The debt to pleasure: eliza haywood's love in excess and women's fiction of the 1720s

Sarah Prescott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The fiction of Eliza Haywood, Penelope Aubin and Elizabeth Singer Rowe has been seen to represent two very different ways of writing novels in the 1720s: the amatory and the pious. The literary significance of these writers has also been described in terms of two traditions of women's writing: the scandalous and the virtuous. This article suggests that these conventional dichotomies are unsettled by a comparative reading of Love in Excess alongside the fiction of Aubin and Rowe. A parallel reading of the work of these writers, in fact, reveals very close textual similarities which suggest that women writers of the 1720s were more indebted to Haywood than has hitherto been acknowledged. The article contends that Haywood should occupy a more central position in the history of early eighteenth-century literary culture and posits a conception of authorial influence between women as a process of dialogue and recognition rather than dismissal and rejection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-445
Number of pages19
JournalWomen's Writing
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2000

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