls" crossed both geographic and social frontiers, finding freedom, independence, hardship, heartbreak, and sometimes astonishing wealth.

Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-90
By Anne M. Butler
Daughters of Joy portrays the stark realities of prostitution in the American West with sensitivity and insight.

Love for Sale: A World History of Prostitution
By Nils Johan Ringdal
Historian Nils Johan Ringdal delivers an extremely readable world history of this most maligned-and most persistent-form of human commerce. Love for Sale takes the reader on a tour through the entire recorded history of prostitution up to the modern red-light district.

Whores in History: Prostitution in Western Society
By Nickie Roberts
Roberts' examination of the unrepentant whore, whom she regards as the most maligned woman in history, tells the story of the prostitute with hundreds of anecdotes of bawdy-house and brothel life.

The Great Southern Babylon: Sex, Race, and Respectability in New Orleans, 1865-1920
By Alecia P. Long  
The Great Southern Babylon portrays the complex mosaic of race, gender, sexuality, social class, and commerce in turn-of-the-twentieth-century New Orleans.

The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld
By Christine Wiltz
Wiltz chronicles the life and times of Norma Wallace, who went from New Orleans streetwalker to madam in 1920. At her legendary house of prostitution, she entertained a steady stream of governors, gangsters, and movie stars until she was arrested at last in 1962.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.

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