The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless / Edition 1

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A lively, pretty young orphan with a large fortune, Miss Betsy Thoughtless is courted by several eligible suitors. Enjoying their adoration, she extends her power over men by dallying with their affections and postponing marriage. Her flirtatiousness, however, alienates the right man, and scares her guardians into marrying her off to a brutish husband. The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless (1751) is one of the first novels to depict a heroine struggling with the consequences of marrying the wrong man. In it Eliza Haywood, a prolific and successful author who began her career as an actress, questions the sexual double standard and institution of marriage. Satirized by Pope in The Dunciad, Haywood came to align herself with Richardson and Fielding in adapting to changing literary and moral tastes, and the Introduction considers her novel against a background of social change. This edition brings back into print a fascinating and provocative story of sexual politics.
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Editorial Reviews

John Richetti University of Pennsylvania
"Both scholarly and readable, Christine Blouch's edition of Eliza Haywood's The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless is a welcome addition to the expanding library of neglected and undervalued women novelists of the early eighteenth century that will contribute to the current re-assessment of Haywood's work."
Ros Ballaster Mansfield College
"Eliza Haywood transforms the familiar tale of the reformed coquette. A comic investigation of city morals and manners develops into a dark critique of women's vulnerability in bourgeois marriage. Christine Blouch's informative edition clarifies the contexts of Haywood's textual, political and personal relations."
Alexander Pettit University of North Texas
"Simply the best edition to date of Haywood's fiction. The text and apparatus are equally impressive."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551111476
  • Publisher: Broadview Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/1998
  • Series: Literary Texts Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 656
  • Sales rank: 1,235,046
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Christine Blouch a professor in the Department of English at Bradley University, Illinois, has written widely on Haywood's life and works.

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Table of Contents

Eliza Haywood: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless
Appendix A: Haywood's First Biographer
Appendix B: Review of Betsy Thoughtless
Monthly Review (1751)
Haywood's Response (from The History of Jenny and Jemmy Jessamy)
Appendix C: Betsy Thoughtless on Trial
Proceedings at the Court of Censorial Enquiry (1752)
Appendix D: Reading Haywood in Her Own Century
Clara Reeve, The Progress of Romance (1785)
Appendix E: A Stage Adaptation of Betsy Thoughtless
Robert Hitchcock, The Coquette; or, The Mistakes of the Heart (1777)
Select Bibliography

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