“They were beautiful, dangerous and shocking – high voltage wantons who stopped at nothing to get their men.”
This week’s Pulp Friday, Notorious Women, is another offering from former clerk turned prodigious pulp hack, James Holledge.
Holledge, who has featured previously on this site, wrote approximately 45 books between 1961 and 1970. Most of these were heavily sensationalised, salacious examinations of social issues such as prostitution and the occult, which he dressed up as serious sociological expose.
Notorious Women, published in 1962 by Horwitz Publications, Australia’s premier pulp publisher in the fifties and sixties, is fairly typical of Holledge’s work. Purporting to be an examination of “a few of the Wantons of the World who have been branded forever as Notorious Women,” the boom is divided into 13 chapters.
These include ‘Wanton on the beach’ (“A reckless, sensation-seeking Bohemian, she had a mania for performing unrehearsed striptease dances”) and ‘Women with the serpent’s tongue’ (“The police actually feared this heartless hussy who was obsessed by money hunger”). But my favourite is ‘Edward who was really Ellen’ (“One of Australia’s most baffling sex masquerades was was finally exposed in startling circumstances”).
The one undeniable fact about Holledge’s books is that they sold, presumably to working stiffs eager for a few cheap thrills. Notorious Women was reprinted in 1965 (the cover is below).
Other Holledge titles for Horwitz included Girls for Rent and Australia’s Wicked Women (1963), the latter featuring “True stories of the scandals of Australia’s most notorious woman”), The Call Girl in Australia and Women Who Sell Sex (1964), The Strippers (1965), “A fantastic story of girls who undress for a living”), Women of Darkness (1968) and Crimes of Passion (1968).