Modern Language Association
During her long and varied career, Eliza Haywood acted onstage, worked as a publisher and bookseller, and wrote prolifically in many genres, from novels of seduction to essays in periodicals. Her works illuminate the private emotional lives of people in eighteenth-century England, invite readers to consider how women in that culture defined themselves and criticized oppression, and help us better understand the social debates of the period.
This volume addresses a broad range of Haywood’s works, providing literary and sociopolitical context from writings by Aphra Behn, Samuel Richardson, Samuel Johnson, and others, and from contemporary documents such as advice manuals and court records. The first section, “Materials,” identifies high-quality editions, reliable biographical sources, and useful background information. The second section, “Approaches,” suggests ways to help students engage with Haywood’s work, gain a nuanced understanding of the time period, work with primary documents, and participate in digital humanities projects.