The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 244 pages of information about The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood.

[14] A companion-piece to the third edition of The Mercenary Lover, (1728).

[15] A companion-piece to The Fatal Secret:  or, Constancy in Distress.

[16] Monthly Review, XXXVIII, 412, May, 1768. Clementina; or the History of an Italian Lady, who made her Escape from a Monastery, etc.

[17] Critical Review, XXV, 59.

[18] In both editions is advertised “Persecuted Virtue:  or, the Cruel Lover.  A True Secret History, Writ at the Request of a Lady of Quality,” which was advertised also in the Daily Post, 28 Nov. 1728.  I have not found a copy.

[19] An anonymous poem prefixed to Mrs. Elizabeth Boyd’s The Happy Unfortunate; or, the Female Page (1737) testifies to Mrs. Haywood’s reputation in the following terms: 

  “Yeild [sic] Heywood yeild, yeild all whose tender Strains,
  Inspire the Dreams of Maids and lovesick Swains;
  Who taint the unripen’d Girl with amorous Fire,
  And hint the first faint Dawnings of Desire: 
  Wing each Love-Atom, that in Embryo lies,
  And teach young Parthenissa’s Breasts to rise. 
  A new Elisa writes,” etc., etc.



Only once did Eliza Haywood compete with Defoe upon the same ground.  Both novelists were alive to the value of sensational matter, but as we have seen, appealed to the reader’s emotional nature from different sides.  Defoe with his strong interest in practical life looked for stirring incidents, for strange and surprising adventures on land and sea, for unusual or uncanny occurrences; whereas Mrs. Haywood, less a journalist than a romancer, rested her claim to public favor upon the secure basis of the tender passions.  In the books exploiting the deaf and dumb prophet Duncan Campbell, whose fame, once illustrated by notices in the “Tatler” and “Spectator,"[1] was becoming a little dimmed by 1720, each writer chose the kind of material that the natural propensity and previous experience of each had trained him or her to use with the greatest success.

Accordingly the “History of the Life and Adventures of Mr. Duncan Campbell, a gentleman who, though deaf and dumb, writes down any stranger’s name at first sight, with their future contingencies of fortune:  Now living in Exeter Court, over against the Savoy in the Strand,” published by Curll on 30 April, 1720, and written largely by Defoe, devoted only four chapters directly to the narrative of the conjuror’s life, while four chapters and the Appendix were given over to disquisitions upon the method of teaching deaf and dumb persons to read and write; upon the perception of demons, genii, or familiar spirits; upon the second sight; upon magic in all its branches; and upon the laws against false diviners and soothsayers.  Beside showing the keenness of his interest in the

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The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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