Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies
english literature, politics, fiction, political literature, eighteenth century literature, 18th century literature, narrative
Eliza Haywood’s novels and political writings are often considered in isolation from each other; however, there is a discursive thread that links her fictional and political works: her engagement with secret history. Across her career, in her novels as well as her political pamphlets and periodicals, Haywood deploys two important narratological tropes of the secret historian: the tendency to reveal the secrets of public figures while concealing the author’s own political position and the tendency to muse self-reflexively about the author’s own role as a writer of history. Haywood’s facility in deploying these dual narratological devices of concealment and confession helps explain our difficulty in pinning down either her intrinsic political sympathies or her shifting partisan allegiances.
Carnell, Rachel K., "Eliza Haywood and the Narratological Tropes of Secret History" (2014). English Faculty Publications. 47.
First appeared in Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies 14.4 (2014): 101-121. Printed by permission of the University of Pennsylvania Press.