Eliza Haywood entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Eliza Haywood was the most prolific novelist by number of titles (even ignoring those doubtfully ascribed) between Aphra Behn and Charlotte Smith. She also wrote poems, plays, periodicals, conduct books, translation, and theatre history. Her output of 72 works and four collections (actual or planned) skews all graphs of the rising output of published works by women. Some readers find the endless, breathless sex scenes of her earlier fiction tedious; but behind the sensationalism is a sharp mind. She is hilariously satirical, pointedly topical, formally inventive and experimental, and trenchantly critical of power misused (in both political and gender relations). Her career shows a certain direction as well as a constant opportunism. The varied origins of the novel gave her scope for original hybridizations of the pliable new form. Her Betsy Thoughtless first brought to the post-Richardsonian novel a female viewpoint unmonitored by male mentors. Her Female Spectator was the first woman's work in the new magazine genre.
1692-3 EH was probably born at the turn of the year. Bibliographic Citation link.
22 January 1719 EH brought out the first, anonymous part of her earliest known work: Love in Excess; or the Fatal Enquiry. A Novel. Two more handsome volumes followed serially, bearing her name, by 26 February 1720. Bibliographic Citation link.
24 April 1744 EH began publishing an anonymous monthly magazine, The Female Spectator, running to about 6,000 words an issue. Bibliographic Citation link.
May 1746 EH's The Female Spectator ceased publication after a run of two years. Bibliographic Citation link.
24 October 1751 EH proved her mastery of the new novel of social realism in The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless. Bibliographic Citation link.
25 February 1756 EH died at 2 Cowley Street, Westminster, of an undisclosed illness which lasted three months. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
26 February 1756 EH's The Husband. In Answer to the Wife, a sequel and counterpart to her conduct book of the previous year, was her final publication. It appeared on this date, apparently the day after she died. Bibliographic Citation link.
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