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Extra info for Pierre Loti and the Oriental Woman
Bligh, for example, stated that 'lower class' girls in particular began the practice at an early age, some starting ' ... even at the Age of 7 Years'. 34 Women of the upper classes tended to be more faithful than those in the lower ones, but Maohi women in general were more generous with their sexual favours than the women Europeans were accustomed to meet. In addition, Polynesian women were also attracted to the merchandise (dry goods and hardware) which the Occidentals provided. It is probably safe to say that most of the sexual encounters experienced by the European visitors had to be purchased at what came to be standard market prices, which, however, were subject to considerable fluctuation.
The sale of the family house at Rochefort was an ever-constant threat and part of the author's motivation to write and earn money was to prevent such a calamity. The elder Viaud was, in fact, fully exonerated in February 1868, but by then the many debts he had incurred forced Julien to leave home and enter a career of which his parents would have disapproved under other circumstances. In October 1868 he left for Paris and entered the Lycee Henri IV. His experiences in Paris were mainly unhappy ones; he was homesick and lonely, and it was here that he began the 'journaux intimes' that would eventually number 200 volumes.
The result of this seclusion was the veil, an isolating technique ensuring that women be kept apart from men; only when women worked in the fields were veils removed. Protection in public places soon led to guardianship at home, and the logical outcome of this policy was the harem. Although the veil has traditionally been seen as a means for men to segregate women, the Surah in the Koran which forms the Nineteenth-Century Attitudes towards Women 47 religious basis for the action states: 'Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close around them (when they go abroad).