The Petticoat Parade: Madam Monnier and the Roe Street Brothels
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Published: September 2021
The Petticoat Parade: Madam Monnier and the Roe Street Brothels by Leigh Straw is a window into Perth’s notorious Roe Street red-light district of the early 1900s. From police inquiries to shootouts within the brothels themselves, the book is not shy of action and provides a vivid and detailed recount into the life of Madam Monnier (known by many other names throughout her lifetime)—one of Perth’s most notorious brothel madams.
Leigh Straw does a fantastic job of linking these long-forgotten places with the streets of modern-day Perth city, in the process highlighting just how much the city has changed. The extensive reference list at the back of the book is a testament to the depth of Straw’s research, lending a deep sense of accuracy and rigour to the book’s contents. The hard-working, driven women that shaped Roe Street may have been forgotten over time, but The Petticoat Parade keeps their legacy alive, brings warranted attention to the stigma surrounding sex workers still evident today, and shows the role that these people have played in history.