British writer best remembered for a 1748 novel entitled Fanny Hill: or, the Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. His other works include Memoirs of a Coxcomb and The Surprises of Love.
He wrote his famous novel while serving time in a London debtors' prison.
He wrote several unsuccessful comedies and dramas for the stage.
He was born in Surrey, England and raised in London. He never married, and the subject matter of his literary works has led critics to surmise that he was likely a homosexual.
His father, William Cleland, was a close friend of poet Alexander Pope .