Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

Haywood, Eliza

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(?1693-1756) UK actress from 1715, publisher, critic, and most prolific female author of her time, publishing over fifty plays and fictions of various sorts (including several novels) between 1719 and her death. Much of her work of Proto SF interest was aggressively "scandalous", containing thinly veiled characterizations of notable contemporaries, and includes Memoirs of a Certain Island, Adjacent to the Kingdom of Utopia (1725-1726 2vols), anonymous, a Satire on the corrupt politics of the time, specifically the South Sea Bubble scandal, couched as an allegorical Utopia; The Secret History of the Present Intrigues of the Court of Caramania (1727); and most famously The Adventures of Eovaai, Princess of Ijaveo: A Pre-Adamitical History [for full subtitle see Checklist] (1736; vt The Unfortunate Princess; Or, the Ambitious Statesman [for full subtitle see Checklist] 1741 with her authorship acknowledged), anonymous, is an allegorical political Satire mainly directed at the current British political scene, but set before the destruction of Earth's second Moon and featuring, among many accounts of sorcery, the visitation by mechanical means of an extraterrestrial – this was several years before the appearance of Voltaire's Micromegas (in Le Micromégas de Mr. de Voltaire ..., coll 1752; trans anon 1753). Her last novel, The Invisible Spy (1755 4vols) as by "Exploralibus", features an Invisibility belt which is used to eavesdrop on society gossip. Haywood has attracted considerable attention in recent decades as an important early novelist, and as a precursor Feminist. Note that this pseudonym appears in error in some posthumous editions as "Explorabilis".

The anonymous satirical Lost-World novel Memoirs of the Court of Lilliput [for subtitle see Checklist] (1727) (see Jonathan Swift) was (perhaps wrongly) attributed to Haywood by Alexander Pope in 1729; what is not uncertain is that Haywood (like others) used Swift's work to model her assaults on Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745). [JE/JC]

Eliza Fowler Haywood

born probably at Harnage Grange, Shropshire: probably 1693

died London: 25 February 1756



previous versions of this entry

This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies