Approaches to Teaching the Works of Eliza Haywood

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.


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About the Editor

Tiffany Potter

Tiffany Potter works in 18th-century studies. Her arc has included major research projects on libertinism and gender in fiction and theatre; representations of indigenous women in 17th- and 18th-century North American contact and captivity narratives; and women writers in 18th-century England. She also works in television studies, co-editing with CW Marshall an award-winning critical collection on SciFi’s Battlestar Galactica (Bloomsbury 2008), and the first scholarly collection on HBO’s The Wire (Bloomsbury 2009).

Her most recent SSHRC-funded research project generated the 2012 collection, Women, Popular Culture and the Eighteenth Century (UTP). Also with SSHRC support, she has published three critical editions with the University of Toronto Press: Robert Rogers’ 1766 play, Ponteach, or the Savages of America: A Tragedy (2010); Elizabeth Cooper’s 1735 play, The Rival Widows, or Fair Libertine (2013); and Eliza Haywood’s 1724 short novels The Masqueraders and The Surprise (UTP 2015). Her next book project will be Approaches to Teaching the Works of Eliza Haywood with MLA Press.

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