Born in London, England in 1709, John Cleland studied at Westminster School. After working and traveling abroad, Cleland wrote the book that has made him notoriously famous to this day. The novel, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, also known as Fanny Hill, details the life and loves of a prostitute in 18th century London. A bestseller in its time, Fanny Hill has been heavily censored by various establishments since its inception. In 1749, Cleland was arraigned and reprimanded by the Privy Council in London for his literary obscenity. As a punishment, Cleland was ordered to pay 100 pounds annually and promise not to repeat the offense again. In the early 1960s the highest courts in New Jersey and Massachusetts declared the erotica novel obscene, but on appeal the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the judgments and cleared the book for publication. Cleland, who also spent time studying Celtic philosophy and dramaturgy, died in 1789 at the age of 80.